REAL ESTATE

Amendments to Unit Titles Act will deliver greater protection for owners and buyers

Tuesday 10 May 2022, 4:34AM
By Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
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The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (the Bill) has passed its third reading in Parliament and will shortly receive Royal Assent. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) welcomes the news, which will deliver greater protection to those who own or are planning to purchase properties with shared common areas, such as apartments and townhouses.

The Bill amends the Unit Titles Act 2010 (the Principal Act), which governs how unit title properties are bought and sold, and is critical to ensuring this segment of New Zealand’s property market is fair and attractive to prospective purchasers as more people move to higher-density housing. The amendments will:

  • Improve the information disclosure regime, benefiting purchasers of unit title properties
  • Ensure that planning and funding of long-term maintenance projects is adequate
  • Strengthen the governance arrangements in relation to bodies corporate
  • Increase the professionalism and standards of body corporate managers.

REINZ is part of the Unit Titles Act 2010 Working Group (UTWG), which played an integral role in these amendments. The amendments will make the Principal Act fit for purpose at a time when diversification of New Zealand's property portfolio is welcomed.

REINZ General Counsel, Melisa Beight comments: “REINZ is very pleased the Bill is about to receive Royal Assent. The amendments will strengthen governance of bodies corporate and increase the professionalism of body corporate managers, providing greater protection for unit title residents. The amendments will also improve the information disclosure requirements, better protecting prospective purchasers and the wider public.

“The UTWG has been instrumental in bringing this Bill to pass and we wish to acknowledge our colleagues’ tireless efforts in this space. As part of the UTWG, we have been very close to the Bill’s journey from draft to its passing into law. REINZ has advocated strongly for greater protections for owners and buyers of unit title properties and as more New Zealanders move into higher density housing, we are pleased people will be able to buy and rent unit title properties with greater confidence.”