Handy information

Property Law - important legal information

The New Zealand Law Society has very useful information whether you are a buyer or a seller of property.  They have a section on their website dedicated to Property Law.  The Property Law Section is part of the New Zealand Law Society. It aims to assist members of the public, as well as support the legal profession in property law matters. There are several sections including a link to finding a property lawyer near you.


Preparing your property to look its best

I am always available to offer advice on how your property could be enhanced to both improve the value and appeal of your home or property. There may be many things large or small that you could do - some things may also be left as they are, allowing the new owner to put their own stamp on a home. It is always good to de-clutter as much as possible. 

Also have your gardens looking their best, it may even be appropriate to bring in a professional if need be. Please consult with me before undertaking any major renovations and I will advise if they are necessary or if youre simply over-capitalising as buyers will often prefer to make changes to their own taste.

I may also advise you to engage a professional stylist especially if your place is unfurnished. Dont be offended if I do suggest a different style of furnishing be used in some rooms and if strong wall colours should be replaced with a less ‘vibranttone.

If you choose to wash the exterior of the home, best advice is to not water-blast, but choose a contractor who uses a wet-brush wash system. Water blasting can often cause damage to surfaces and create leaks where none existed prior. On the other hand, this form of cleaning is ideal for pathways, drives and fences.

LIM reports

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a document prepared by the Council to help provide useful information to those buying or selling property. A buyer will gain additional information, which might help their decision making process; a seller might benefit by being better equipped to answer questions from potential buyers. The New Zealand Law Society offers the following information on LIM documents.

A LIM might include information about things such as:

  • potential erosion;
  • contamination or flooding;
  • structural requirements;
  • where the street water pipes and sewerage run;
  • rates details;
  • consents and notices that have been issued relating to this or neighbouring properties;
  • the zoning (which tells you what you can do with the land);
  • likely future use such as new roads, information from other utility providers; and any other information the local authority regards as relevant.

The information covered within a LIM is normally more detailed than what can be viewed on a property file alone. It includes checks by various Council departments and aims to tell you what you might want to know before buying a property.

A LIM report can be particularly important if you want to carry out alterations or additions to the property or to subdivide the property. It might also alert you to an illegally installed solid fuel burner. Even if it was correctly installed, if there was no permit (now called a consent) obtained, the house insurance is likely to be invalidated if the burner causes a fire. 

You should always compare the information on the LIM with what is physically at the property. For instance, if there is a recent carport or other structure on the property but no reference on the LIM to a consent being issued for it, you should discuss this with your property lawyer.

If you are borrowing money to purchase the property, your lender will often require you to obtain a LIM and (depending on the information contained in the report) may impose new terms and conditions on the loan. This could result in additional expenses.

Key things to note:

  • LIMs are a great tool in assisting buyers to feel confident about the property they are looking to buy and it greatly assists them to reduce the conditions that may need to be placed in a contract when it comes to preparing their offer to purchase.
  • If an offer is conditional upon the purchaser obtaining and checking the LIM for the property this condition may take up to 15 working days (3 weeks) before the purchaser is able to confirm or otherwise on a property.
  • LIMs can take between 3 and 5 working days.
  • Currently a 3-day report costs $357.00 inclusive; 5-day $305.00.

I encourage my vendors to purchase a LIM prior to going on the market and this is then made available via the e-book that is emailed to all interested potential purchasers.

Order a LIM report

Insulation regulations for rental properties

If you’re a landlord in New Zealand wanting to avoid a $4,000 fine, it’s time to make sure your rental property meets the insulation regulations.

Bright-line test for vendors

Wondering if the "bright-line" test applies to your residential property sale?

In New Zealand we don't have a Capital Gains Tax (CGT). In fact it's been ruled out by the current government. However there is a form of capital gains tax on profits made if you "flip" a property with the intention of making a profit on the purchase/sale - this was extended from two to five years in 2018.

Recommended resources for first home buyers, experienced buyers and vendors

settled.govt.nz  – contains great information whatever your situation.

sorted.org.nz/guides/home-buying/shopping-for-a-mortgage   – this website discusses advantages and disadvantages of using a mortgage broker or going directly to a bank.  It also contains information including budgeting and a mortgage calculator.

govt.nz/browse/housing-and-property/buying-or-selling-a-home/selling-your-house – information covering all aspects of selling including if your home is considered a water tightness issue home or after a natural disaster and possible tax implications.