Cabinet has agreed what the regulations to the Unit Titles Act 2010 will cover. It appears we will be given a mix of regulations (prescribing mandatory requirements) and consumer guidance documents (to enable the minimum requirements to be added to if a body corporate wishes to). This is to enable certainty or flexibility, depending on the needs of the individual body corporate.

In brief regulations or consumer guidance will be developed as follows:

Disclosure statements

The pre-contract disclosure statement will alert buyers to the existence of useful information:

  • it will be a list of documents with a short statement of their importance
  • it will explain what is coming in the other disclosure statements
  • the Department of Building and Housing are to develop a plain english default form for sellers to use

The pre-settlement disclosure statement will be similar to the existing s36 certificate – it’s a statement of unit owner liability

  • Additional disclosure statements will be a list of documents that a buyer can request and that a body corporate could reasonably be expected to have:
    • the list will be delivered with the pre-contract disclosure statement
    • the list is likely to include further financial information e.g. bank account balances; AGM minutes; key contracts; details of forthcoming maintenance and repair

    Default body corporate rules

    • there remains some uncertainty as to how far the new default rules will go
    • they will cover property right type issues but may also extend to issues that commonly cause disputes
    • default rules will apply to all existing bodies corporate (at the end of the 15 month transition)
    • consumer guidance will be developed to support the transition to the new rules at the first AGM following the commencement of the UTA2010
    • optional extra rules for residential developments, commercial, industrial or mixed developments will also be made available

    Body corporate governance

    • regulations concerning elections, meetings, committees, funds management and the content/use of the body corporate register will be developed
    • these will be supported by targeted consumer information and guidance

    Financial statements

    • a minimum set of requirements will be prescribed by regulation
    • an additional set of optional extra requirements for larger budgets will be included so that bodies corporate can determine by special resolution what is appropriate in any given year

    Long-term maintenance plans

    • the regulations will set out the broad principles of a best practice long-term maintenance plan
    • this will be accompanied by consumer guidance that gives more detail about specific building components that a plan should cover

    The regulations and consumer guidance documents are now being developed. The Department of Building and Housing is aiming to have this completed as soon as possible, but notes it is complex and may take some time.