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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22771
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My partner & s ex split up 10yrs ago. They both signed a

Customer Question

Hi there,
My partner & his ex split up 10yrs ago.
They both signed a property agreement in which she paid him for his share of their house - which she then rented to him right up until a few weeks ago.
It says in the agreement that both parties retain his /her agreed share of furniture and chattels.
He said that by then she'd moved to the South Island, after locking up in the spare room items that she wished to keep but was unable to take with her.
Occasionally she'd turn up to collect a few of her belongings. They had no specific discussions about the remaining furniture etc as she wasn't going out of her way to talk to him.
He assumed that the furniture she didn't take was what she'd left him.
Now, 10yrs on, she's sold the house & the new owner has given us notice as he wants to live in the house himself.
The problem is, he says that he bought the house & contents! Ie all the furniture and chattels in the house are now his.
Apparently the deal was that he was buying a fully furnished house & we were expected to vacate the premises without anything that my partner believed to be his share of their combined furniture and chattels.
When he phoned her this afternoon to ask her what she was thinking, she told him that she had rented him the house fully furnished & if he removed anything, it was theft & she would call the police.
It seems as far as she's concerned he isn't entitled to half of anything even though the agreement states otherwise.
We are right in the middle of moving today & are wondering if we can take our bed, lounge suit (worth maybe $100), fridge & dining table or if she's going to call the police & we'll be left sitting /sleeping on the floor!?
Please can you advise me of our rights in this situation?
It seems extremely far-fetched to me.
My ex partner has been living in my house up until recently & when he moved I gave him almost everything even though we'd been separated for several years when I let him move in to be with our son & he wasn't legally entitled to anything. But my current partner said we don't need two of everything, I might as well get rid of anything we didn't need. My ex had nothing so I gave him the lot.
Obviously my partner's ex is not so generous, even though she's given no sign of wanting any of the items she'd left behind all those years ago, it seems she still thinks that she has a right to them.
I'd greatly appreciate it if you could let us know where we stand with this.
Kindest regards, *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

In this situation, he should take what he regards ***** ***** If the purchasers of the property get upset they would need to sue her and not your partner, and she would then need to claim against him. It would not be theft, because the agreement, and the way in which the division took place, makes it clear the assets had been divided, hers in the locked room. She cannot sell what she did not own, and it is really her problem and not his.

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