LEGAL

BMC Law on Buying A Unit Title Property

Friday 27 March 2020, 1:39PM
By Beckie Wright
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Wellington based law firm BMC Law has commented on buying unit title property in New Zealand. As it is not the most common method of purchasing property, few people have a full understanding of it.

Sometimes known as a ‘strata title’ or ‘stratum estate’, unit title ownership is most used in circumstances in which there are multiple owners of a single building or property.

When you are a unit title owner, you own your apartment, and any accessories to it, like garages, courtyards, and gardens, so long as they aren’t commonly shared with other tenants.

Areas that are common property might be laundry areas, lobbies, or driveways, and unit title holders own an undivided share of these areas too.

When you become a unit title holder, you necessarily also become part of the body corporate. The body corporate is essentially all of the unit title owners acting together. Decisions made by the body corporate require a majority, and some might even require 75% consensus, or higher. Changes are often action by a smaller, select body corporate committee.

Unit title holders are required to pay a levy to the body corporate once a year, and this helps pay for expenses which affect all the owners equally, like insurance premiums for the building.

If you are looking into buying property, and you’re considering a unit title agreement, it’s best to find out as much as you can about any rules that the existing body corporate has in place. These often lay out the framework of how all owners are expected to use their property, without impinging on the rights of other owners.

Prospective owners can also access minutes of body corporate meetings, maintenance plans, and details on regular body corporate fees.

To find out more, visit the BMC Law website here, to get in contact with the experts: https://www.bmc-law.co.nz/ .