A landlord rented out a residential apartment in central Wellington.  He usually managed the rental himself, but was planning to be overseas for six months.  He contacted his legal advisor to find out more about options for managing his property while he was away. 

The landlord was advised to appoint a person to act on his behalf under an ordinary Power of Attorney (POA).  

A POA appoints a person (the ‘Attorney’) to manage your affairs, except those relating to personal care and welfare.  It allows the Attorney to exercise any powers you could exercise yourself while you have legal capacity, and ceases to have effect if you no longer have the mental or physical capacity to instruct your Attorney. The extent of the Attorney’s power can be limited as the donor wishes.  In the landlord’s case, he chose to limit the POA so that the Attorney could only act in relation to the rental apartment. 

A POA ceases to have effect if you revoke your Attorney’s authority in writing or upon your death.  Once he returned from overseas, the landlord revoked the POA in writing to his Attorney as he did not want the Attorney to continue acting. 

If you are a trustee or company director, your POA should include a Deed of Delegation.  This will enable your Attorney to carry out your trustee or director duties while you are outside of New Zealand or temporarily incapable of performing those duties.

If you are planning to leave New Zealand for an extended period of time, it is worthwhile seeing your legal advisor to arrange for your affairs to be looked after in your absence. 

Therese Greenlees
Registered Legal Executive