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Unit Titles Act

Major changes to the unit titles legislation and regulations have turned the way unit title developments are administered on its head. The changes are many and complex. It is essential to get early legal advice to avoid unnecessary expense and delays.

For developers

We will help you structure your development to facilitate sales and maximise returns. Our lawyers have extensive experience in the full range of large mixed-use developments, multi-apartment, hotel, and student accommodation developments.

We are experts in securities law, an essential component of some shared ownership structures.

For bodies corporate

Getting it right first time saves you time and money. Kensington Swan can make sure body corporate chairs and committees work well with their corporate managers by:

  • bringing to bear our extensive experience to assist you in resolving contentious issues
  • ensuring all risks are covered in your agreements and appropriate indemnities are in place
  • ensuring contracts are competitive and that appropriate KPIs are in place to measure performance
  • providing education on legal requirements so key stakeholders are aware of their obligations under the Unit Titles Act and Unit Title Regulations
  • supplying legislative compliant meeting and other templates and guidance notes, to facilitate the seemless operation of your body corporate. For pre June 2011 bodies corporate we can provide a complete suite of template notices of meetings and guidance notes to ensure your body corporate is fully compliant with the Unit Titles Act 2010 and the Unit Titles Regulations 2011 by 30 September 2012. Many clients are already using our transition package to keep legal fees to a minimum.

For purchasers

If you are looking to buy a property in a unit title development, we know what information you need to obtain to protect themselves. We can provide a due diligence report, pointing out any pitfalls in the title or with the body corporate rules, so you know what you are getting into before you are fully committed. We can also provide guidance notes on all aspects of unit title development ranging from your financial obligations to your entitlement to vote at body corporate meetings.

For vendors

If you are looking to sell a property in a unit title development you will need to make a number of statutory disclosures (even before you sign a sale contract). If the disclosures are not made in time or do not contain the correct information the settlement of your sale may be delayed (or the purchaser may be able to cancel the contract). We can point out the pitfalls before you start the sale process and provide guidance notes and templates to ensure your sale is not put at risk.

Unit Title products

We have a number of inexpensive guidance notes to help bodies corporate ensure their body corporate is administered in compliance with the Unit Titles Act 2010 and the Unit Titles Regulations 2011. Failure to be fully compliant may see seller’s contracts fall through and lead to possible claims against the body corporate. Contact us for a full list of the guidance notes available.

For pre June 2011 bodies corporate we have a full transitional package to ensure full compliance by the 30th September 2012 deadline. This inexpensive package contains everything you need to call the required statutory meetings, adopt new operational rules to replace the new default rules, elect a chairperson and body corporate committee members, and to legally delegate powers and duties to the committee. Many of our clients are already using this package to save legal and management costs.

Recent experience

Peak Apartments, Wellington

The developer of the Peak Apartments in Wellington needed advice dealing with easements and rights relating to adjoining land. We were also able to assist with complexities arising from changes in Unit Title legislation. We ensured the development was fully compliant with the new law, even though many contracts were negotiated under the previous law.

Complex negotiations with Government agency

We acted for a body corporate involved in complex negotiations with a Government agency. We identified inconsistencies between the Public Works Act and the Unit Titles Act 1972. A settlement was negotiated and issues we identified were subsequently dealt with in the Unit Titles Act 2010.

Major unit-titled office building

Kensington Swan provided legal advice for the body corporate of a major unit-titled commercial office building needing help with several issues. These included dealing with a local authority on encroachments and a unit holder who did not wish to pay levies for a major upgrade of common property.



Related legal services

Commercial leasing law
Commercial conveyancing
Securities markets and NZX
Property dispute resolution

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Consultant, Wellington

+64 4 498 0891

Partner, Wellington

+64 4 498 0872

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