Throughout his 42-year long career, Tim has specialized in this field and as a result has developed an in depth understanding and knowledge of property transactions and all the various facets of property ownership in New Zealand. In the last 20 years he has led a team of lawyers and legal executives who have handled a myriad of different types of property transactions for his clients; everything from family homes through to large tracts of land for land development.
Tim has an intimate knowledge of the ADLS/REINZ Standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate. This agreement is used throughout New Zealand in most property transactions, whether for residential, industrial or commercial property. Tim has been involved with the Auckland District Law Society Documents and Precedents Committee (formerly the Forms Committee) over many years and has led the Committee until recently. That Committee is responsible, along with the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, for the drafting and publication of the standard agreement for use by lawyers and real estate agents throughout New Zealand. Tim has been involved in leading a sub-committee of the Documents and Precedents Committee in the revision of that form on numerous occasions as the form has evolved over the years.
As a result, Tim has a very keen understanding of the clauses in the agreement, why they are drafted in that particular way and of the interpretation of those clauses. He is often called on to provide expert interim determinations and to advise on all aspects of property transactions. These include the most recent inclusion of land tax statements for sellers and buyers, the implementation of the “bright-line test” and the new residential land withholding tax provisions for property transactions of certain types.
For a period of time Glaister Ennor acted for the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. It co-owns the copyright in the Standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate, the auction and tender agreements. Tim travelled the regions of the country lecturing for the REINZ on various aspects of the Agreement. Also, he delivered seminars to REINZ members on new editions of the Agreement as they were published. He also lectured on a variety of matters at REINZ conferences , such as The Overseas Investment Act, Multi-offers, Business agreements and GST , and various other topics relating to Property Transactions of interest to Real Estate Agents.
In 1980 when Tim joined the firm of Glaister Ennor, he started work for one of the largest land developers in the Auckland region. This gave him a first-hand knowledge of land development – creating sections for homes to be built on in the outer suburbs of Auckland.
In 1991 the Resource Management Act was passed which brought into force a new regime for subdivision and land development. Tim focused his practice on subdivision of land and at one time Glaister Ennor acted for three of the largest land developers in the Auckland region. In acting for those developers Tim developed an expertise in land development that is second to none.
Land development includes the understanding of the important features of acquiring land, analysing the particular features of that land including the titles and its implications for future development, working alongside planners and surveyors and implementing the terms of the land use and subdivision consents obtained by the client for the development of the land. This is very much a case of legal project management of development.
In 2006 Tim delivered along with a colleague the New Zealand Law Society seminar “Subdivision: Getting it Right”. This seminar was presented to lawyers and surveyors throughout New Zealand.
Around that time, Tim was also involved with a project along with the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors to prepare a workflow diagram and explanation sheet for subdivision. Entitled “Subdivision: A Process Flow Diagram”, it was co-authored by Tim and published by the Property Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors. In 2016 this work was enhanced with the inclusion of various additional notes by Land Information New Zealand.
Land development in many respects is a partnership between lawyers, surveyors and Land Information New Zealand. Tim’s expertise extends in land development from the simplest section subdivision through to multi-lot subdivisions for clients in many parts of New Zealand.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s there were a lot of developments carried out by way of cross-lease. Tim acted for one particular client who carried out a large number of cross-lease developments in the Auckland suburbs, and was responsible for devising special and unique clauses for cross-leases. With other authors he drafted the development clauses for the Standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate relating to cross-leases. In the early 1990’s Tim was responsible for the Auckland District Law Society Forms Committee (as it was then) in revising the Auckland District Law Society Form of Cross-lease. In 1999 Tim along with other colleagues served on the working group of the Law Commission which considered the future of and the alternatives to cross-leases and the compulsory conversion of cross-leases to fee simple titles. This was the Law Commission Report: Shared Ownership of Land No. R59.
