When you’re buying a property, you may want to lodge a caveat on the vendor’s title. This can be done once you sign and exchange contracts.
Why would you?
If you lodge a caveat, anybody who searches the title for the property will see that you have an interest in that property, i.e. as a purchaser. It’s a precautionary measure to establish your interest in the property in case of a dispute with some other party who might also claim an interest. It’s rare that this happens, but it can.
In effect, a caveat operates as a form of insurance against the potential for circumstances that could involve you in court action and costs. A fee is payable to lodge a caveat, but may well be a cost well spent in case of a dispute.