Property consultant loses appeal

An Auckland-based property consultant with investment links to the Southern Lakes and Central Otago has lost an appeal after a $2 million property deal collapsed.

The Court of Appeal was asked to resolve a question of law after Andrew Guest's deal to buy a holiday home in Wanaka fell over.

Court documents say he travelled to Wanaka in December 2007 and entered into a sale and purchase agreement for $2 million.

The vendors served a settlement notice, but his company Arcadia refused and the sellers sued for losses sustained on a resale.

A High Court ruling awarded the vendors damages of $632,000 plus contract interest and Arcadia appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Legal arguments touched on the meaning of the term "director" and a "subject to directors' approval clause" in the agreement.

The Court of Appeal decision said Mr Guest signed an agreement and then took few steps to comply with the approval clause.

Although there were only a few days between signing the agreement and a solicitor's letter, it was justified by the High Court to conclude the clause was a device to lock the vendors into holding the property while "he looked around to see if he could find something better".

The Southland Times