Property Disputes

NZDRC HAS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE IN PROVIDING EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT PROPERTY DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES
Contact UsCOVID-19 Fully Funded Service

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Fully funded arbitration and mediation services now open for applications.

 

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 (fully funded and special services)

NZDRC has been contracted by the Ministry of Justice to deliver fully funded arbitration and mediation services for eligible parties to commercial leases who are in dispute about the payment of rent and outgoings where the tenant has experienced a material loss of revenue during an Alert Level 3 or 4 lockdown period (a Lockdown Period) because of government restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19 (the Scheme).

In addition, at the start of New Zealand’s first lockdown, NZDRC saw the unprecedented difficulties faced by both landlords and tenants and work to quickly launch a special fixed fee arbitration and mediation service to assist parties to commercial leases who find themselves in a dispute as to their payment obligations due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. That service is streamlined to ensure parties can access a cost-effective process, even where they are ineligible for the Government funded Scheme.

Whether parties proceed under the Government funded scheme, or NZDRC’s low cost and fixed fee scheme, they will receive access to the same credible and professional service, as well as to the same highly experienced panel of arbitrators and mediators.

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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