Who pays when your residential tenant damages your property?

 Landlords and insurance companies have been dismayed to learn that the Court of Appeal has decided that residential tenants don’t have to reimburse their landlord (or insurer) where their rental property is damaged. This means that even though residential tenants don’t pay for insurance they get the benefit of the landlord’s insurance. The case went through a lengthy court process. The original fire (unexpectedly caused by the tenant leaving a pot of oil on high heat) was in 2009. The tenancy agreement said that the tenants had to ‘take all reasonable precautions against the outbreak of fire’. The difficulty was
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Property Purchase – Meth testing

Methamphetamine contamination has been described as being so prevalent that it could be worse than the leaky home crisis that affected New Zealand in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Ministry of Health guidelines do not identify any safe level of methamphetamine contamination, and guidelines around the world vary. In New Zealand, decontamination is recommended if 0.5 micrograms (0.0005g) are detected in one 10cm by 10cm area. If detected, your local Council has powers under the Health Act 1956 to order cleansing of the property and could place a permanent requisition on your property file. The chemicals used to cook
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Buildings and Warrants of Fitness

Many commercial and multi-residential buildings require an annual building warrant of fitness (BWOF) to prove that the building’s safety systems have been maintained and inspected. The BWOF is obtained by the building owner and provided to the Council, and must be displayed in the building in a visible place at all times. Building Warrant of Fitness The name “Building Warrant of Fitness” can be misleading, because there is no obligation to inspect the building as a whole, and the document makes no statement as to the fitness of the building itself. Rather, it refers only to procedures listed in the
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Flat mate or de facto partner?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“The Act”) provides an equal sharing presumption to relationship property for qualifying relationships. Qualifying relationships are marriages, civil unions or de facto relationships that are a minimum of three years in duration. Section 2D of the Act defines a de facto relationship as a relationship between two persons who are both aged over 18 years, who “live together as a couple” (either heterosexual or same sex relationships) and are not married or in a civil union to one another. If the parties are under the age of 18 years, the de facto relationship starts from
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Gifting: what should I do with the debt still owing to me by my family trust?

 Prior to October 2011, if you gifted more than $27,000 to any person or trust in a 12 month period, you would have to pay gift duty. So, if you wanted to transfer an asset to your trust, you sold it to the trust and the trust owed you the purchase price. Every year, you ‘forgave’ the repayment of $27,000.00 and eventually the debt was completely extinguished. In October 2011, the government abolished gift duty. This left thousands of people wondering what they should do about the debt that was still owing to them by their family trust. On the
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New Director and Disclosure Requirements for New Zealand companies

 Specifically, the New Zealand Companies Act 1993 requires companies incorporated in New Zealand to have at least one director who lives in either:  New Zealand; or an enforcement country. Enforcement countries are determined by the regulations. Currently, the only listed enforcement country is Australia. Directors who are resident in an enforcement country must also be a director of a registered company (excluding a branch of an overseas company) in that country. Details of the company will need to be provided to the Companies Office. This will include the company’s registered name, number or identifier (if any) along with its address
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Simultaneous workplace bullying complaints

The facts Midlands Health Network Limited (“Midland Health”) provide primary health care. Ms Webber was Director of Nursing at Midland Health. She raised complaints for workplace bullying and for Midland Health failing to provide her with a safe place of work. The matter was set down for mediation on 18 March 2014. That day, before mediation had started, Ms Webber’s lawyer made a complaint on Ms Webber’s behalf to WorkSafe claiming Ms Webber had been subjected to workplace bullying at Midlands Health. Neither Ms Webber or her lawyer advised Midlands Health of the complaint to WorkSafe. Subsequent comments made to
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A contract is a contract – a cautionary tale about unfavourable deals

There once lived a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Louise Calment. She was a widow – her husband having died during the war (not in battle, mind you, but after eating some bad cherries). Her daughter died from pneumonia and her only grandson was killed in a motor accident. So in 1965, at the age of 90, Calment found herself living on her own and with no heir. She also had little in the way of private income, which was needed to fund the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. One thing she did have, however, was a Paris apartment. To make
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Indemnities to Employees

The extent of the employer’s liability to indemnify the employee will then be governed by the express wording of the contractual indemnity and, if the employer is a company, by section 162 of the Companies Act 1993. Usually such indemnities indemnify the employee against personal liability to a third party arising from the performance of the employee’s duties, provided the employee’s actions were in good faith and did not involve recklessness, wilful neglect or any wilful failure to carry out a lawful instruction from the employer. However in 2013 in the case of George v Auckland Council [2013] NZEmpC 179
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Resource Consent Reforms

Resource Consent Reforms Will new reforms speed up resource consent applications? The reforms clarify the requirements for resource consent applications and now stipulate a maximum time for the decision-making process of six months. As an overview, here are the main reforms introduced to the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 to accelerate the consent process. More detailed resource consent applications Resource consent applications will require more detail than ever before. All applications must now have an assessment of the activity against Part 2 of the RMA. They must meet the objectives, policies and rules of any relevant planning document, as well
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