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Caveat emptor (; from caveat, "may he beware", a subjunctive form of cavēre, "to beware" + ēmptor, "buyer") is Latin for "Let the buyer beware". It has become a proverb in English. Generally, caveat emptor is the contract law principle that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing, but may also apply to sales of other goods. The phrase caveat emptor and its use as a disclaimer of warranties arise from the fact that buyers typically have less information than the seller about the good or service they are purchasing. This quality of the situation is known as 'information asymmetry'. Defects in the good or service may be hidden from the buyer, and only known to the seller.
It is a short form of Caveat emptor, quia ignorare non debuit quod jus alienum emit ("Let a purchaser beware, for he ought not to be ignorant of the nature of the property which he is buying from another party.") I.e. the buyer should assure himself that the product is good and that the seller had the right to sell it, as opposed to receiving stolen property.
A common way that information asymmetry between seller and buyer has been addressed is through a legally binding warranty, such as a guarantee of satisfaction.

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  1. N

    VIC Caveat processe

    I am going through a property settlement atm and I am half owner of a property with my ex partner. We are unable to settle yet because his father has placed a Caveat on our property stating he has an equitable interest because he had gone guarantor and payed it out when we were foreclosed on...
  2. Skateboard

    VIC Caveat placed on title by relative.

    Four years ago I purchased property from a settlement from a property that was sold where my brother and I were joint tennants. I have owned the property for four years and my brother put a caveat on it this year. The caveat states their is an implied trust. What does this mean and how can...
  3. E

    NSW Implications of a Caveat over Property and on the Body Corporation

    Hoping for some opinion on property dispute between two siblings. Sibling 1 loaned money to Sibling 2 and as part of the agreement Sibling 2 could repay the money + interest and there was an option for Sibling 1 could come in on the property at a latter date if they wished to - for a further...
  4. L

    QLD Caveat

    I have caveats on my property from judgements as directors guarantee, my bankruptcy has been discharged. What happens with the caveats as all the caveators were dealt with in the bankruptcy. I am a joint owner with my wife with a mortgage and little or no equity.
  5. S

    QLD Caveat process for Qld property

    Can anyone shed light on how long it takes to register a caveat on a property - is it instant? And once the caveat is registered what is the process?
  6. Tam12345

    NSW Caveat -Property in NSW

    Hi There, I live in New Zealand, my father who is an alcoholic and gambling addict lives in NSW. He is wanting to sell his house (freehold). I want to stop him, as I believe that he will spend every last penny on gambling and end up on the streets. Can I place a caveat on his property?
  7. M

    WA Caveat on bankrupt ex's interest in home owned by family trust - how to sell?

    Hi all, posting on behalf of a colleague. Wondering if I can get some guidance on the below as I haven't found any cases on Austlii that are directly relevant. Colleague is going to see a lawyer but would be good to have as much understanding / background info as possible to get the most out of...
  8. M

    VIC Caveat on unit debt out of control

    I have foolishly taken out a 2nd mortgage on my property which I have stopped making repayments on, resulting in the total amount just about tripling to 80K and continuing to do so. It is classified as a business loan although I never gave them an ABN. The monthly repayments are about $1750...
  9. D

    VIC Separation - Parent Wanting My Home in Their Property Pool?

    I'll keep this short and to the point: My (former) mother and father are having a 'property separation' in the Federal Circuit/ Family Court. My (former) mother started proceedings against my father and she has listed me as a secondary. She's demanding that I sign my home onto her. 5 years...
  10. D

    NSW Can you be sued if you have a valid property caveat

    Hi, my question is if you have a valid property caveat (we loaned money to a family member to help buy a property) can you be sued if you refuse to remove it when the mortgagee attempts to sell it (ie property has been repossessed) ? We are trying to recover our loan but it looks like there...