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Business briefs

Covid relief key expiry dates for businesses in 2021

In 2020, the government introduced a raft of legislation to provide temporary relief for businesses struggling to navigate the effects of the Covid pandemic. Some relief measures, such as the safe harbour for company directors, have already expired, while others will expire this year unless they are renewed. The key expiry dates for 2021 that you should be aware of are:

  • 26 March: Landlords and tenants of commercial premises who could not agree on rental arrangements during the 2020 lockdown period have until this date to access the government’s subsidised arbitration or mediation service to resolve the dispute.
  • 31 March: Measures allowing companies, incorporated societies and other entities to hold meetings online and make temporary exceptions to their rules.
  • 15 May: Provisions allowing for electronic signatures when signing security agreements that contain powers of attorney.
  • 22 September: The requirement for landlords to give 30 working days’ notice instead of 10 working days’ notice to end a commercial lease where the tenant fails to pay rent.
  • 31 October: The cut-off date for businesses to enter into the government’s business debt hibernation scheme has been extended until 31 October 2021.

The scheme allows businesses to have a month of protection from most creditors enforcing their debts, and a further six months’ protection if their creditors agree.

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Investment in farming

A focus on syndicated farm investments

With the current low interest rate regime looking set to continue for some time, investors are increasingly looking at ways to generate a reasonable income either for their retirement or for other forms of saving.

Recently, commercial property syndicates have come back into fashion. Their popularity is based on the return that they are able to provide to investors, notwithstanding the risks inherent in that sort of investment.

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The finite supply of water

Water easements

Water is an absolute necessity for any type of farming or horticultural activity. Historically viewed as an infinite and expendable resource, water is now seen as having a finite supply and must be dealt with as a commodity. The right to access water from a source, such as a spring or well, and the right to use that water are different, but related, issues.

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Over the fence

Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill – submissions open

Introduced to the House in July by the then Minister of Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill was drafted in early 2019 following consultation on enduring stewardship of Crown pastoral land. Submissions are now open for you to have your say on this proposed legislation.

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Holiday houses

Rules for both owners and renters

With New Zealand’s borders closed and overseas travel restricted for the foreseeable future, many Kiwis will be looking to rent a holiday home for the traditional summer holiday this year.

There are plenty of options on sites such as Bachcare, Bookabach, Holiday Houses and Airbnb as well as renting a holiday house privately. Whether you own a holiday home and are looking for some extra income, or you want to rent a place for the whānau Christmas, there are a few things to remember.

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Time for a contracting out agreement?

You have had years of saving up for the overseas experience many New Zealanders dream of — then a pandemic hits. The London job you thought you had in the bag is no longer an option, and you and your partner are faced with extending the lease on your flat here — that you were eagerly awaiting to escape. What do you do now?

In 2020, many couples have found themselves cashing out what would have been their big OE savings stash and using it for a house deposit. Others have leapt at the banks’ lower interest rates to extend their borrowing and have bought properties that were unattainable only a year ago. All over the country, and particularly in Auckland, the property market is flooded with returning expats who are establishing roots back here — often earlier than anticipated.

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Building a fence in town

As the daylight hours extend, so too does the list of summer jobs that have been building up over the past year. On that list for many will be replacing those rickety old boundary fences that surround your house. Before you rip them all down, we have a case study that clarifies why it’s so important not to rush.

John’s fence

John believes that his boundary fences should be rebuilt; he approaches his three neighbours to discuss this.

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Postscript

Privacy Act 2020 comes into force on 1 December 2020

The new privacy legislation comes into force as this edition of Fineprint is published; it updates the law to reflect the needs of the digital age. Although we published an article on this topic in the Winter edition, we remind you that the key changes relate to:

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Property briefs

Allowing for Covid-related settlement delays

When New Zealand headed into Covid Level 4 in March, real estate transactions stalled because of difficulties completing essential elements of settlement, such as the legal paperwork, giving of vacant possession and the inability of moving companies to access the property. In response, a number of buyers and sellers adjusted their agreements to delay settlement until alert levels decreased.

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