As printed in The South African” Issue 13 – January 2010

IAN MELLETT OF QUAY LAW Ian Mellett and his wife Cathy emigrated to New Zealand in June 1997. Ian has a BComm LLB H Dip Tax and was engaged by a Johannesburg law firm and subsequently Deloitte and Touche. He joined Deloittes in Wellington for a couple of years and has thereafter practiced law in New Zealand for the past 11 years. Ian played provincial cricket for Northern Transvaal B and Griqualand West.

He has retained his interest in the game and has been the principal sponsor of the Parnell Cricket Club for the last 3 years.

This is a MUST READ for everyone, as buying or selling a property is probably one of the most important transactions that you will undertake.


Our aim is to ensure that this often stressful process proceeds in a smooth and efficient manner As you embark upon purchasing a new home or selling your existing property, it is prudent to take professional legal advice at an early stage in the process. We recommend that you engage your lawyer to review any agreement for sale and purchase prior to executing same, as this will afford you the opportunity to make any suggested amendments.

It is extremely important to remember that once you have signed the agreement, a legally binding contract comes into force with the ensuing legal obligations. A recent court case in Northland clearly demonstrates the strict approach that a court will adopt in determining a contracting party’s legal obligations. Mr and Mrs A entered into a contract to purchase a new home with the contract being conditional, amongst others, upon them selling their existing home. Their circumstances changed with the result that they did not vigorously pursue a sale of their existing home. They consequently cancelled the contract on the basis that this condition had not been satisfied.

The vendor eventually sold the property but at a far lower price than that provided for in the original contract with Mr and Mrs A. The vendor successfully sued Mr and Mrs A for his loss (in excess of $100,000), the court holding that Mr and Mrs A had a legal obligation to use all their efforts to fulfill the condition of selling their existing home and that they had not discharged their responsibility in this instance. In addition to receiving the requisite and timely legal advice, it is essential that you are kept abreast of all developments pertaining to your transaction. In order to facilitate this, Quay Law has embraced a unique piece of conveyancing software which enables all interested parties in a conveyancing transaction to be kept in the loop at all times.

KeyTrack ( allows not only you as the vendor or purchaser of a property, but also all related service providers such as your real estate agent, mortgage broker, banker etc to follow your conveyancing transaction online. Using the KeyTrack system has the following benefits:

1) You are able to view the status of your property transaction online 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

2) You will receive email and/or text alerts when conditions in your agreement have been satisfied and when your agreement is declared unconditional.

3) You will receive email and/or text alerts upon your deal settling including notification that the keys can be released/collected.

4) If you have multiple transactions on the go, you are able to view all of these transactions with your single login, saving you time in phoning or emailing the lawyers associated with each deal.

5) The electronic file is stored indefinitely for you to access (free of charge) at any time in the future.

6) You will have global access to your transactions and will receive text message updates globally.

7) Your estate agent /estate agency branch administrator also has access to your transaction thereby saving you the hassle of having to communicate with your agent as well as your lawyer.

8) Your estate agent is able to keep you updated with online developments relating to the marketing of your property eg the outcome of your open homes.

The team at Quay Law are excited about the additional efficiency and service levels which the KeyTrack system will deliver to our clients. Please feel free to contact Ian Mellett at Quay Law for more information, or if you have any questions regarding your conveyancing or other legal needs visit our website for more information.


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