Changes to the bright-line test including extending period to ten years

As part of Budget 2015, the Government announced that it would introduce a bright-line test, requiring tax to be paid on any gains from the sale of residential property, which initially applied to property bought and sold within 2 years, with limited exceptions (including sale of the main family home). In 2018 the bright line period was extended to 5 years while maintaining the other original policy settings. In March 2021, the Government announced that the bright-line period would be extended to […]

Law changes for Landlords are now in force

From 1 July 2016 there are a raft of changes that affect landlords. Our team of property lawyers has outlined what you need to know…   Smoke Alarms – Landlords need to have working smoke alarms installed in all their residential homes. Any replacement alarms installed after that date will need to have long life batteries and a photoelectric sensor. Hardwired smoke alarms are also permitted. Insulation – All residential rental homes in New Zealand will be required to have insulation […]

Trust Law Revolution?

The Supreme Court has recently addressed controversial topics of great interest to lawyers, accountants and their clients. In Clayton v Clayton the Court decided that in one Trust set up for business reasons and with business assets Mrs Clayton was entitled to a substantial distribution. It was not an unusual Trust, and there are many sufficiently like it to cause concern. The Supreme Court decided in that case to revisit the law as it had been declared in Ward v […]

New rules for swimming pools

The cumbersome and often confusing pool fencing rules are being revamped. A more workable, effective and less-bureaucratic regime on the fencing of swimming pools is being promoted in the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill, open for submissions until November 5 2015 with the government administration select committee. It replaces the well-intentioned, but often ambiguous Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 introduced when an average of 10 children aged under 5 were drowning each year in residential swimming pools. Though fatalities have […]

Staff Solicitors team news

Over the past year we have been strengthening our legal team with the addition of four solicitors to our Hawkes Bay team.  And in breaking news – the stork has visited SLW! Rob Macdonald joined us in June 2014. Coming from a big city background, and having been a partner in several other firms, Rob brings  many years of corporate and commercial experience to the firm. Rachel Ritchie returned to the firm in 2014 after an absence of 18 years – out of […]

Solicitors, Lawyers and Barristers FAQs

When enlisting the services of a legal adviser, it can be confusing who to approach – especially when the terms lawyers, barristers and solicitors seemingly mean different things.   The following are some commonly asked questions regarding the differences between Solicitors, Lawyers and Barristers.     Q:   What is the difference between Solicitors and Lawyers? A:   Nothing.  A solicitor is a lawyer. A solicitor is also referred to as a barrister and solicitor. Q:  What is a Barrister? […]

Business Lawyers in Hawkes Bay – what to look for

Finding a good business lawyer will be different from finding other kinds of lawyers, for example conveyancing lawyers or litigation specialists. However, just like other lawyers you should consider several aspects when looking for a business lawyer. You can’t just hire the first lawyer that you come into contact with and expect the best results. Below are some of the most important things that you should look for when hiring a business lawyer. Reputation – other business people will have […]

Earthquake-prone buildings and leases

Under the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill 2013, farm buildings are to be exempt from the requirements for assessments for hay, shearing, milk and implement sheds. It was recognized that assessments were not justifiable in light of their low occupation rates, backed by there being no recorded fatalities from collapsing farm buildings in the Canterbury earthquake. For all other buildings an assessment is required within 5 years; those falling under the 34% earthquake-prone building standard will need to be upgraded […]

Do Trees Have Rights?

Landowners have the right to ordinary use and enjoyment of their land, which means the right to plant gardens and trees. But what happens when those same trees are causing shade, dropping leaves, damaging pipes or obstructing a neighbour’s view? The law of nuisance provides the owner of the tree is responsible for any damage caused. A landowner who has a tree encroaching on their land from neighbouring property is entitled to trim it back to the boundary line, but […]

Do I need to make a Will?

As property lawyers, we are frequently encouraging our clients to either make a Will or update an existing Will. For many of our clients, this exercise is tedious and seems unnecessary until they understand the consequences of not having a current Will. A person who dies without a Will has their estate distributed to their successors under the provisions of the Wills Act 2007. This produces some surprising results, and in particular, divides the estate between the surviving spouse and […]