Changes to retentions

What are the proposed changes? Changes are being mooted to retention arrangements. The Government has announced that a "deemed trust" arrangement is their proposed solution to protect subcontractors from circmustances like those that followed Mainzeal’s collapse. Retention funds won’t need to be held in a separate bank account though so whether the funds are truly…

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Unit titles, developers and the control period

Control Period and Turnover Disclosure The Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) treats a developer as being in control of a unit title development from the date the unit plan deposits until the date the developer or its associates owns or controls less than 75% of the votes in the body corporate.  Associates are defined widely and include the developer’s agents, trustees or…

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Unit Titles Act – Ownership Interests and Utility Interests

When a unit title development is created a valuer must assess the ownership interest for each unit, which is essentially the relative market value of that unit compared with all of the other units. It’s possible for the body corporate to also establish a separate utility interest for each unit.  That utility interest is then used to…

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Unit titles, developers and the control period

Control Period and Turnover Disclosure The Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) treats a developer as being in control of a unit title development from the date the unit plan deposits until the date the developer (or its associates) owns or controls less than 75% of the votes in the body corporate.  Associates are defined widely and include the developer’s agents, trustees or…

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Unit Titles Act – Ownership Interests and Utility Interests

When a unit title development is created a valuer must assess the ownership interest for each unit, which is essentially the relative market value of that unit compared with all of the other units. It’s possible for the body corporate to also establish a separate utility interest for each unit.  That utility interest is then used to…

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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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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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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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