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Agreement (also known as the Agreement for Sale and Purchase)

A written contract for the sale and purchase of the Property between the Seller/Vendor and the Buyer/Purchaser.‍

Benefited Land

Benefited Land is the land to which an easement or land covenant relates to and the owner of the Benefited Land receives the benefit of the easement or land covenant. The person who is the owner of the Benefitted Land or the person who receives the benefit of the easement in gross is known as the Grantee.

Body Corporate

The Body Corporate is a statutory entity made up of all the unit owners in a unit title development e.g. anyone who owns an apartment in an apartment building. Most Bodies Corporate are required to have a committee which the Body Corporate may delegate some of its powers. When you buy a Unit Title you automatically become a member of the Body Corporate and when you sell your Unit Title you will no longer be a member of the Body Corporate.

Body Corporate Operational Rules

The Body Corporate Operational Rules (Rules) govern a Unit Title development. All Unit Title owners and tenants must comply with the Rules. Under the Unit Titles Act 2010, default operational rules are set out in statutory regulations. The Body Corporate can amend the default rules within certain limits as set out in the Act.

Bright-line Test

The Bright-line Test looks at whether the Property was acquired:

1. on or after 27 March 2021, and sold within the 10-year bright-line period

2. between 29 March 2018 and 26 March 2021, and sold within the 5-year bright-line period

3. between 1 October 2015 and 28 March 2018, and sold within the 2-year bright-line period.

Generally, the Bright-line Test does not apply to a sale of property that has been your main home, inherited property, or if you're the executor or administrator of a deceased estate. Please contact us to confirm whether the sale of your Property will be subject to the Bright-line Test.

Builder’s Inspection

A pre-purchase written report by a qualified trade certified builder of a visual inspection of the Property you wish to purchase. This would normally identify the condition of all buildings and defects or problems.

Burdened Land

Burdened Land is the land over which an easement or land covenant is registered. The person who owns the Burdened Land is known as the Grantor.


A document that can be registered against the Record of Title of a Property. A Caveat is normally registered to prevent registration of other interests against the Record of Title to protect another person’s unregistered interest in the Property.


Chattels are moveable items that are not physically attached to the Property but are included in the Agreement e.g. curtains, stove, fridge, light fittingsetc. You should check the Agreement records all the chattels you intend to purchase or sell.

Client Authority and Instruction form (A&I)

An A&I is signed by you (as a client) and authorises a lawyer to act on your behalf regarding lodging a dealing for registration on LINZ e.g. to record the transfer of your Property (as Purchaser or Vendor) or to register a Mortgage over your Title.

Conditional Agreement

A Conditional Agreement is dependent on certain conditions being satisfied. If a condition is not satisfied, the party who has the benefit of that condition may cancel the Agreement e.g. the purchaser completing due diligence or the selling buying another property. A Conditional Agreement will become legally-binding once all the conditions have been satisfied at which point the Agreement will become an Unconditional Agreement.

Conditions and Conditional

An Agreement may be Conditional on a party being satisfied with its conditions by a specified date. Common Conditions in an Agreement are:

• The Purchaser obtaining finance

• The Purchaser completing due diligence

• The Vendor entering into another unconditional Agreement to buy another Property

• The Purchaser being satisfied with the Building Inspection. Once these Conditions are satisfied, the Agreement is known as an Unconditional Agreement.


Conveyancing is the technical term that describes the task of preparing documents for the conveyancing of a Property from one person to another. To buy or sell your house, you will need to engage a lawyer who can help you with your Conveyancing.


A Covenant is an agreement made by the owner of the Burdened Land in favour of the owner of the Benefited Land that the owner of the of the Burdened Land will not perform a certain act e.g. build their house higher than six metres (even though normal zoning would allow it to be higher). Covenants also can also require positive action e.g. the Burdened Land owner must keep their lawns below a certain height.

Cross-Lease Title

A Cross-Lease Title is different from a regular Fee Simple Title because an owner of a Cross-Lease Title owns:

• an undivided share as a Tenant in Common in the Fee Simple of the whole land which the houses (described as flats) have been built on.

• a leasehold estate, normally for 999 years, which is defined as the outline of the flat/house on the land. For example, if there are three flats/houses on the land each owner would have a one-third share in the fee simple estate of the land and all three owners would lease the flats/houses from one another. The leases between each owner provide the owners with exclusive right to occupy their own flat/house. Cross-Lease Titles are particularly common in Auckland and it is important to know what rights you have if you own Cross-lease Title.

Deed of Gift

A deed to record a gift of money from one person to another where the gifter has natural love and affection for the giftee e.g. parents providing money for their children to purchase property.


The Deposit amountlisted in an Agreement is for the Purchaser and the Vendor to decide. Normally, the deposit is 10% of the purchase price and is paid when the Agreement is signed or when the Purchaser’s conditions have been satisfied.

Deposited Plan

A Deposited Plan is also known as a Title Plan and shows the Records of Title that were created as a part of that subdivision, the boundaries of the Titles and any easements that were registered on the Titles.


