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610 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 2228157 30-Apr-2019 19:46
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Lawyer up. The best money spent was to my lawyer who went through the S&P agreement and building contract with a fine tooth comb when I bought land last year to build on, totally transparent and got certain clauses relating to both documents changed to protect me. Get straight to the point, don't mess around with advice agencies and forums because by the sound of your situation all roads are leading back to needing a lawyer.


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  # 2228164 30-Apr-2019 20:01
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On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 





Information wants to be free. The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2228183 30-Apr-2019 20:26
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Lias:

 

On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 

 

 

I think covenants have there place.... if you don't like it, don't buy a house in an area with covenants.  Maybe they are good for people who want peace and quiet. 

 

Not sure how it works, does the developer/body corp own all of the land in the covenant area and people buy a lease to occupy? 

 

 

 

 




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Wannabe Geek


  # 2228221 30-Apr-2019 20:33
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Lias:

On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 



Hi Lias,


Thanks for raising this, what you were saying is pretty much what I am trying to say. I cannot agree with you more.

I think this land covenant simply just not fair to any buyer. Especially the term that requires the building plan to be sign-off by the land developer. I understood the developer want his/her subdivision to be high-end by applying some restrictions. But what if the developer just being an a-hole and misuse the terms in the covenant? Who could stop the land developer abuse using the power entitled by the covenant?

And what made me real frustrated is, as a victim of this issue, I cannot even find a proper channel to raise a formal compliant against this land developer.

Eventually, as per others’ suggestions, I may have to spend my hard earn money to find a good lawyer to help me out. And at the meantime, I am already paying interest of the land mortgage. This whole thing is just not fair.

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Master Geek
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  # 2228222 30-Apr-2019 20:35
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Lias:

On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 

 

I completely agree. All the sections around Christchutch/Rangiora etc have minimum floor sizes that result in HUGE houses full of bedrooms that are never used. Not allowed to use any recycled materials when building. Some even define the type and location of your letterbox.

 

It just means only the wealthy can afford to build there (which is their point).

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  # 2228223 30-Apr-2019 20:35
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vincenttoolate:

 

I think the citizens advise might not able to help in this case, because they don't deal with property and business related issue. I think they only help people with financial difficulty.

 

 

Citizens advice can hook you up with real lawyers that give free legal advice.   

 

My brother used CAB in an employment dispute. CAB put him in touch with a free lawyer who wrote a letter to his former employer documenting the various laws they had breached (and my brother received a decent payout). 

 

People of any financial means can use them. 

 

I tend to think this is a complicated case which goes beyond the remit of free legal services.  Although, sometimes a single legal letter is all it takes. 

 

Try to sort it out with the 'Trent' first :)




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Wannabe Geek


  # 2228227 30-Apr-2019 20:40
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surfisup1000:

Lias:


On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 



I think covenants have there place.... if you don't like it, don't buy a house in an area with covenants.  Maybe they are good for people who want peace and quiet. 


Not sure how it works, does the developer/body corp own all of the land in the covenant area and people buy a lease to occupy? 


 


 



Hi surfisup,


Land covenants are now very common on any new subdivision. I don’t think you have much choice if you want to buy and subdivision without any land covenant.

I am not exactly how it works. But when buying a land with a land covenant. There will be a clause in the title that states this land section is attached with a land covenant. I think the local council gives them the right to do so.

 
 
 
 




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2228230 30-Apr-2019 21:05
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

As @rendezous said, IF Trent won't discuss it further, then you need to seek legal advice. I don't believe we have all the facts however. The developer no longer owns the land, so likely has no interest in preventing you from using it, unless he is just mean as you claim. What he does have an interest in is making money, and doing things for free isn't in his best interest. Signing off work takes time and money, and while this service may have been provided to the original purchaser, it's not necessarily transferable.




Hi SirHumphreyAppleby,

He (Trent) does have interest by being meant and not sign-off my plan. Because most of the good sections at the subdivision had been sold. And he still have some bad sections left and waiting for sale. The previous owners whom were selling the sections to others are simply the competitors of him. So he abuse using his power to make these previous owners difficult to sell their land sections to others. And I am just one of the poor guys get involve of their drama. I am sure there will be others buyers end up with a situation like me. I am trying to get hold with other buyers like myself, to see if we could jointly sue the land developer.

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  # 2228291 1-May-2019 05:39
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vincenttoolate:
surfisup1000:

Lias:


On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 



I think covenants have there place.... if you don't like it, don't buy a house in an area with covenants.  Maybe they are good for people who want peace and quiet. 


