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.
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.
Find out more about Unit Titles and how a body corporate works at unittitles.govt.nz(external link).
Proposed changes to the Act
Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (the Bill) 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 Bill
The Bill is a private member's Bill, supported by the Government. It includes amendments 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 the dispute resolution
- provide the regulator with new enforcement tools to support compliance with the Act.
The changes in the Amendment Act do not come into force immediately. They come into force by Order in Council, or at the latest, two years from the date of Royal assent, which was on 9 May 2022.
As part of the Parliamentary process, the Amendment Act went through the committee of the whole House stage. The Amendment Act had several changes during that process, including:
- providing that a regime to set legal costs for the Tenancy Tribunal can be made in regulations
- extending certain protections under the Unit Titles Act to signage agreements
- preventing delegation of matters requiring special resolution to body corporate committees
- allowing utilities and services to be charged to accessory units, and
- requiring pre-contract disclosure to include any remediation reports commissioned by the body corporate.
You can read about the Parliamentary process for the Bill on the Parliament website(external link).