Disbursements are costs incurred by your lawyer and paid by your lawyer on your behalf such as LINZ searches and registration fees. You will need to reimburse your lawyer for any of these disbursements.

Discharge of Mortgage

To be able to apply for a Discharge of Mortgage, you will be either: selling your current property, repaying your mortgage in full or refinancing your mortgage with a new Lender. Even if you believe you are “mortgage free” and have paid off your loan with your Lender, you will still need to request from your Lender authority for your lawyer to discharge your mortgage from your title.

Early Release of Deposit

Sometimes a Vendor may request for an early release of the Deposit. Normally, when a Real Estate Agent is holding the Deposit as stakeholder, the Deposit can be released once the requisition procedure has been completed and all conditions in the Agreement have been fulfilled or waived. A Vendor may make an Early Release of Deposit request because they may require the money for the Deposit of their next Property. If you are a Purchaser, you should give careful consideration and consult with your lawyer before you provide instructions authorising the Early Release of Deposit.

Earthquake Commission Claim (EQC Claim)

An EQC Claim is a claim for damages caused by earthquake, flood or landslips. An EQC Claim should be disclosed to any interested purchasers. If you are planning on buying a property that is subject to an EQC Claim, this claim can be assigned to you from the Vendor.


An Easement is a right to use all or part of someone’s else land without having the right to possession of that land. The land that is subject to the easement is known as the Burdened Land. An easement may be:

• for another landowner’s benefit and the Easement right is attached to the Benefited Land; or

• an Easement in Gross that means it is for the benefit of a specific person e.g. for Chorus to run internet cables through the Burdened Land. The person who owns the Burdened Land is known as the Grantor. The person who is the owner of the Benefited Land or the person who receives the benefit of the Easement in Gross is known as the Grantee.


An Encumbrance is a restriction or a limitation on a Record of Title that may or may not be able to be discharged. An Encumbrance has a wide definition and includes Mortgages, a trust securing the payment of money or a lien.


Your Equity in your Property is the market value of your Property less the amount of money you owe on your Mortgage.

First Home Grant

A First Home Grant is available to first home Purchasers who meet certain criteria: First Home Grant – Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities ( If you meet the criteria, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000.

Freehold/Fee Simple

If you own a Fee Simple Title, this means that you can make any additions or alterations to your Property without having to get the consent of your neighbours. Compared with other forms of Titles e.g. Unit Title, Cross Lease Title etc, a Fee Simple Title provides the owner with the least amount of restrictions however anything you do on your Fee Simple Title will need to be done in accordance with your local council’s by-laws and other consent requirements.

Guaranteed Search

A Guaranteed Search of a Record of Title is used to ensure that there are no pending e-dealings that are about to be lodged against the Record of Title. A Purchaser may be entitled to seek compensation against the Crown if the Guaranteed search does not disclose the registration or lodgement of an unfavourable interest on the Record of Title prior to settlement.


A Guarantor is responsible to repay a Borrower’s debt if they don’trepay the debt themselves. Lenders often require someone to act as a Guarantor e.g. a company director may be required to personally guarantee a loan their company is entering.

Joint Tenants

A joint tenancy is where two or more people own a Property together. In comparison with owning a property as Tenants in Common, neither party owns defined shares in the Property. If one of the Joint Tenants dies, their share will be transferred to the other Joint Tenant. This form of ownership is common for married couples.

KiwiSaver Withdrawal

A KiwiSaver Withdrawal is available to anyone who has been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years. Eligible members can withdraw their entire savings (except for $1,000) to put towards buying their first home. If you have previously owned a Property but not withdrawn your KiwiSaver previously, Kāinga Ora will assess whether you are in the same financial position as a first home Purchaser and you may be able to withdraw your Kiwisaver.


A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) can be ordered from the local council. Your lawyer can help you review a LIM which may contain information such as unconsented building works, contamination issues, flood risks, zoning (which tells you what you can do with the land) and rates. When you visit a Property, you should compare the information in the LIM with what is at the Property e.g. check to make sure the outline of the house matches the outline shown on the original plans.


Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is the Government’s lead agency for property and location information.

Leasehold Title

A Leasehold Title is when you do not own the underlying Land however you own an exclusive right to the possession of the land and buildings courtesy of a lease. The lease will be for a specific period and will contain various important terms and conditions e.g. what the rent is, whether there are any rights to renew the lease terms, how the rent will be reviewed over time.

Legal Description

The Legal Description is listed on the Property’s Record of Title. A Legal Description is a unique identifier that describes the lot number and the deposited survey plan e.g. Lot 2 Deposited Plan 54321.


Most people use the term “mortgage” interchangeably with the term “home loan” however technically it refers to the legal document that is registered on the Record of Title that provides a Lender security over your property.

