The Unit Titles Act 2010 will replace the Unit Titles Act 1972 in late 2010. The old Act has been unable to properly provide and cater for the myriad of significant multi-story unit title developments built in the last two decades, and the new Act seeks to address the shortcomings of the current regime.
A few of the key points and changes under the new Act will be as follows:
- Major decision making by a body corporate will now require 75% member agreement as opposed to unanimous agreement under the current Act. This should prevent situations where a small number of proprietors have been able to stand in the way of decisions the overwhelming majority have been in favour of.
- Owners will not be able to vote unless their levies are paid.
- Relief will be available to minority voters who voted against a resolution, if it can be shown that the passing of the resolution will be unjust or inequitable to the minority. The same applies to a majority voter who voted in favour of a resolution (but which fails to meet the 75% threshold), if they can show that injustice or inequity will result from the failure of the resolution to be adopted.
- The onus on the body corporate to keep and maintain common property in good order now extends to situations where problems relate to two or more units (not common property). The key benefit is that defects will now be attended to before they become major issues which affect more proprietors than they otherwise would under the old regime where proprietors would have no obligation to act fast and avoid such situations.
- The introduction of a fairer unit entitlement system which seeks to address situations where certain proprietors are paying a levy greater than they should, having regard to the utilities they use in the building.
- ‘Sub-body corporates’ will be used for developments which have more than one use. This will ensure that each body corporate can focus on a core area of the development as opposed the current situation where an all-encompassing body corporate can lead to inequity in treatment.
- Body corporates will be required to establish both long-term plans and maintenance funds with a view to protecting the long term interests of the development.
- Disputes can now be heard by the Tenancy Tribunal which should be far less costly and time consuming than applications to the High Court as required under the old regime.
- New disclosure requirements mean that purchasers of units will now be able to request, and vendors will be obliged to provide, information regarding the unit such that any purchaser has full disclosure.
The above is only intended to be a brief overview of some of the key changes which will come into effect under the new Act. McVeagh Fleming has experienced Commercial Property teams in both of our offices who are more than happy to discuss the changes and how they may affect you as a proprietor, tenant or prospective purchaser of a unit title property.
Brandon Cullen | Partner | Albany Office
(09) 966 3609 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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This article is published for general information purposes only. Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.