Communal land in residential developments

Communal land in residential developments is a common and useful way to expand space available to homeowners, giving them the benefits of land ownership without the same burden.  It’s common place both in rural areas and increasingly in the urban setting where space is at a premium. The arrangement has some legal difficulties. Historically this…

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A well designed neighbourhood

The legal set-up of a new subdivision or unit title development should be treated with as much care as the physical design.  It’s very easy to leave a mess – one that is difficult and expensive to resolve. The rights, rules and restrictions that a developer puts in place for the new neighbourhood are generally…

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Long term maintenance plans and funds

With the Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA), bodies corporate were required to implement a long term maintenance plan.  By special resolution, a body corporate could opt out of having a long term maintenance fund.  Most bodies corporate have plans.  Not so many have funds (or sufficient funds) to cover all the needs of their buildings.  More…

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Unit titles – who pays?

The Court of Appeal looks at how costs for remedial works should be shared at Auckland’s Shangri-La apartments. Wikipedia notes Shangri-La is meant to be a “permanently happy land”, not so Auckland’s Shangri-La.  The Court of Appeal was asked by the body corporate (i.e the owners) to look at: *  the cost allocation for remedial…

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New Health and Safety Regime

Next month the Government will begin to introduce a new Health and Safety (H&S) regime in its bid to achieve a 25% reduction in workplace fatalities and serious injuries by 2020.  As a result, most businesses will need to immediately up skill, perform due diligence and then implement the necessary change in order to be…

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Don’t make Council’s problem yours

Earlier this year the Christchurch Council lost its accreditation as a building consent authority.  It failed to meet criteria necessary for the accreditation.  However the Council has continued to issue building consents and government has maintained the view that the loss of accreditation does not affect the ability of the Council to issue consents. This…

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The new NZS 3910:2013 standard form building contract has been published

Most residential property developers use the NZS 3910 standard form of building contract.  It’s used for infrastructure works for a subdivision or for building high-rise apartments.  It’s used regardless of the procurement method e.g. traditional client-designed projects, design/build (with or without novated design consultants).  NZS 3910 has just had a make-over.  This should mean fewer special conditions…

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Developers – are you going to join the body corporate committee?

Developers commonly become members of the body corporate committee, especially if units remain unsold or it is a staged development, so as to retain control. There has been a recent case (Guardian Retail Holdings Limited v Buddle Findlay High Court, 27 June 2013) considering body corporate committee member’s personal liability.  The underlying issue was the…

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Whats different about residential property development in 2013?

We are seeing new structures and different property offerings.  Now Government, Council, community organisations, iwi are all active in this space.  The focus is mostly affordable housing – ironically being delivered via complex contract structures with multiple parties involved, probably adding cost to the development process.  But the land is going into and out of…

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Pre-sales that are bankable enough for the bank, flexible enough for the developer and sound enough for the buyer

It’s tricky – anticipating what the bank will want; especially if your plan is to change lenders once development funding is needed.  It definitely involves wearing a banker’s hat.  Balance that with matching the flexibility a residential property developer needs to manage unexpected changes, and the requirements of the contract to be something the market…

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Congratulations to the Sugartree development team

           Sugartree have secured their development finance and have started the construction of Stage 1 which comprises 148 apartments and 15 retail units together with basement car parking. Stages 2 and 3 include 425 more apartments, more commercial units, carparking and a rooftop garden.  The team at AlexanderDorrington have been working with the Sugartree developers…

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What to look out for when buying apartments off the plans

The increasing demand for housing in Auckland has fueled a return of residential apartment developments. The availability of affordable apartments could be seen as a welcome relief to those struggling to get their foot in the rising Auckland property market. There are a number of issues that any party buying an apartment off the plans…

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