Mortgage Broker

A Mortgage Broker acts as a go-between between the Borrower and the Lender. Mortgage Brokers do not cost you any money (they receive a fee from the Lender if you take out a Mortgage with that Lender) and they can often get you better rates than what are currently advertised to the public. Mortgage Brokers are also a wealth of information who can help you pay off your Mortgage faster.


A Lender is the Mortgagee (the party providing the loan) and a Borrower is the Mortgagor (the party taking out the loan).

OIO Residential Land Statement

The form you are required to complete when buying residential property. This form requires you to confirm you met certain criteria e.g. you are a New Zealand citizen and the address of the Property you are buying.

Pre-Settlement Inspection

Prior to the Settlement Day, the Purchaser has one further right to conduct a Pre-Settlement Inspection. At the Pre-Settlement Inspection, the Purchaser will accompany the Real Estate Agent around the Property to check all the chattels are working and all the fixtures and fittings that are being purchased remain where they were. If there are any issues with the Pre-Settlement Inspection, alert your lawyer as soon as possible and no later than the day before Settlement. Your lawyer will contact the Vendor’s lawyer to resolve these issues prior to settlement date.

Principal (Sum)

The total amount money you are borrowing from the Lender.


Property means the Land contained within a Record of Title and includes all buildings on the Land.


The Buyer of the Property.

Record of Title

A Record of Title shows the ownership of land and the rights and restrictions that apply to the Land e.g. mortgages, leases, easements etc. A Record of Title was previously known as a “Certificate of Title”.

Registered Owner

The Registered Owners of the Property are the names listed on the Record of Title.


Lawyers use the term Settlement to describe when:

o the Purchaser’s lawyer pays the Vendor's lawyer the balance of the purchase price as described in the Settlement Statement; and

o the Vendor’s lawyer provides the Purchaser’s lawyer with the electronic property transfer document and any other electronic documents necessary for the transfer to register on LINZ. Following the above being completed, usually the Real Estate Agent will provide the Purchaser with the keys to the Property.

Settlement Day

The day Settlement and change of ownership occurs from the Vendor to the Purchaser.

Settlement Statement

This document is provided by the Vendor’s lawyer which may apportion the deposit, local and regional council rates, body corporate levies and any rent to show the balance the Purchaser needs to pay on the Settlement Day to become the Registered Owner of the Property. Be careful that you have factored in to your budget that you may need to pay your share of the local and regional council rates, body corporate fees etc.

Source of Funds

Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, you may need to show your Source of Funds before any work can begin on your matter.

Tax Information

If you are buying or selling Property, you will need to provide your lawyer with your Tax Information (IRD number) so your lawyer can complete a Tax Statement. Your Tax Information includes your IRD number (if this is not you personally, it will be the trust or company’s IRD number), confirmation whether the Property is your main home and confirmation you are not a tax resident in any other country.

Tenants In Common

Where two or more persons/entities own Property in defined shares. On the death of one, ownership of the deceased share passes according to the will of the deceased, not automatically to the surviving owner(s). People often own property as Tenants in Common when the co-owners e.g. a couple who are not married want to maintain separate ownership or different shareholdings.


This is the document that passes ownership of the Property from the Vendor to the Purchaser.

Trust Account

The New Zealand Law Society regulated bank account and accounting system operated by HouseMe Legal Limited.

Unit Title

Unit Title owners own a defined part of a building e.g. a shop or an apartment and share ownership of the common areas such as lifts, lobbies and driveways. When you become the owner of a Unit Title you will automatically become a member of the Body Corporate. The Body Corporate will manage day-to-day maintenance of the of the entire building. Owning a Unit Title is a more complex than owning other types of land because Unit Titles are governed by the Unit Titles Act 2010 and the Unit Titles Regulations Act 2011. These rules require owners pay:

• Body Corporate levies which cover the maintenance, insurance and other utility costs based on their proportionate ownership in the building; and

• extra contributions to repair the entire building if there are any watertightness issues or structural problems.

Unit Title Disclosure Statements

As a part of buying and selling Unit Titles, the Vendor is required to provide the Purchaser with two disclosure statements: Pre Contract Disclosure Statement: The Vendor must provide this to the Purchaser before the contract becomes binding. This statement should detail the annual Body Corporate levy for that unit, scheduled building maintenance, the current balance in any Body Corporate bank accounts and known weathertightness issues. Pre Settlement Disclosure Statement: The Vendor must provide this statement before Settlement. This statement describes the current position in relation to the owner’s payments due to the Body Corporate. The Purchaser may be entitled to cancel the Agreement if the correct disclosure statement has not been provided to the Purchaser within the required timeframes. The Purchaser should read these statements alongside the Body Corporate meeting minutes as they can be a helpful "red flag" to historical or potential issues at the building or Unit Title.


The Seller of the Property.


Warranties are normally provided by the Vendor to the Purchaser in relation to various matters in the Agreement e.g. the Vendor often provides a warranty that the Chattels sold with the Property are in reasonable working order. If a warranty is breached, the Purchaser can seek compensation equal to the cost of remedying the breach.