New Unit Titles Act

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The new “Unit Titles Act 2010” has come into effect in June 2011 and this replaced the 1972 Act. The new Act has far wider and better governance structures for Bodies Corporate and further clarification of the definition of Unit boundaries.

The Unit Titles Act governs building developments where multiple owners hold a type of property ownership known as a unit title. Unit owners in a unit title development own a defined part of the building (e.g. an apartment) and may have shared ownership in common areas such as lifts, stairwells, lobbies or driveways.

Since the Act first came into force in 1972, there have been major changes in the number, scale and nature of Unit developments in NZ. The Act has therefore become outdated and no longer provides a sound basis for the creation and management of Unit developments.

Some of the main changes to the Unit Titles Act 2010 include:

  • Clarifying the definition of a principal units
  • Streamlining the process under which a development is built in stages
  • Unit entitlements replaced by ownership interest and utility interests
  • More flexibility for easements and land covenants
  • Access lots can be part of a unit development
  • New process for layered developments
  • New process for simple redevelopment
  • Section 224c RMA certificates can be for stage plans instead of PUD
  • Creating a fair system for calculating how much a unit owner should contribute to body corporate funds
  • Stating that the body corporate owns the common property
  • Clarifying the rights and responsibilities of unit owners and bodies corporate
  • Creating fair and transparent governance and management structures
  • Lower the voting threshold for body corporate decisions to a 75% agreement
  • Provide a comprehensive disclosure regime for buyers and sellers, developers, and bodies corporate
  • Provide a fully integrated and cost effective dispute resolution service through the Tenancy Tribunal.

unit plan

This is an overview of what is in the new Unit Titles Act and its Regulations. If you are planning a Unit Title Development or would like any further information please contact us and we can offer advice and assist you.

Blair Jackson