Covid-19 Level 4 Lockdown - and the implications on the Sale and Purchase of Property in New Zealand 26 March 2020
New Zealand is in the middle of a unique situation, and it is likely to be stressful for all parties involved in a transaction. Please heed the words of our Prime Minister and “Be kind” and consider the needs of others when you’re communicating about a transaction.
From a legal perspective, Dixon & Co Lawyers, are set up with Audio Visual Technology to make the usual signing of the required documentation for a conveyancing transaction possible, this has been developed to comply with what is usual a ‘in person’ process. The key to the signing of documents still being able to take place by audio visual is that the legal professional is able to both simultaneously see and hear the client and clearly see what documents are being signed for during the duration of the identity verification session – this alone is therefore proving to be a complex process.
At this time, it is the directive of the New Zealand Government to limit the movement of people, and as property lawyers, we are encouraged to help achieve this.
Many of our clients are at different stages of a Sales and Purchase of Property Agreement.
We recognise that the vast majority of transaction that are due to settle whilst the Level 4 Lockdown is in place will most likely have parties that are not in the position to settle due to various reasons, including, but not limited to: moving companies not operating, leading to some vendors not being able to give vacant possession; some vendor’s or purchasers may have compromised immunity and are unable to move at this time; the inability to have services such as electricity and gas redirected/connected.
The most important fact here is any relocation will likely be a breach of the Level 4 lockdown requirements.
The team at Dixon & Co Lawyers understand that not all transactions are the same, we will be making contact with our clients to assess their individual situations.
Please keep in mind that collegiality and goodwill between parties will lead to the best outcomes for all concerned until normal business is able to resume.
www.settled.govt.nz is a website brought to you by the Real Estate Authority (REA). REA is the independent government agency that regulates the New Zealand real estate industry. This website has some great advice for those at different stages of their property agreement.