Dealing with joint bank accounts on the death of the other may not be that simple!
Want to better understand the law of joint tenancy, tenancy in common and joint bank accounts?
click here:- http://www.wagnersidlofsky.com/taking-money-from-joint-account
The courts have looked specifically at joint bank accounts and dealt with the law of joint tenancy on the death of one of the tenants. The survivor also held a power of attorney yet the court ruled the half share was to go back to the deceased's estate.
Proposed changes under the Residential Tenancies Act coming soon. This may have an effect on investors:-
And further info at:-
At the end of last year, the Supreme Court in University of Canterbury v Insurance Council of NZ Inc  NZSC 193 reached an interesting decision.
You may read more at:- http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/64385835/Councils-can-t-force-seismic-strengthening-court-says
The gist is that the building has to be at least 33% of NBS and owners/ insurers cannot be forced to take this to 67% of the NBS. This may have affected the building consent process with the higher requirement which has now been clarified to be lower despite a council having a policy of requiring a higher percentage.
Please note the obligations under the Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992 may come into play in conjunction with the Building Act 2004. For instance owners may be liable under the former legislation due to non compliance with the later Act.
As for tenants as well as landlords, depending on the hat one wears, the lease agreement should address this matter if the building requires strengthening works to comply. Tenants need to know what their obligations are in terms of payments to the landlords. Likewise, landlords cannot unilaterally increase the strengthening requirement and expect the tenant to pay for this. Thus, it is important that the lease agreement is drafted to clarify matters. Tenants may want to do a proper due diligence to confirm any outstanding issues with a building to comply with the NBS.
This may be a tricky time of the year for those wishing to maintain priority or a caveat lodgement on a property. The holiday season is upon us and the Christmas season and New Year 2014/2015 brings its own challenges to current caveat holders. Land Information New Zealand has issued a warning here - http://www.linz.govt.nz/news/2014-12/caveat-lapsing-period.
This is a handy guideline for stop notices including caveats: - http://www.linz.govt.nz/regulatory/20706.
All the best for this year!
The Sunday Herald dated 2 November 2014 reported ERA awarding $30,000.00 to an employee who was "fired" within the 90 day trial period despite signing an employment agreement 😳!
Contrary to what many employers may believe their right under the employment laws, this employer found itself over $30,000.00 short.
The ERA found the employment agreement void due to it being signed a day after commencing employment. This meant the 90 day trial period could not be relied upon by the employer.
It seems the employer was also taken to task by the ERA for failing to follow proper process or good faith obligations with the employee relating to her work.
Employers need to recognise there are standards to be observed.
It is vital for employers to make sure internal processses are in line with employment laws to avoid penalties and fines.
For employees, a lot of cases for unjustified dismissal may not have been dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Ever wondered what may happen to your innocent private personal information being given in the spur of the moment to view a house you intending to buy?
Even nick names with full address details? Well that's exactly how one house hunter found out that his personal information was shared with third party agencies without either his knowledge or consent!
You would think real estate agencies need that type of information to protect sellers from buyers simply groping around finding an easy way to get into someone else's property ... legally.
But then, who would've suspected the buyer gets done too. It's a cunning way to solicit for information and pass it on to marketing companies.
The privacy commissioner? What about that? Simply put, its "unclear" whether or not such an act breaches privacy laws. Each complaint has to be dealt with on its own merits to arrive to a conclusion whether or not the buyers privacy has been breached. As usual, again it's a process, like most legislative processes are, cumbersome, time consuming and complicated.
Buyers need to be vigilant and understand what they are up for in this consumeristic society we live in. Imagine visiting an open home and then hours or days later receiving calls from mortgage brokers trying to arrange finance for the very house you viewed and in your very name or nick name if that works!
Asking for the listing agents full details, an outline of terms and conditions on signing that innocent name register sitting in the hallway and whether your information will be passed to other third parties for marketing purposes.
You can see the practical issues that may arise when trying to deal with a "busy" agent who had a house that is very popular in the market and there's really no time for finding what the terms are for giving your name. "Do you want this house?", may be the echo in that hallway. Against the backdrop of that innocent red 2B5 exercise book with ruled margins to provide your full details and yes signature!
The herald ran a story recently:- http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11328175
And the real estate agents professional conduct and client care rules 2012 in detail:- http://www.reaa.govt.nz/_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=http://www.reaa.govt.nz/ForLicensees/Documents/Code%20of%20Conduct/REAA_Code%20of%20Conduct%202012%20WEB.pdf
Still there's not much cover for the 'buyer'!
Keep safe house hunters and don't become the hunted!
Taufil Omar assisted with the Leadership Through Peer Mediation (LTPM) via the New Zealand Peace Foundation (http://www.peace.net.nz/) as a mediator volunteer to assist in training students at Mt Roskill Grammar school earlier in the year. About 55 students received training through the Cool Schools initiative established by the New Zealand Peace Foundation. This is a great initiative via the foundation to install the basics of "mediation" earlier in peoples lives to be able to successfully deal with not only peer issues faced by students but in life generally as the students mature and gain traction in society as individuals. As a lawyer, the benefits are apparent. It means more people may have exposure to such skills which will make the work of other professionals such as lawyers, doctors, counselors, social workers, religious advisers and so forth much easier due to understanding the dynamics of how mediation works, the mediated outcomes and being able to live with an outcome without having a winner or a loser! Great initiative: - https://www.facebook.com/CoolSchoolsNZ/posts/10152352212684248
The Family justice system in New Zealand has had a major overhaul. The changes became law on 24 September 2013. This gave birth to “FDR” or what is and will very quickly be known as Family Dispute Resolution. The idea of the new system is that most family disputes or problems will need to be dealt with outside of the formal court set up in a pre-court mediation setting.
The changes have been effective from 31 March 2014 this year. FDR is a result of statute and so to understand the changes one will need to understand the Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013 (“the Act”). This means people experiencing family problems will need to approach a lawyer who understands the Act and is able to provide the initial family legal advice to facilitate the process for them. This initial advice may also be “free” if you qualify for government funding. This funding is quite separate from the already existing legal aid service framework under the legal services agency. The advice will provide a roadmap to the parties on how to approach the FDR process and be able to take advantage of the new system which includes mediation. The family dispute resolution provider under the new system is the mediator who will assist both parties in dispute in a mediation session.
There are exceptions to undertake FDR but only in limited circumstances such as urgent without notice application’s, obtaining consent orders or where there is violence involved to give a few examples. The mediator will formalise an agreement if the parties reach resolution which the mediator will set out in a form. The parties may then take this agreement to the Family Court for formal recognition. The dispute may continue in court should the parties not reach agreement after the FDR process.
The Property Law Section, New Zealand Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand have jointly released a practice guide to assist lawyers and real estate agents with dealing with the release of deposits paid under and agreement for sale and purchase for both properties whether residential or commercial as well as buying and selling businesses. The link is: - http://gallery.mailchimp.com/8945b133f187227e4eeef5f8c/files/FINAL_PLS_REINZ_Best_Practice_Release_of_the_Deposit_v1_2_25_3_14.pdf
I have been in the legal industry for over a decade and have broad range of experience and skills.