Reviewed by Jacintha Atkinson
The purpose of this book is to keep all property lawyers up to date with the latest case law in this area and on specific topics which will refine and advance your understanding on this particular topic. The book is based around Chapters 16, 17 and 18 of the looseleaf Hinde McMorland and Sim Land Law in NZ. This book would make a useful resource for any lawyer who practises and advises clients in regards to property/land law in New Zealand. It has footnotes along the way with helpful references to case law and relevant sections of the legislation.
The format of the book is very much like other looseleaf publications, with a detailed index in the front, followed by a table of cases and a table of statutes. It brings the text in the area up to date to 27 March 2015 and provides current case law on the subject matter.
The index is easy to follow, with the book covering firstly Easements, then Covenants and lastly Licences. Within each chapter there is in-depth information on what each of these terms means, how they can arise, and any peculiarities you may come across in practice.
The chapter on easements covers the nature of easements, characteristics, classification, how they are created, types, rights and powers attached, how to vary and how to extinguish them.
The chapter on covenants discusses them in the context of common law, equity, and statute, the differences between positive covenants and covenants in gross, general principles associated with covenants and remedies available if breached.
The chapter on licences covers the nature and type of licences that can be granted, the principal of equitable estoppel, enforceability by third parties and determining licences.
The book provides a very broad coverage of these areas, but is not too overwhelming as they are broken down into smaller sub-chapters.
If you are used to referring to chapters and sub-chapters in looseleaf texts, you will have no problem following the index of this book, and it appears to follow a logical order.
For me, this was not a book I found easy to sit and read from start to end, but I feel it would be very helpful to have in your office to refer to if you have a specific query or a particular scenario come up in your day-to-day practice which you would like to read some current commentary on and find references to applicable case law. This book would also be helpful for practitioners who have a basic knowledge on this topic but want to broaden that knowledge.
This is not an area which changes quickly, and a lot of what is covered isn’t new and has been discussed before, but it’s the perfect resource for you to ensure that you are up-to-date with any changes in the area of property/land law in New Zealand.
McMorland on Easements, Covenants and Licences, LexisNexis NZ Ltd, July 2015, 978-1-927313-45-9, 245 pages, paperback, $190 (GST included, p&h excluded).
Jacintha Atkinson is an associate solicitor at Richmond Law. She is experienced in advising on property and commercial law matters and wills, trusts and powers of attorney.