Publication: Legal Updates

  • Strengthening the Retentions Regime

    30 October 2023

    The collapse of Ebert Construction in 2018 highlighted the lack of protection in the then current retentions regime in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA). The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Act 2023 (Amendment Act), which came into force on 5 October 2023, increases protection for subcontractors working on commercial projects by ring fencing their retention payments and creating reporting obligations. In particular:• the retention is automatically held on trust as soon as an amount becomes “retention money” under the ...

  • Taxing Trusts

    23 May 2023

    The recent (May 2023) budget announcement from the Government included an increase in the trustee tax rate from 33% to 39% with effect from 1 April 2024. This may have left many New Zealanders who have a trust somewhat concerned with the increase in the rate of tax on income that is generated by the trust and retained by the trustees. Although it was not surprising that the increase has taken place in order to match the increase in personal ...

  • Tiny Homes – time to review

    23 March 2023

    Tiny or modular homes have become popular in New Zealand in recent times. This is not surprising. Housing affordability and constraints on the building sector have proved challenging to many would-be home buyers. The tiny home option offers an affordable alternative with a simple building and consents package. It also appeals to those looking at retirement or a lifestyle change.Unfortunately, the problem with tiny home providers is their tendency to go broke, leaving buyers out of pocket with no home.The ...

  • Case Update: Signed and Delivered Agency Agreement Critical to Claiming Commission

    7 November 2022

    A real estate listing or agency agreement will be familiar to many. It authorises a licensed real estate agent to act on behalf of a client in undertaking a sale or lease of property, and sets out the scope of the agent’s authority to do so in exchange for a fee in the form of a commission. As many will also know, most agency agreements include an obligation to pay commission where the purchaser or lessee was first introduced by ...

  • Case Law Update: Shared Driveway Driving You Up the Wall?

    16 August 2022

    Shared driveways providing access via a right of way easement are a common feature in residential suburbs and in commercial and industrial areas all over New Zealand. The High Court recently confirmed the legal principles and tests applicable to the interpretation of right of way easements in Fuge v Wimax New Zealand Limited [2022] NZHC 1121.The case related to a dispute between the Fuges and Wimax over structures (retaining walls etc.) placed within the easement area that did not directly obstruct ...

  • Mortgagee Sales – what to watch out for

    12 August 2022

    In a changing economic environment, mortgagee sale numbers are starting to increase. Real estate agents think this trend will continue. More agents are starting to advertise specialist mortgagee sales services.Mortgagee sales can offer opportunities for buyers, especially due to discounted prices that are often attached to mortgagee sales. However, there is much to be wary of. Mortgagee sales are not the same as ordinary sales. There are good reasons why prices are discounted.Mortgagee sale terms are different. A mortgagee will ...