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Legal Associates’ response to Covid – 19: A reflection on property law updates


During this unprecedented time, we at Legal Associates’ give paramount importance to health, safety and wellbeing of our team, clients and to the wider community. While being responsive to the needs of our clients, staff and the society, we have decided to heed the decisions, policies and other guidelines of the Government and the Ministry of Health. Consequently, Legal Associates has restructured the working environment by implementing all necessary requirements to work remotely since 24 March 2020 which assures that your existing property matters will be dealt with in the highest standard according to interim guidelines published by the NZ Law Society.

Accordingly, the way in which we settle property matters are in accordance with the recommendations of the Law Society and we are in a position to settle all your refinancing matters, purchase of property matters and sale of property matters provided the client is not moving in to the new house during the lockdown period and the property subjected to the purchase/sale is already tenanted and the tenants are not vacating the property until such time the lockdown period is lifted or after Government reduces the Covid-19 Level to Level 2 or below.

To avoidance of doubt below is an extract from the New Zealand Law Society’s recommendation:

“Moving to a new house is not an essential service; Given the state of Emergency declaration and further announcements from the Government, it is now clear that any property settlements that require physical movement of people is now for all practical purposes ‘illegal’.”

Moreover, in terms of the Auckland District Law Society Property Law Committee’s recommendation, we have taken all endeavours to defer the settlement of property matters of our existing clients which involves physical movement of people to the 10th working day after the Government reduces the Covid-19 Level to Level 2 or below, or to such other date as may be mutually agreed. Furthermore, Law Society’s property law section recommends that ‘days’ for the duration of the ‘Level 4’ status are not ‘working days’ in terms of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase. Therefore, it is advisable for clients who are signing Sale and Purchase agreements during the lockdown period to avoid level 4 status when inserting conditions such as Finance, LIM and Building.

Having considered all interim guidelines, Legal Associates is always confident that all practical measures we have put forward are enabling us to continue work with our clients collaboratively. Thus, we have introduced Full online consultation for our clients who need legal advise during this challenging time. Should you have any queries on our response to Covid-19 or any legal matter related to a property do not hesitate to contact Partner, Ashima Singh on ashima@legalassociates.co.nz

Legal Associates

31 East Tamaki Road, 

Level 1, Papatoetoe, Auckland 2025

Tel: 09 279 9439 | Fax: 09 279 9419

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