About The Unit Titles Act

The Unit Titles Act 2010 covers: 

  • the creation and ownership of unit title developments 
  • the rules around how body corporates are run  
  • the rights and obligations of the body corporate 
  • what information must be disclosed to potential buyers of a unit title property 
  • dispute resolution 
  • a range of technical and title survey matters. 

See the Unit Titles Act 2010  

See the Unit Titles Act 2010 on the www.legisltation.govt.nz website

Types of Unit Title Properties

Owners in a unit title property own a defined part of that property, e.g. an apartment or a townhouse, and share common areas such as lifts, lobbies or driveways with other owners.  

This combination of individual and shared ownership of land and buildings, means owners in a unit title property have a different set of rights and responsibilities than if they owned a free-standing property. 

Residential unit title properties

Residential unit title properties include apartment blocks, townhouses and terraced housing. 

Commercial unit title properties

Commercial unit title properties include office blocks, industrial or retail complexes and shopping malls.

What a body corporate does

All owners of a unit title property are automatically part of the body corporate. The body corporate must meet at least once a year, at an Annual General Meeting. 

A body corporate is responsible for the management and maintenance of shared areas and the property as a whole. This includes:  

  • maintaining and repairing common property 
  • establishing a long-term maintenance plan 
  • taking out insurance that covers the buildings on the property 
  • levying owners for contributions to fund the maintenance and operating expenses of the body corporate 
  • setting a budget and managing the body corporate's funds 
  • making and enforcing body corporate rules. 

Download a handbook of operation guidelines for a body corporate(external link)

Find out more about Unit Titles and how a body corporate works at unittitles.govt.nz(external link)

Changes to the Act 

The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 (the Amendment Act) aims to improve the way unit titles are run, giving more transparency for owners and strengthening the rules around the duties and expectations of body corporates. 

About the Amendment Act

The changes in the Amendment Act come into force across three key dates. These dates are when people need to comply with the new law

  • 9 December 2022 - Provisions to support remote attendance at meetings
  • 9 May 2023 - Most provisions
  • 9 May 2024 - Provisions that need more preparation time or regulations created before implementation.

Upcoming changes

Three sets of regulations are needed to support some of the remaining changes to come into effect on 9 May 2024. Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga held consultation between 28 June and 9 August 2023 for how we address and implement these regulations. Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga will analyse the submissions to inform its advice on the final shape of the proposals. Cabinet decisions on the regulations will be sought after the 2023 general election.

The three sets of regulations to provide for are:

  • the information the regulator can request from a body corporate or body corporate manager.
  • rules and procedures for electronic voting and remote attendance at meetings.
  • setting rules for deciding legal costs for unit title disputes at the Tenancy Tribunal.

Submissions have now closed. The discussion document, which outlines the preferred proposals for addressing and implementing the regulations, can still be read on our consultation website.(external link)

Previous changes

9 December 2022

  • Allowance of online attendance at general or body corporate meetings by audio link, audio-visual link, or other remote access facility.

9 May 2023

  • Improved requirements for pre-purchase disclosure to protect buyers of unit titles.
  • Greater accountability and clarity for how bodies corporate are governed, including voting rules, requirements on committee members, and a code of conduct for committee members.
  • The inclusion of body corporate managers in the Unit Titles Act, setting out their responsibilities, and including a code of conduct.
  • Improving access to dispute resolution, for example, by reducing the application fees to the Tenancy Tribunal.
  • Greater flexibility for bodies corporate in deciding utility interests, and the ability to charge for services supplied to accessory units. 

You can find out more about the changes to the Unit Titles Act on the Unit Title Services website(external link).