Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith has said that his office is currently reviewing a report on reforming the Unit Titles Act. The Act was last updated in 2010. The Government’s review appears to have been prompted by a strong push from the property sector to tighten up regulation around the governance of apartment buildings, and also pre-purchase disclosures.
The Government’s agenda includes a look at long-term maintenance planning and funding. We have seen many disputes relating to the levying of cost to cover capital works such as weathertightness repairs, or repairs to a building’s structure as a result of seismic investigations. Often owners disagree about the extent of the repairs required, which can hold up the works themselves.
These disputes can stem from a general lack of awareness prior to purchase, about the level of control an apartment owner may have to hand over to the body corporate committee. A purchaser may also have little knowledge of the state of the building as a whole, or the effectiveness of the particular body corporate committee in charge, before committing to purchase.
The squeeze on housing, particular in Auckland, is likely to spark the construction of further condensed living arrangements in the city. We are yet to see what concrete response the Government may come up with to promote effective governance in this area.
For further views on body corporate reform, see the following links:
- “Large-scale reforms for apartment sector“
- “Owners face the bodycorp blues“
- “Consensus over apartment law reform“