21 June 2022
1. Property practice tips – borders re-opening
With the recent re-opening of New Zealand’s borders, the PLS Property Transactions Subcommittee offers members a couple of timely reminders.
First, as more New Zealand resident visa holders return, we may see more resident-holding buyers who have not been in the country for 183 days of the last year. Practitioners should check, as always, that their client is eligible to buy residential land without OIA consent at the earliest stage of the transaction. Remember to check also whether the land is sensitive for any other reason.
Secondly, for New Zealand citizens selling residential property while outside New Zealand and who have been outside New Zealand for 3 years, any bright line tax will be a withholding tax. For residence visa holders and Australian and Singaporean citizens that timeframe is only one year. That is, bright line tax will be payable as a withholding tax for these vendors if they have not been in New Zealand in the applicable period (three years or one year) prior to disposition date. Transiting through New Zealand is sufficient to qualify as being in New Zealand. As it is generally the conveyancer’s obligation to return this tax, make sure to have good evidence of your client’s visit to New Zealand if you do not intend to treat this as a withholding tax.
2. Overseas Investment Office: fresh and seawater areas
This item relates to some reasonably new Overseas Investment Act provisions that are being overlooked by some practitioners.
The Crown has the right to acquire any land that is a marine or coastal area or the bed of a lake or river (known as a Fresh or Seawater Area) that is acquired by an overseas investor. When applying for consent from the Overseas Investment Office, an overseas investor must include specific details of any Fresh or Seawater Area which is within the land being acquired.
If consent is granted, the Crown’s right to acquire the Fresh or Seawater Area interest must be recorded. A Water Areas Acquisition Notice must be registered by the overseas investor’s solicitor or conveyancing professional when the land is transferred to the overseas investor.
More information about this process can be found on Toitū Te Whenua LINZ’s website here.
3. Upcoming PLS events
Caveats (in association with LINZ and Legal Executives NZ) - webinar
Don’t forget to register for our upcoming “bite-sized” webinar about the registration of caveats and the processes to have them removed from a title. This webinar is aimed at lawyers and legal executives who are new to caveats or are looking to update and refresh their knowledge. Register here by 5 July.
Bright line changes (in association with Inland Revenue) – webinar
Save the date. Registrations will open soon for a 1 hour webinar on 16 August at 11am, co-hosted by Inland Revenue’s Property Programme team and the Property Law Section. This will be a practical session highlighting some common errors and false assumptions being made following the recent extensive changes to property tax laws, particularly with respect to the bright line rule.
Thinking Property – lunchtime seminar
The PLS Executive Committee is looking forward to resuming its popular Thinking Property lunchtime collegial seminars, with the first one of the year being held in South Auckland next Thursday. This is our 4th attempt at this venue after 3 Covid-related postponements – we’re hoping for a great turnout! Registrations close tomorrow.
Save the dates:
Property Law Section Chair