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Unit Titles Act Amendments

13 May 2022

Unit Titles Act Amendments

The Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) and associated regulations will be amended to address some known issues and deficiencies.

The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 (Amendment Act) was enacted on 9 May 2022. The Amendment Act is not in force yet, but a commencement date will be set separately by regulations. Or, if no date is set, the Amendment Act will commence on 9 May 2024.

Key changes of interest to all unit owners, prospective unit owners, and body corporate managers include:

  • the ability to establish separate utility interests for different expenses
  • a requirement for bodies corporate to retain records, and make information available to unit owners for the purpose of disclose
  • a permanent ability to hold meetings remotely with electronic voting
  • formalising committee processes including the introduction of a mandatory code of conduct for committee members and conflict of interest provisions
  • defining body corporate managers and their role including the introduction of a mandatory a code of conduct and conflict of interest provisions

The disclosure regime on the sale and purchase of units has also been amended to increase the scope of disclosure required at the pre-contract stage.

Other amendments clarify the type of resolution (ordinary or special) required for different decisions, and the scope of a committee’s delegation authority.

Any unit title development with 10 or more principal units is classified as a “large unit title development”. Additional requirements relating to the engagement of a body corporate manager and long-term maintenance planning apply to large unit title developments.

In respect of unit title disputes, amendments to the UTA will:

  • increase the jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal to includes disputes up to $100,000 in value
  • allow for costs awards to cover legal costs and disbursements (subject to regulations); and
  • enable the Tenancy Tribunal to impose fines on body corporate managers who breach their duties under the UTA.

In addition, the Unit Titles (Unit Title Disputes – Fees) Regulations 2011 are amended to revoke the categorisation of unit title disputes and amend the filing fees payable. Fees will be set at $250 for disputes referred to a Tenancy Mediator and $500 for disputes referred to a Tenancy Adjudicator. Where a dispute cannot be resolved at mediation, the top up fee for then sending it to an adjudication is $250.

Finally, a compliance regime is introduced. The Amendment Act empowers the chief executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, or other authorise person, with:

  • powers of inspection
  • the power to issue “improvement notices” to rectify contraventions of the UTA; and
  • the power to issue proceedings.

For more information about how the Amendment Act may affect you or your body corporate, contact Vicki Toan.