Unit Titles Act 2010
The Unit Titles Act 2010 covers buildings where multiple owners hold a type of property ownership known as a unit title.
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 (external link)
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
Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022
The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act (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 Amendment Act includes changes to:
- improve the way information is provided to prospective buyers of units
- strengthen the rules around how a body corporate is run
- increase the professionalism and standards of body corporate managers
- make sure there's adequate planning and funding of long-term maintenance and infrastructure projects
- improve access to dispute resolution
- provide the regulator with new enforcement tools to support compliance with the Act.
The changes in the Amendment Act comes into force across three key dates:
- Provisions to support remote attendance at meetings – in force on 9 December 2022.
- Most provisions – in force on 9 May 2023.
- Provisions that need more preparation time or regulations created before implementation – in force on 9 May 2024.
The ‘in force’ date is when people need to comply with the new law.
The changes that come into force on 9 May 2023 include:
- 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.
The changes that come into force on 9 May 2024 are:
- All changes to requirements for long-term maintenance plans and funds.
- The requirement for a contract between a body corporate and a body corporate manager to contain specific terms.
- The enforcement provisions for the regulator.
- The provisions which require regulations to be made – the new costs regime for legal fees in the Tenancy Tribunal, the documents that the regulator can request from a body corporate or body corporate manager, and electronic voting before or at meetings.
The next step is the Government to make regulations to provide for:
- the types of Information that have to be provided to the regulator on request
- electronic voting rules and procedures
- to set a scale for legal costs for unit titles disputes at the Tenancy Tribunal.
Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga intends to consult the public on these proposals in 2023.
You can read about the Parliamentary process for the Bill on the Parliament website(external link).
You can read more about the Amendment Act on the Unit Titles website(external link)
Unit Titles Regulations(external link)
Unit Titles (Unit Title Disputes Fees) Regulations 2011(external link)
Residential Tenancies (Unit Title Disputes) Rules 2011(external link)