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Settlements and satisfaction of conditions during COVID-19 Alert Level 3

Since the country went into COVID-19 Alert Level 4 on March 25, 2020, only a small number of conveyancing transactions have been settled, primarily due to the inability for the parties to be able to physically vacate or take possession of the property. While the country will still be under significant restrictions at Alert Level 3, Bramwell Bate are continuing to work remotely and it will be possible to progress some transactions further than we could during Alert Level 4. At...

Shared Care During COVID-19 Lockdown

Sharing the care of your children when separated can be challenging in the best of times. Some parents will have informal care arrangements while others may have a Parenting Order which determines the care and contact arrangements. Whatever the arrangement you have in place, it requires good communication and a degree of trust between parents. Children need to move between different households which may include living with other adults and children. During COVID-19 Alert Level 4 this has raised several questions...

Insolvency Law Relief Driven by COVID-19

The Government has announced temporary changes to the Companies Act 1993 to assist businesses facing financial stress and insolvency during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary changes include: Providing the directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems due to COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act. Enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they can start trading normally again. Allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to restrictions caused by...

Separation: How to get by in times of uncertainty

Relationships can be tested at the best of times. But having to co-exist in a “bubble” with potentially a great deal of stress and uncertainty, and limited options for time out, can place a huge pressure on many relationships. And with such a significant change in the economic climate, you may be wondering where you stand should you decide to end a relationship. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 sets out how property is to be divided at the end of a relationship. It...

Impact of COVID-19 on Commercial leases

The COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown has presented us all with a very unusual set of circumstances and has seen us receive countless questions from both landlords and tenants in relation to their rights and obligations under their lease arrangements. Not surprisingly, the majority relate to rent abatement. The most common form of lease used is the Auckland District Law Society 6th Edition Deed of Lease (the “ADLS Lease”). This version underwent a major revision in 2012 after the Canterbury earthquakes when...

Bramwell Bate News

Snippets

General consequence when bankruptcy is declared It is always a difficult time when you find that you are earning 99c but regularly spending $1.00. If you cannot turn the position around, personal bankruptcy being declared against you looms as a real consequence. Filing for bankruptcy itself is the most serious alternative when you are in financial difficulties, and the whole situation is stressful, so sharing the problem with your lawyer in the first instance can help clarify the best way forward. The general...

How do you enforce land covenants when a neighbour is in breach?

Land covenants place rights and obligations on the land/property you own. It is an instrument that is registered on a record of title for a property that runs with the land, which creates a legal obligation to do, or not to do, something in respect of the land/property. Such restrictions can relate to anything from the colour of your house or what you use the property for; to where you put your rubbish or park your vehicle. These restrictions are commonly...

What is a Calderbank offer, and when it should be used?

A Calderbank offer, otherwise known as a “Without Prejudice Save as to Costs” offer, is a tactic that can be used to settle a dispute for a lower amount and avoid going to a court trial. This tactic is named after a case from 1975 in the English Court of Appeal, between Mr and Mrs Calderbank. A Calderbank offer is an offer made by one party to the other side of a dispute. It puts the other side on notice that if...