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New property law a big step in the right direction

New property law a big step in the right direction for apartment owners and residents

4 December 2006

Proposed property reforms to revamp the outdated law concerning apartments and other multi-unit properties are a big step in the right direction, says the Auckland Regional Council (ARC).

The reforms, recently announced by Building Issues Minister Clayton Cosgrove, aim to ensure a fairer rental market through changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, and to establish a broader and more adaptable framework for multi-unit living through a complete revamp of the Unit Titles Act 1972.

Paul Walbran, Chair of the ARC’s Regional Strategy and Planning Committee, applauds the reforms that came about after the ARC approached the government about a range of problems associated with the management and maintenance of multi unit properties.

“If we are promoting intensification, then the ARC has a moral obligation to ensure that it works for everyone. Unit titles are a new concept for many people and we want to ensure that legislation assists owners, residents and neighbours of multi-title buildings to all have a positive experience,” says Councillor Walbran.

He commented that, although the ARC is impressed with the progress made towards updating the Unit Titles Act, the remaining steps are equally important. When drafting the new act it is important that central government continues to listen to unit owners, body corporate specialists and local bodies to ensure that the new legislation is workable, robust and practical.

The proposals aim to provide for sound property management including long-term maintenance, dispute resolution, education and information provision, consumer protection and improved decision-making and financial management.

The proposed reforms could be further strengthened so that the legislation recognises the differences between the different unit titles (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, holiday accommodation, mixed activities) because they all have different issues and needs.

“If well done, these reforms will go a long way towards helping to create harmonious communities in high density areas.”


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