Do I need to pay rent as a part-owner - Part 2

Peter Moore asks:
(updated on Wednesday, October 04th 2006)

I want to comment on the answer to Lin's question that was recently answered on this website. He asked: "I am a part owner in a house with my siblings left to us as an inheritance. Two of my siblings live in the house, I live overseas. One of my siblings thinks I should be paying my share of the mortgage (which is about $500 a month), rates, insurance. I think that whoever stays in the house should pay it, as this is considered "rent" If we got renters in, then the income would cover the mortgage, rates and insurance. When I am back in NZ I do stay in the house, but I am only back every 2 or so years, a month or 2 months at a time. Looking forward to your reply." No doubt it is true (as stated in the answer) that this is not a residential tenancy, but that appears to beg the question. My understanding of land law is that if one co-owner pays off the mortgage, and another does not, then the paying co-owner has thereby established an additional equitable interest in the property that s/he can claim when it is sold. Against that, the use of the property could arguably create an equitable liability, though this may not inevitably be the case. Advice from a lawyer specialising in land law should be sought so Lin does not get any nasty surprises when his property is eventually sold.

Our Experts Answer:

Yes I agree that Lin should seek specialist legal advice.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 2.09
HSBC Special 2.25
ICBC 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
AIA 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.29
SBS Bank Special 2.29
Westpac Special 2.29
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
ICBC 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
AIA 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
HSBC Premier 2.89
TSB Special 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
SBS Bank Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43