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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22811
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My mother and her husband are separating and selling their

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My mother and her husband are separating and selling their house in New Zealand. He is going to live in the house until it is sold. She will rent a flat. She is worried that if she moves out, it will give him an advantage in possession of the house and he may stall proceedings because he will be living comfortably in the house they both loved. Possession is 9/10ths of the law. Can he deny her access once she moves? She will need to be able to show potential buyers through.

Chris The Lawyer : Hi and welcome. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear.
Chris The Lawyer : He cannot legally deny her entry as she is a half owner. Of course, in practical terms, he could get difficult for the reasons you describe, sadly, quite common.
Chris The Lawyer : if the house is big enough, and she can tolerate living in the same house, then she should stay. But for many reasons this is not always easy. I would suggest they get an agreement which sets out what they have agreed, with specific terms about access for buyers, and perhaps a timetable for the sale.
Chris The Lawyer : Then if he refuses, she can enforce the agreement.
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