Quake support group looks at legal help

12:24 pm on 25 June 2011

Homeowners in Christchurch who fear losing money under the Government's payout scheme for the areas worst affected by earthquakes may soon have free legal help.

The Government has offered to pay out 5100 residents on the most severely quake-damaged land at the 2007 rating valuation.

Owners could also choose to sell the land only and continue to deal with their insurance company to get their house replaced.

At the first in a series of neighbourhood meetings on Friday, many residents told officials their insurance companies will only pay for repairs, not full replacement.

They say that leaves the Government offer as their only option, and they would lose tens of thousands of dollars since their houses are worth more than the payout offer.

A spokesperson for community support group CanCERN, Tom McBrearty, says some lawyers are offering free assistance to strike a better deal.

Mr McBrearty says the group has spoken to a law firm, lawyers and the Law Society and is looking at a consortium of people.