Christchurch earthquake: buying property

May 05 2011

Property buyers and sellers, together with their lawyers, are generally adapting well to the difficult circumstances surrounding the recent Canterbury earthquakes.

If you are buying property, do listen to your lawyer’s advice before entering into an Agreement for Sale & Purchase. These days, post-earthquake, the common practice in property transactions in Canterbury is for the Agreements to be subject to suitable engineers’ reports, appropriate insurance for the property and suitable finance all to be arranged. It has also been noted that some lenders have been requesting purchasers’ (or the owners if they are re-financing) confirmation that there has been no further damage to the property from after-shocks.

Many lenders require copies of those engineers’ reports, insurance details and, in some cases, an independent valuation before finance for any purchase can be put in place. That abundance of caution shown by lenders is necessary to ensure that the property provides suitable security to the lender for loans advanced to the buyer or owner of the property.

Where an EQC claim has been made for the property prior to its sale, the EQC claim should be assigned by the seller to the buyer on purchase of the property to ensure the claim process can continue for the property and the benefit of the buyer.

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