The Property Law Section of the Law Society has provided the update below about earthquake red zone properties.

As at 4 March 2013, of the 6750 owners who have now accepted the Crown offer:

  • 1588 have chosen Option 1
  • 5162 have chosen Option 2
  • 5608 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.

Offer Expiry Date – Deadline Approaching

We take this opportunity to remind practitioners of the upcoming expiry date of the Crown offer for all properties in the flat land red zones (except South New Brighton and Southshore). Please note that the expiry date applies to all property categories – namely insured residential, uninsured improved properties, vacant land, WDC leasehold properties and commercial properties. Owners of these properties have 12 months from the date of their offer letter or until 31 March 2013, whichever comes first, to accept the Crown offer by returning a signed sale and purchase agreement to the Crown Settlement Agent. Given that 31 March falls on Easter Sunday CERA will accepted signed agreements up until 5pm on the 2nd of April 2013. No extensions to this date will be given.

Property owners who have yet to return their consent forms to CERA need to do so as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for CERA to send out a Crown offer letter and for them to consider the offer and consult with their lawyer and bank before the offer expires. CERA requires a minimum of 2 weeks to process a consent form and an offer.

Vacant Possession

Again, we wish to remind practitioners that the Crown offer requires vacant possession on settlement and this is non-negotiable.

As advised in our previous updates, 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, under the sale and purchase agreement, the vendor has no further right of access following settlement.

As advised in our January update, property owners should be advised by practitioners of the importance of vacant possession for tenanted properties. It is the Vendor’s responsibility to ensure that any Tenant has actually vacated the property prior to settlement.

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 or 0800 7464 2372.

Andrew Logan
Deputy Chair