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Unit titles law to be reviewed

15 November 2004 Media Statement

Unit titles law to be reviewed

Building Issues Minister Margaret Wilson, today released a discussion document reviewing the law on multi-unit dwellings and developments.

The Unit Titles Act provides a system for creating and owning individual unit titles within a development or high-rise building. It also governs the establishment of bodies corporate to administer developments’ common areas and carry out management and administrative tasks.

“The Unit Titles Act was passed in 1972, when multiple-unit buildings were emerging on our urban landscapes,” said Margaret Wilson.

“There has since been a proliferation of apartments, townhouses and high-rise buildings. For example, about 45,000 Aucklanders live a multi-unit dwelling. This number is due to increase to 500,000 within 50 years.

"The act does often doesn't meet the needs of modern buildings. Many people, from apartment dwellers to property developers, are experiencing frustration with it in its current form.

"For example, the wide range of multiple-unit buildings has created more complex issues around maintaining common property or common utilities.

“There are also questions around how staged developments - where the detail of future development is not fully provided for at initial stages - are managed to protect both occupants and developers.

“Models for governing and administering bodies corporate need to be explored as the types and sizes of, and uses for, unit title developments grow,” Margaret Wilson said. “It’s also important to ensure intensive developments are sustainable."

The discussion document builds on issues already identified by the Law Commission and the Auckland Regional Council.

The discussion document is available on the Department of Building and Housing’s website at www.dbh.govt.nz. Submissions close on 28 February 2005.


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