A young couple were excited to be making an offer on their first home.  They fell in love with one property, which had a builder’s report provided as part of the disclosure documentation.  They were happy with the contents of the report and decided to make an unconditional offer, without taking legal advice.
Once they bought the property, it transpired that there were issues with flooding occurring under the property, which was affecting the under-floor insulation.  They asked the lawyer who had assisted with the conveyancing if they could come back at the vendor’s builder for this, for not bringing this up in the builder’s report.  They were shocked to find out that they had no come-back against the vendor’s builder as the report had been issued to the vendor.  Upon closer reading of the report, it was clear the builder had not been asked to look under the house due to it being very difficult to access.  It seemed the vendor was also not aware of the flooding for that reason.  The purchaser had to go through a long and stressful process of contacting their insurer, and pay a large excess, to get the issue remedied. 
Had the purchaser consulted a lawyer before signing the Agreement, they would have advised the purchaser not to rely on a vendor-supplied builder’s report, and to obtain their own report, making sure there were no restrictions on access for the builder.
The property lawyers and registered legal executives at Rainey Collins specialise in assisting clients with buying and selling property (conveyancing), both for personal residence and investment.  If possible we recommend assisting in the early stages of a transaction and can review Agreements for Sale and Purchase before selling or buying a property.  We can advise in relation to conditions to include in an offer and talk you through the conveyancing process. 

We are experts in unit titles and company share apartment purchases, so can advise you about the additional things to watch out for if buying apartments.

Our clients are based in the Wellington region and throughout NZ.

30 Minute Free Property Consultations

Buying a property for the first time can be daunting, and there is a lot of information to take in.  In order to demystify the process and answer any burning questions you might have, we offer Free 30 Minute Property Consultations. 

These consultations can be held by Zoom, phone, or in person.  These consultations give us the opportunity to introduce ourselves, discuss with you the general purchase process and give some broad guidance about how to proceed with the purchase of a property.  You can also ask us any questions you have about the process.

If you would like to arrange a 30 minute property consultation please contact Gillian Scanlon on 04 4736 850 or and she will schedule an appointment with one of our experienced property team


The subdivision process can be overwhelming, and you need to work closely with your lawyer and surveyor to make sure the process goes smoothly.

We are experienced in subdivisions, including creating new easements and land covenants, and setting up residents associations where required.  It is important when subdividing that the new Lot has access and the ability to legally receive services such water and electricity.  We carefully review the LT Plan provided by the surveyor, and make sure all appropriate services are in place.  We can also assist with obtaining consent from your bank, if you have a mortgage, and arranging new mortgage documentation if needed.


Two neighbours had an informal agreement (traditionally referred to as gentlemen’s agreement) about the neighbour at the back property using part of the neighbour at the front’s property as a footpath up to their property.  When the neighbour at the front sold their property, the neighbour at the back was upset to discover that the new owner did not want to agree to continue to allow access to that footpath.  Without an easement, that new owner was within their rights to refuse this.

Easements are agreements registered on the title to properties to record a right to use another person’s property for a particular purpose, such as a driveway, footpath or right to drain wastewater.  

We are very experienced in drafting easements, and assisting property owners with disputes regarding easements. 


We specialise in all aspects of refinancing your residential property matter. We can liaise with your bank or financial institution and advise you about your refinance documents.


A company entered into an Agreement for Sale and Purchase to sell a small commercial building.  The company selling was registered for GST but the purchaser was not.  The directors of the company did not take legal advice prior to signing the Agreement, and had referred to the purchase price being “including GST”.  The vendor hadn’t realised it, but because the purchaser was not registered for GST, the transaction could not be ‘zero rated’ for GST and therefore the vendor would have to pay Inland Revenue 15% of the purchase price.  The vendor had not considered this when accepting the purchase price, and had they know this, they would have required a higher purchase price, or would have ensured that a future purchaser was GST registered. Whether you are buying or selling a commercial property, it is vital that you speak to your legal advisor before signing anything.  In the above situation, the vendor’s lawyer would have alerted the vendor to the issue, and advised them to use the “plus GST” option in the Agreement instead, to ensure that the purchaser paid that portion to the vendor, so the vendor could then pay that to Inland Revenue. We specialise in all aspects of commercial property including buying and selling.  We can assist to make sure the particulars in the Agreement are correct and that any further terms of sale adequately protect you.  We can also assist with ensuring any lease paperwork is in place prior to selling a property.