Not sure how it works, does the developer/body corp own all of the land in the covenant area and people buy a lease to occupy? 


 


 



Hi surfisup,


Land covenants are now very common on any new subdivision. I don’t think you have much choice if you want to buy and subdivision without any land covenant.

I am not exactly how it works. But when buying a land with a land covenant. There will be a clause in the title that states this land section is attached with a land covenant. I think the local council gives them the right to do so.


It's basically a contract between the developer and land owners (buyers) that stays with the land. Goes on the title, nothing to do with the council.

Down the track once the developer has gone, owners in the development can take legal action at their own cost against other owners in the development to prevent/remedy any breaches e.g. Fences taller than allowed in the covenant. Fortunately this is rare because it costs money, its generally only developers that enforce covenants.

There's nothing physically stopping the OP from building what they want - they can get building consent. It's just that the developer will probably set his lawyers onto the OP once he becomes aware of it - so it wouldn't be a good idea

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  # 2228292 1-May-2019 05:55
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Hiring a lawyer shouldn't be your last option, that's just silly

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Uber Geek
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  # 2228310 1-May-2019 07:42
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nathan: Hiring a lawyer shouldn't be your last option, that's just silly

 

 

 

This: Sorry to be blunt, but 

 

 GO AND GET A PROPERTY LAWYER

 

 

 

You are talking about an investment of several hundred thousand dollars, go and spend 5 or 10% of the value of the investment cost and get some advice on what you actual options are, 


417 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 2228324 1-May-2019 08:14
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Trent is likely to be in breach of the terms of the covenant if indeed he is simply refusing to review the plans. And then if he refuses to sign off on the plans if they are compliant with the terms of the covenant. The LIM report on the property will disclose what is permissible and what is not, in terms of the covenant, and of course the local authority guidelines.

I would in the first instance contact the relevant local authority planning office, and send them the written communication from Trent which discloses his refusal to review the plans. I would be extremely surprised if they didn’t lean on Trent to fulfill his obligations under the covenant terms.




BlinkyBill

417 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 2228325 1-May-2019 08:16
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And if you don’t have anything in writing from Trent, you don’t have anything. I suspect you didn’t request Trent to confirm their position in writing. That is the very first thing I would do.

A lawyer or the local authority will need a written position as a starting point.




BlinkyBill

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  # 2228326 1-May-2019 08:18
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BlinkyBill: Trent is likely to be in breach of the terms of the covenant if indeed he is simply refusing to review the plans. And then if he refuses to sign off on the plans if they are compliant with the terms of the covenant. The LIM report on the property will disclose what is permissible and what is not, in terms of the covenant, and of course the local authority guidelines.

I would in the first instance contact the relevant local authority planning office, and send them the written communication from Trent which discloses his refusal to review the plans. I would be extremely surprised if they didn’t lean on Trent to fulfill his obligations under the covenant terms.

 

I don't think the local authority has anything to do with covenants - it's a contractual matter between Trent and owners of the covenanted properties.


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Uber Geek
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  # 2228401 1-May-2019 09:42
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I'm watching this thread with interest as I recently purchased a section privately in a new development. The original owner had a change of circumstances. I don't think the on selling of a relatively new section is that uncommon.

 

There is a similar clause on my title that the developer has to approve the plans, my understanding is this is just a way to make sure that nothing horribly ugly or out of place can be constructed. It would be easy for someone to follow all the fine print of the covenants but still build an ugly house if that sort of clause wasn't in there.

 

In my case it is a very large and well known developer, and all the building companies have advised me they are good to deal with, so hopefully I won't have any problems like the OP has.

 

As far as the problem that @vincenttoolate is facing, I feel like some information is missing:

 

A quick Google shows that "Property Trade Finance" appears to be a commercial finance company, not a land developer.

 

It doesn't seem to be obvious who the developer actually is as most of the links I found go to Ray White. But going by a 2017 Stuff article the land developer may in fact be Parklane Infrastruct.

 

I do note, however, that the name of the director of Parklane Infrastruct appears to match the email address for the registrant of the propertytradefinance.co.nz domain. And that name is not Trent.

 

I'll PM details to the OP, but I do think you need to get your lawyer involved and have them deal with it. A phone call or letter from your lawyer to someone higher up the chain than Trent might be all that's required?

 

Note: I am not a lawyer or any kind of property expert.


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