Expert's Bio

Anne Needham

I have over 30 years experience in providing excellent residential property legal services to clients. I have an established local (NZ based) practice and also an extensive off shore client base having acted for clients dealing with New Zealand property who are located all over the world - the internet and cellphones have made this so very easy! In addition Rennie Cox/Urban Legal has been providing legal services since 1923 and is now a progressive modern law firm providing a wide range of legal services to clients.

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Articles By Anne Needham

Boundaries Limitation as to parcels fencing and the law

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2014 April 10


BOUNDARIES: When purchasing a property the location of any fences or hedges on the property are not necessarily the legal boundary. In addition, under the standard Law Society Agreement for Sale and Purchase except in the case of a vacant section the vendor is not under any obligation to point out the boundaries of the property. If the boundary pegs are not in place their location can only be identified by a surveyor. It is important to establish where the actual boundaries of a property lie and whether you are

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Additions and Alterations to Cross Lease Properties

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 November 23

Additions and Alterations to Cross Lease Properties The resulting Issues and Title defects


Cross lease titles were introduced around the 1970s as a temporary form of title however they have endured for far longer than what was originally anticipated. These titles each incorporate an undivided share of the underlying freehold land together with a 999 lease of the structures on the site which are shown on the flats plan as prepared by a surveyor. The initial advantages of cross lease titles were;

(a) They allowed for the division of head titles where a ‘subdivision’ could not be completed due to the

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Mortgagee Sales Buyers Beware

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 October 17

Due Diligence Is Still Required For Mortgagee Sales

In these recessionary times and with the number of mortgagee sales currently being exercised by Banks in New Zealand, investors and purchasers need to be very vigilant and aware of some of the legal ramifications including the need for proper due diligence to be carried out on a property being sold.

In purchasing a property being sold by the “mortgagee”, you are entering into a contract that is significantly different in nature from an Agreement entered into in other more common circumstances. This type of Agreement is likely to be significantly in the

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Residential Building Work and Licensed Building Practitioners

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 September 12

Residential Building Work – What You Need to know!


Since 1 March 2012 if you are undertaking any ‘residential building work’, which relates to the design and structural integrity or weather tightness of a house or apartment building, now known as Residential Building Work (RBW), it’s highly likely you will need to the help of a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) to either complete or supervise the work. It will be an offence for RWB to be undertaken unless it is completed by an LBP.

What is RBW?
RBW is work which is essential to the structural integrity of a residential house or

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Property Land Covenants

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 August 16

1. Land covenants are a mechanism used commonly by either land owners selling land and wanting to restrict its use, particularly if they are retaining neighbouring land, or to record agreed restrictions as between neighbours of adjoining property.

2. There are a number of reasons why land owners may wish to restrict the use of land. One example is a land owner selling part of their land and wishing to restrict the type and quality of buildings constructed on the land being sold. Other examples are height restrictions that may be protecting a view or limiting the height of a

Beware Of Leaky Homes

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 July 17

For all home buyers and in particular first home buyers, who may not be familiar with the purchasing process and what to look out for, you need to be satisfied that the home you are contemplating buying passes all it’s health tests including being satisfied that there are no water tightness issues and that it is not a ‘leaky home’.

Whilst all homes can spring a leak, the leaky house saga developed from fundamental design and construction flaws, associated with building techniques from the mid 1990’s through to 2004 when ‘monolithic cladding’ became commonly used in the construction of new

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Is Your Family Trust Watertight

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 June 21

NZ Family Trust: Potential Claims When Relationships End


As property investors many of you will have assets held in Trusts, which you may assume render those assets immune from relationship property claims. However given that there is a currently a lack of coherent and principled development between trust and relationship property law in New Zealand, it is a minefield to negotiate. For that reason special care needs to be taken when both initial asset protection structures are being implemented and when obtaining advice following a relationship breakdown. This article highlights the need for specialist advice in both setting up and

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Whats Happens If I Dont Settle

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 April 23

Auckland lawyers explain: Whats Happens If I Don’t Settle on Property Purchase.


You’ve declared the agreement for sale and purchase unconditional – or signed an unconditional agreement. Later, you find that you either can’t, or don’t want to, settle. What are you risking?

Common reasons for a purchaser not settling are:
• Finance fell through, or anticipated funding wasn’t available after all;
• “Cold feet”: the purchaser has changed their mind;
• The purchaser discovers problems with the property or the title, or believes that the vendor has misrepresented the property or breached the contract, and no longer wishes to go ahead with the

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Property Caveats How Do They Work

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2013 February 15

Caveat Registration On Property Title.

There are a variety of different types of caveat. The most common of these is a caveat claiming a right or interest in a property and registered against the title to a property. The effect of registration of a caveat is to prevent the property owner from dealing with that land until the caveator has had its claim dealt with and resolved including selling the land in question.

Registration of a caveat serves as notice to anyone who searched that title that the person/entity that has lodged the caveat is claiming a right or interest in

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Investor Migration Policy Changes

By: Anne Needham: Urban Legal | 2011 September 8

INVESTOR MIGRATION POLICY CHANGES – Residential property development to become acceptable investments under New Zealand Immigration Investors Category.

On 6 May 2011, the Minister of Immigration, Dr Jonathan Coleman announced a number of changes to the Immigration policy. What is changing in relation to residential property investments ? As from 25 July 2011, an investment of at least $1.5 million in a residential property development will now qualify as an acceptable investment for the purposes of obtaining a residence visa under the Investor Category set out by Immigration New Zealand. Note however that the following conditions must be met:


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