Unit Title Advisory Work
The Unit Titles Act was passed in 1972. From 1975 onwards, working in the property team at Simpson Grierson, Tim had numerous clients that looked to take advantage of this new piece of legislation. Working in the property team at Simpson Grierson he became acquainted with the Act and the various aspects of unit title ownership and the development and creation of unit title property.
Throughout his career Tim has been involved with clients buying and selling unit title property and with land developers who have acquired land to build apartment buildings and convert those apartment buildings to unit title developments under the Unit Titles Act 1972.
Early in the 2000’s Tim became involved in the movement to revise the Unit Titles Act 1972 through various channels. One was with the Property Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society. Another channel was through the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) co-authoring a case for the review of the Act called “A Case for Revision of the Unit Titles Act 1972”. This was presented to the ARC in August 2003. In part it became a catalyst for the steps to revise the statute. This led to various other initiatives and ultimately to the Government revising the statute completely in 2010. During this time Tim worked as a member of the Property Law Section Working Party on the revision of the Act together with the Department of Building and Housing Working Party on the drafting of the Unit Title Regulations 2011.
Tim has since then presented for the New Zealand Law Society together with other colleagues on the new Unit Titles Act. First a seminar introducing the new 2010 Act to the legal and survey professions. and secondly at various unit title intensives held since the Act came into force in 2011.
Throughout that time Tim has been heavily involved in specialist unit title advisory work for all those involved in the development, ownership and management of body corporates.
Issues upon whichTim has been called upon to advise include:-
- Remediation of leaky buildings and unit title matters.
- Body corporate governance under the Act.
- Maintenance repair obligations under the Act.
- Interpretation and the drafting of specialist rules under the Act.
- The disclosure regime.
Tim has continued to work for the Property Law Section on a working party making further submissions on revision of the Unit Titles Act 2010. He has also been involved in preparing a paper on the disclosure regime for the group who presented a case for amendment of the Act to the Honourable Nikki Kaye MP in 2017.
Tim is available to advise on all aspects of unit titles.
Land Law is an area of expertise that Tim has separate from property transactions. In this regard Tim often has provided specialist advice on such matters as easements, encumbrances, covenants and other similar land law documents. Land law is partly comprised in statutes such as:
- The Land Transfer Act 1952 (soon to be superceded by the Land Transfer Act 2017) and its regulations.
- Property Law Act 2007
- Fencing Act 1979
- Overseas Investment Act 2005
- Incorporated Societies Act 1908
- Public Works Act 1981
Those statutes above are but a sample of the statutes that impact upon the rights and obligations between parties who own land. These need to be interpreted for land owners from time to time.
There are a host of issues that occur between land owners that are not simple transaction based. It might be an issue between two neighbours to do with a boundary dispute or a fencing dispute, or the compliance with various covenants on their title. Or it may be an issue between neighbours over their access to the property and the use of a right of way.
Another area of land law that is a fertile area for dispute is in the area of cross-lease titles. Often there are issues between neighbours to do with the position of fencing and boundaries or actions that are taken by one cross-lease owner against another, parking on the common area, blocking other owners, noise from one owner’s flat disturbing others and matters of that nature.
Tim has been involved with cross-leases since the beginning of his legal career and was very much involved with the Auckland District Law Society revision of the form of cross-lease document through the 1990’s.
Expert Opinions, Expert Evidence and Interim Determinations
Over the last 10 years or so Tim has been sought out for expert opinions on many aspects of property transactions.
In leaking building litigation this has included advice on actions or inactions of purchasers who are bringing claims and this has led to a significant body of work.
In terms of other expert opinions and expert evidence Tim has often been called on to provide advice on property and conveyancing transactions and to analyse those transactions for litigants in a variety of different cases.
Tim’s understanding and knowledge of subdivision and land development has led to being sought for specialist advice on land development, land development title structures, often providing second opinions for clients and other lawyers.
Tim is often called upon to provide advice and interim determinations under the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate.