Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Legal costs setback in leasehold battle

Yong Xin Chen forfeited this $2.1 million bungalow at 21 Maungakiekie Ave after her annual ground rent rose from $8300 to $73,750. Photo / Greg Bowker
Yong Xin Chen forfeited this $2.1 million bungalow at 21 Maungakiekie Ave after her annual ground rent rose from $8300 to $73,750. Photo / Greg Bowker

A woman who walked away from her multi-million dollar Auckland house has failed to get legal costs in a battle over freezing assets.

Yong Xin Chen bought 21 Maungakiekie Ave at Greenlane in 2005 on leasehold Cornwall Park Trust Board land paying only $8300 a year. But that shot to $73,750 after her 21-year lease came up for renewal and the ground rent reflected the new valuation. Chen left the property in November 2011 and returned the keys for the house to the trust board.

The trust board's attempt to get more than $300,000 from Chen is scheduled to be heard in the High Court at Auckland this month and ahead of that trial, the trust board obtained freezing orders over an Orakei property owned by the defendant, which is in the process of being sold.

The freezing order had been extended already but the board wanted it extended further but the court refused.

Now, Justice Murray Gilbert refused her costs application, saying the costs should remain where they fall.

- NZ Herald

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