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The Workings of the Property Law Act - 4 years on

David Grinlinton Peter Nolan
David Grinlinton
Associate Professor
School of Law
Auckland University
Peter Nolan

This book is only available in PDF format

Published: 23 April, 2012
Pages: 103


Purpose and structure of this seminar booklet

This booklet is not intended as a comprehensive description and analysis of the new Act. Nor will it rehearse the discussion and analysis in the earlier New Zealand Law Society seminar The New Property Law Act (2007) prepared by Niamh McMahon, Don McMorland, Peter Nolan, Steve Rutherford and Nick Kearney. It is intended as an update on developments since the Act came into force, and examines court decisions and commentary on the Act, discusses significant decisions that have resolved issues or raised new issues, and attempts to highlight continuing uncertainties and possible further reforms that might be desirable.

The structure of this seminar booklet follows generally the structure of the Act. Chapter 2 attempts to place the Act in context, including the history and development of property law in New Zealand, the relationship of the PLA 2007 with other legislation and the common law, and the structure of the Act.

Chapter 3 examines Parts 1 and 2 of the Act covering preliminary provisions and general rules for dispositions, instruments and transactions relating to property. The requirements for deeds, rules on capacity, rules of construction, part-performance and the writing requirements for dispositions of interests in land – including the issue of electronic documentation and signatures – are discussed. Some comments are made on vendor and purchaser matters.

Chapter 4 covers the very extensive Part 3 of the Act relating to mortgages. In particular, it examines recent developments and case-law relating to powers of a mortgagee in possession, mortgagee sales including the mortgagee’s duty of care, adopting the mortgagor’s agreement for sale and purchase, and encumbrance instruments.

Chapter 5 covers Part 4 of the Act on leases, and examines recent cases and commentary on the form and effect of leases, lease covenants, the effects of the transfer of reversions and assignment of leases, the position of guarantors, cancellation and insurance issues.

Chapter 6 deals very briefly with covenants, easements and profits a prendre, as these matters were discussed in the 2007 seminar and have received little judicial attention. It contains more detailed discussion on the various powers of the court to authorize entry onto land, to rectify encroachments, to give access to landlocked land, and to order removal or trimming of trees and removal or modification of structures on neighbouring land.

Chapter 7 addresses the rules under the Act governing notice.

Content outline

  • The Property Law Act in context
  • Preliminary provisions and general rules
  • Mortgages
  • Leases of land
  • Easements, covenants etc: and the special powers of the Court
  • Service of notices and other documents (ss 352-361)

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