Advice on Buying a home, including lots of links to people who can help.

Conveyancing: or What Does a Lawyer Do?

The Myth

A standard form and a rubber stamp

The Reality

Whether you are buying or selling a property,  conveyancing means a lot more than most people realise. When a Property Lawyer handles your conveyancing, this is what they do to make sure the biggest investment of your life is safe and secure for you.

First your lawyer will check the Title and in particular, any easements or land covenants that might restrict things like access and right-of-way. They’ll Check for property-usage rights that you might want immediately or in the future. For example you may want to run a home business, tell your lawyer and they will ensure that you know what you can and can’t do. These are not things to be treated routinely, just so a sale can go through. Once the deal is done you may not be able to cancel it if there’s a problem?

Your lawyer will check the local authority LIM reports and Compliance Certificates. Thanks to “leaky buildings” and some cowboys, many people have been badly caught out. Don’t be one of them.

Your lawyer will understand the ownership issues – partnerships, trusts and companies are often involved. It’s not simple, it’s complicated and it matters to you. For example, in the future you may wish to gift part of the equity to a family trust, or your business may own the property, with associated taxation issues.

Relationships need to be taken into account. Are you married, de facto or otherwise? And what will it mean if everything turns to custard? Not easy territory for all sorts of reasons but the Property (Relationships) Act means a lawyer should at least think about it for you.

Guarantees and loan securities come in many forms. They have long-term implications and have returned to haunt many a trusting or careless soul. Before you commit to acting as a guarantor for a loan, perhaps to your family, your lawyer should explain to you the implications.

Managing the money. It is more than you’ll probably ever hand over (or receive). Banks trust Property Lawyers to prepare loan documents and to provide the certificates that mean the funds will be there when you need them to be. It doesn’t get any more serious than this. If you are handing over $100,000’s or millions of dollars you need to be able to sleep at night secure in the knowledge that someone trusted is handling that money for you.

Overseas Investors

If you are an “overseas person” and you purchase land adjoining a river, lake or the sea or acquire an asset larger than a certain size adjoining a reserve of any size whatsoever; or are an international company acquiring another international company with New Zealand landholding subsidiaries; you will or are likely to need to apply for consent under the OIA. If you think your purchase is likely to require consent under the OIA then you should consult your solicitor prior to making an offer. Here’s a link to the Overseas Investment Act 2005.

You’ll be able to find a lawyer at the New Zealand Law Society directory here or at the Auckland Districts Law Society here.

Or try my favourite lawyers here in Milford on the North Shore. These lawyers work closely with Harcourts,  Cooper and Co and I to ensure your property transaction is legally trouble free.

Greg Dunning

Greg Dunning and Associates
Phone: 09 486 3237
Street Address: 166 Kitchener Road, Milford

Andrew Stokes

Phone: 09 09 489 9359
Street Address: 126a Kitchener Road, Milford 0620

David Schnauer

Schnauer and Co Ltd
Phone: 09 486-5801
Address: 218 Kitchener Road, Milford 0620

Thanks to New Zealand Law Society, Property Law Section.

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