Unit Titles and Leasing

Leasing unit titles is more complex than other forms of leasing. The Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) and the body corporate operational rules will prevail over the lease. The landlord might only have a very small say in how that plays out. This depends on their individual voting power. There is another layer of rights…

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Proxies and Powers of Attorney

In the past proxies were commonly used in the unit title setting.  Developers would provide for them in sale contracts.  Property managers would include them in leases of serviced apartments.  It gave the developers and the managers the opportunity to control decisions made by the body corporate.  These provisions are now of little use given…

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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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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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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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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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Webinar – management rights, management issues and developers

The webinar will be of interest to those involved with management rights – primarily developers, current managers or possible purchasers of management rights.  We will talk about: the Unit Titles Act 2010 s139 and s140 duties of care on developers recent Court cases (including the decision at The Sentinel and Atrium Management) whether there remains such…

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UTA 2010 – searching the register, enduring proxies, chairperson and transition

The Auckland High Court recently considered an application from Lihua Limited, against Body Corporate 366611, Theta Management Limited and BCS Limited.  The procedural decisions may be of interest to those managing body corporates.  The case concerned the Empire apartment building in Auckland.  It seems to arise out of two management companies operating at the building.  Theta manages…

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Long term maintenance plans

See www.dbh.govt.nz to download a template long term maintenance plan for a complex or simple body corporate.  These plans are now compulsory for a body corporate and will need to be provided by a unit owner to a purchaser if they ask for additional disclosure.  Long term maintenance funds are however optional and the body corporate can…

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Management agreements and exclusive letting

The first is the Court of Appeal’s decision on 21 February 2012 in Atrium Management Limited v Quayside Trustee Limited (In receivership and liquidation).  This case was concerned with an agreement for the sale and purchase of management rights.  It was not a body corporate challenging a management agreement as ultra vires or trying to use section…

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