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The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 was given the Royal Assent on 9 May 2022. This Act will come into force on 9 May 2024 unless the commencement date is brought forward by regulations.

The changes made in this Act will be of interest to all unit owners, prospective unit owners and body corporate managers.

The Act is a significant progression in building an advanced legal framework for the rapidly growing lure of apartment living amidst the increasing cost of housing.

When most Kiwis envisage owning a property, they tend to think about a standalone home on sizeable section. Whilst this type of property ownership has previously prevailed, these expectations no longer align with the reality of purchasing a home. Apartment living is accelerating in New Zealand’s biggest cities, imitating that of large cities all around the developed world. In the tough reality of the current housing market, apartment living presents opportunities for first home buyers to purchase a home and embrace the benefits of inner-city living and property investors.

Against this backdrop, the Amendment Act has modernised the operations and governance of body corporates. The changes dictated by the Act are all about how people make decisions together, regulate each other, and resolve conflicts for the purposes of a cohesive environment to live and work together.


The key changes of the Act include:

Improving information disclosure to prospective unit buyers

The rules regarding pre-contract disclosure have been intensified. Previously a purchaser could only cancel or delay settlement if pre-settlement statement was not provided. Now, a purchaser is able to also delay settlement or cancel if the pre-contract disclosure is not provided or is not accurate or is incomplete. The purchaser also has the right to now cancel or delay if there is incorrect information in the pre-settlement disclosure statement whereas before they could not.

The cancellation remedy can only be exercised once the seller has been given notice to remedy the situation and provide the missing information or fix the incorrect information and does not remedy the issues.


Strengthening body corporate governance arrangements and standards of body corporate managers

The Act introduces a mandatory code of conduct for committee members and requires committee members to advise of conflict of interests and for a record of these to be retained. There is also a mandatory code of conduct introduced for body corporate managers. Managers must enter into a written agreement before acting in the role and they must disclose any conflicts of interest they might have so the body corporate can decide if they should be able to continue as manager.


Ensuring that unit title developments adequately plan for and fund long term maintenance projects 

The amendment Act imposes a requirement that if a body corporate decides not to have a long-term maintenance plan, this must be confirmed annually.


Mandatory body corporate managers

If you are in a development or complex of more than 10 units then a body corporate manager must be appointed unless a special resolution is passed. These body corporates must have a long-term management plan of 30 years rather than the standard 10 years.


Changes in dispute filing fee and costs for awards

The fees have been updated for a person filing an application in relation to a dispute under the Act

  • The fee for a dispute application to be referred to a Tenancy Mediator is $250
  • The fee for a dispute application to be referred to adjunction is $500 unless the dispute has been referred by a Tenancy Mediator and the Tribunal, in which case the fee is $250

The jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal has been increased to $100,000.00 for unit title issues. This has increased from the previous $50,000 threshold gives the tribunal a much larger jurisdiction to deal with unit title and body corporate disputes. This will save unit title owners the costs of a High Court proceeding and reduces the need to go to the High Court.

The tribunal can also make pecuniary penalty orders for a breach of the Act up to $5,000.00. This can occur where a body corporate manager has intentionally and unreasonable breached certain duties.


For more information about how the Unit Titles Amendment Act may affect you or your body corporate, contact us today