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Unit Titles Act Grows Up

The original Unit Titles Act was introduced over 35 years ago, and while it serves well for smaller developments, the rules have created issues for large or complex developments, allowing owner conflicts to stall maintenance, or not being flexible enough when developers want to be innovative.  The new Act focuses on rules surrounding the management of the development.  The major changes include:

  • The Body corporate can make changes with only 75% vote (previously unanimous vote required).  The quorum threshold has also been reduced.
  • The Body corporate is now specifically in charge of common property and responsible for maintaining building elements and infrastructure (walls, roof, pipes, lifts, etc) that affect more than one unit.
  • The Body corporate can now invest outside of the development.
  • Maintenance plans are now compulsory, as are funds for operating expenses and maintenance.
  • “Layered developments” can be created by subdividing Principal units.
  • Unit entitlements are replaced by ownership interests and utility interests (allowing for cases where a unit doesn’t have to contribute to maintenance of infrastructure they don’t use).

Other changes include a disclosure regime requiring vendors to provide information to purchasers during the purchase process.

At the moment the Act has been passed by Parliament but is not in force as law while a set of supporting regulations are being finalised.  Once it comes into force there will be a 15 month transition period – after this all developments will be required to follow the new rules.

The new Act represents a maturing of the rules regarding development and management of a Unit Title development.  Some of the changes are quite substantial.  If you require more information contact Michael – michael@foxsurvey.co.nz.