Wood v J S Automotive Limited [2018] NZDC 26384

Published 17 April 2019

Summary judgment — lease agreement — counterclaim. The plaintiffs sought summary judgment against the first and second defendants for rent arrears totalling $29,644.57, including legal costs and interest of $6,392.07. The defendants had counterclaims for failure to do works both provided for and not provided for in the lease agreement. The Judge considered the factual background of the case and the lease agreement and found that the works provided for in the lease had been completed and issues that had not been addressed in the lease appeared to only have been raised once proceedings began against the defendants. The Judge accepted that the lease precluded an equitable set off claim and that counterclaims should not persuade the Court as to whether to grant summary judgment. Further, the defendants lacked evidence to support many of their claims, therefore, they could not show whether a viable defence was available to the plaintiff's claim. For those reasons, the Judge granted summary judgment and ordered costs on a 2B basis. Interest on the rent arrears was to be paid, per the contract, at 14% per annum. Judgment Date: 19 December 2018.