A message from CERA: Settlement data update
As practitioners will be aware, the Crown offer to purchase properties in the flat land red zones (except Southshore and South New Brighton) expired on 31 March 2013.  The offer was accepted by just over 98% of all those owners entitled to receive the offer.  Of the owners who accepted the Crown offer:

  • 1,504 chose Option 1
  • 5,162 chose Option 2
  • 5,636 have settled to date

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of all practitioners who have acted for red zone owners throughout the conveyancing process, without whom this would not have been possible.

Final settlement date
Please note that the final date for settlement of all flat land transactions is 31 July 2013.

Due to the expected increase in numbers of settlements as the 31 July deadline approaches, we ask that practitioners do everything reasonably possible to ensure that settlement is able to take place early in the day, including sending settlement statements and undertakings as soon as possible.

Vacant possession
Again, we wish to remind practitioners that the Crown offer requires vacant possession and this is not negotiable.  Settlement will be delayed if, prior to settlement, CERA becomes aware that vacant possession is unable to be provided by the vendor on the settlement date.  In addition, the vendor has no further right of access following settlement.

Practitioners should ensure that their clients are aware of the importance of vacant possession for tenanted properties. It is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that any tenancy has been validly terminated and any tenant has actually vacated the property prior to settlement.

These issues are particularly important given the upcoming settlement deadline to ensure that transactions settle smoothly come July.

Rates following settlement
Please ensure that rates are paid promptly when practitioners have given an undertaking to do so following settlement.  Please be aware that solicitors’ undertakings will be enforced by CERA and ensure that such undertakings are complied with when given.

Option 2 Agreements
We are aware of an element of confusion surrounding the ownership of improvements where owners have accepted and settled under Option 2 of the Crown offer.  For the avoidance of doubt, please note that under both Option 1 and Option 2 the Crown is purchasing the land as well as any improvements located on the land, irrespective of any applicable salvage rights that an insurer may have.  Please ensure that your clients understand that they are no longer own the dwelling after settlement under either Option 1 or Option 2.

We continue to face difficulties in relation to the return of keys by vendors on settlement.  Accordingly, we wish to remind you that on settlement practitioners must ensure that all of their client’s keys and garage door openers etc are forwarded to CERA.

For further information, please contact info@cera.govt.nz or 0800 7464 2372.

Andrew Logan
Interim Chair