Property Law 2017-05-19T12:17:27+00:00

Property Law

Our property lawyers can assist you with all aspects of property ownership, both real estate and personal property.

For many of us the purchase of a home is the most significant single financial transaction in which we are personally involved.

Our lawyers can advise you of the pitfalls that can occur in the purchase of real estate or in the purchase of personal property.

The specific areas in which our lawyers will assist you are as follows:

You can learn more about the team members who can assist you by visiting the Property Law Team or by contacting us directly.

Buying & Selling Real Estate

It is essential, whether you are buying or selling, that you contact us early in the transaction to enable us to review the agreement.It is preferable that we review the proposed agreement before you sign it so we can advise you on the terms of the proposal and talk with you about modifying or adding any clauses to get the best outcome for you.

If the agreement is already signed, we will ensure that you have a full understanding of what is required under the Agreement.

If there is no real estate agent involved, we can prepare the Sale and Purchase Agreement on your behalf.

We can also assist with any research required regarding the property and can recommend specialists you may need such as valuers, property inspection companies or mortgage and insurance brokers.

We can advise you on the best ownership structure for your property purchase. See Structures For Land Ownership

We will advise you on, and undertake, the legal conveyancing requirements for the complete property transaction. That includes your finance arrangements, discharging any existing mortgages (when you are selling your property) or preparing and registering new mortgage documentation (when you are purchasing).

Compulsory electronic registration now ensures that transfers, mortgages and discharges of mortgages can be registered immediately after settlement, so the property is likely to be in your name on the day of settlement.

Buying & Selling Personal Property

Personal Property is all assets that are not land and buildings. Most personal property is bought and sold through verbal contracts directly with the seller, whether through retail stores, garage sales or by a handshake.

We can prepare an agreement for you to buy or sell personal property. Some purchases you may wish to make, such as a motor vehicle, can be for significant sums of money and it is sensible to have an agreement prepared, whether you are the seller or the buyer.

We can assist you with resolving disputes over ownership, payment or other issues.

Structures For Land Ownership

If you are purchasing property you should consider the best method of ownership. This may be:

  • In your own name
  • A Joint Tenancy
  • Tenants in Common
  • Sole Trader
  • Company
  • Partnership
  • Qualifying Company
  • Family Trust
  • Trading Trust

If you are purchasing a residential property for investment with the purpose of generating income either now or in the future, there will be tax issues to consider. The impact of these issues will depend on the way your ownership structure is set up, which may include some of the structure types mentioned above.

All these structures have their own advantages and disadvantages and your own personal circumstances will determine the most appropriate structure for you. Maximisation of the tax advantages is often the deciding factor and we can liaise with your accountant to ensure that the most tax-efficient structure is in place before you purchase.

We can assist you with resolving disputes over ownership, payment or other issues.

New Loan Arrangements

For various reasons, you may wish to take out a new loan, for example, to finance the purchase of a home or business or to finance the efficient running of a current business.

We can discuss with you all legal matters regarding loan arrangements, including explaining the technical terms relating to loan structures, mortgages, guarantees and security agreements over property.

We can also discuss with you the practical aspects of the loan arrangements, including the term, interest rate, repayments, and insurances.

Should you require assistance and advice about the financing options available in the market we can refer you to experienced mortgage and insurance brokers.

You should contact us before signing any of the following:

  • Loan agreements
  • Mortgage documents
  • General security agreements
  • Guarantees

Compulsory electronic registration now ensures that transfers, mortgages and discharges of mortgages can be registered immediately after settlement, so the property is likely to be in your name on the day of settlement.

Refinancing Existing Loan Arrangements

Refinancing existing loan arrangements occurs when you wish to change your loan arrangements from one entity to another, for example, changing your mortgage from one bank to another.

Refinancing existing loan arrangements involves all of the elements of the New Loan Arrangements, and more.

In addition, it will be necessary to repay the current loan, and if there is a mortgage or other security held, to arrange for a discharge of that security. We will liaise with your bank and will attend to those matters for you.


You will need a lawyer when undertaking any subdivision of land.

We can assist from the start when it is necessary to obtain a Land Use Resource Consent to permit the subdivision to proceed. This work is completed in conjunction with your surveyor and in some circumstances, professional planners and engineers.

Subdivisions of land, whether for rural, industrial, commercial or residential use, fall into the broad categories of Fee Simple, Cross-lease, or Unit Title. We are able to advise the best form of subdivision for your particular requirements.

We will advise and prepare for you, easements, restrictive covenants and other Council-required documents such as conditions of consent, Esplanade Reserve Strips, Easements in Gross and any other requirements specific to the subdivision.

Upon completion of the task, we will provide you with the separate titles for each subdivided piece of the land.