18 August 2021 | IMPORTANT NOTICE

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In line with Ministry of Health guidance, our staff are currently working remotely. They remain available to assist and it is business as usual. However, we ask that wherever possible you contact us online or by email to registrar@nzdrc.co.nz.

If you need to courier documents, please contact our Registry staff in the first instance to confirm the appropriate delivery details.

He waka eke noa.

Property Disputes

NZDRC HAS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE IN PROVIDING EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT PROPERTY DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES
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NZDRC has a number of highly experienced practitioners who are widely acknowledged for their expertise in providing arbitration, mediation, arb-med, expert determination, or early neutral evaluation services to resolve property disputes of all kinds.

Whether the dispute concerns a rent review, cross-lease, or other property related matter, NZDRC has the expertise and experience to deliver you and your clients a professional, credible, and proportionate means of resolving that dispute.

 

COVID-19: Commercial Lease Disputes – Special fixed fee service

NZDRC offers a special fixed fee service for disputes between parties to a Commercial Lease agreement impacted by the Government restrictions to combat COVID-19.

The Government funded arbitration and mediation scheme came to an end at the end of June 2021. For this reason, NZDRC has launched a special fixed fee arbitration and mediation service to assist parties to commercial leases who find themselves in dispute about the payment of rent and outgoings due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. This fixed fee service is streamlined to ensure parties can access a prompt and cost-effective process.

For further information please contact our Registry staff who will be happy to assist you.

He waka eke noa.

 

Rent Review Disputes

Rent reviews occur with relative frequency in respect of most commercial leases.

When they do occur, it is not uncommon for a dispute to arise between the landlord and the tenant as to the appropriate level of reviewed rent.

Rent review disputes are commonly resolved by arbitration and NZDRC’s ECA45 Arbitration Rules is a popular choice for these types of disputes. Those Rules provide the parties with a credible and cost-effective arbitration process, where both parties have the opportunity to present their submissions and evidence to the arbitrator with an award published within 45 working days. The arbitration process is ‘on the documents’, ie there is no hearing. This lends itself to significant time and cost savings for the parties with no real downside given the nature of these disputes.

Where the parties do wish to have a hearing they can also opt for NZDRC’s ECA60 Arbitration Rules which provide a similar process with an award published within 60 working days, but with a hearing of up to three days.

Whichever option the parties choose, and whether they opt to arbitrate under one or other of the NZDRC Arbitration Rules or prefer an ad hoc process, NZDRC can be relied on to deliver a professional and credible arbitration service.

Although less common in respect of rent review disputes, parties should also be aware that they can agree to mediate at any stage as well. Mediation has the benefit of allowing parties to reach an agreed outcome which is mutually beneficial to all and, for this reason alone, may be a good option for you to consider.

If you’re not sure how to proceed, contact our Registry team who will be able to assist.

Cross Lease Disputes

A cross lease is where a number of people own an undivided share in a piece of land and the homes that they build on the land are leased from the other land-owners (normally for a term of 999 years). The houses are usually flats or townhouses. When you are making major structural changes to your property or making changes that could affect the flats plan on the certificate of title, then as well as approaching the local authority, you’ll need the other owners in the cross lease to provide their written approval.  The decision making process around common area (access, outdoor amenity areas etc) must be made in consultation with the other owners and all must be in agreement.

This can and does often lead to disagreement between the parties to the cross-lease. These disputes are commonly resolved by arbitration and NZDRC’s ECA45 Arbitration Rules is a popular choice for these types of disputes. Those Rules provide the parties with a credible and cost-effective arbitration process, where both parties have the opportunity to present their submissions and evidence to the arbitrator with an award published within 45 working days. The arbitration process is ‘on the documents’, ie there is no hearing. This lends itself to significant time and cost savings for the parties with no real downside given the nature of these disputes.

Where the parties do wish to have a hearing they can also opt for NZDRC’s ECA60 Arbitration Rules which provide a similar process with an award published within 60 working days, but with a hearing of up to three days.

Whichever option the parties choose, and whether they opt to arbitrate under one or other of the NZDRC Arbitration Rules or prefer an ad hoc process, NZDRC can be relied on to deliver a professional and credible arbitration service.

Parties should also give due consideration to mediation as an option. This is particularly effective where neighbours have found themselves in dispute as it often has a better chance of repairing the relationship between the parties as they work together to come up with a solution to the issue which has arisen. NZDRC’s mediators have a high success rate in terms of positive outcomes and we would highly recommend this service to parties who find themselves in dispute under a cross-lease.

If you’re not sure how to proceed, contact our Registry team who will be able to assist.

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