Are you Eligible to buy Residential Property in NZ? (originally published 22.10.18)
Today, on 22 October 2018, a new law came in to force which affects every person buying residential property in New Zealand. If you are signing a Contract to buy residential property in NZ, you must read this.
Under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 every person buying a residential property must sign a Residential Land Statement stating that they are eligible to do so.
How do I know I am eligible?
Basically, in a nutshell, as an individual you will be eligible to buy residential property if:
- You are a NZ citizen; or
- You are an Australian or Singaporean citizen; or
- You have a NZ residence class visa or Australian or Singaporean permanent resident visa and all of the following apply:
o You have been residing in NZ for at least the immediately preceding 12 months, and
o You are a tax resident in NZ; and
o You have been present in NZ for 183 days or more in the immediately preceding 12 months.
Anyone else will need to apply for consent from the Overseas Investment Office before being allowed to buy.
Please note that the rules vary for companies and trusts.
What do I need to do?
You will need to sign another form as part of the transaction.
Therefore, when you a sign a Contract to purchase, if you are in doubt at all as to whether you can buy, please ensure that you ask the real estate agent to include an additional term allowing you time to apply for consent. No Contract should be confirmed until your eligibility to buy has been established.
Your lawyer is going to ask you to sign the Residential Land Statement. There is no getting around it. Refusing to sign will mean that the transaction will not go ahead, and making a false declaration could incur a fine of up to $300,000.00.
Please be assured that your lawyer knows what is required. You need to follow the advice of your lawyer and make sure that your Residential Land Statement is signed and back to your lawyer’s office as soon as possible.
Note: Katherine’s Blog is not a substitute for legal advice, please contact your lawyer.