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Report on Unit Tiles Acts submitted

Wellington, Saturday, May 28, 2016:

Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed a report on reform of Unit Tiles Act by a group of professionals involved with bodies corporate.

“This is a thoughtful report and proposes changes to make our property law around higher density housing work better. It is particularly important as apartments and townhouses become a more popular choice and an increasing share of the housing market in cities such as Auckland,” he said.

Dr Smith said that the Act was updated in 2010 but there are three major areas where improvements are recommended in this report:

They included the following: 1. Better disclosure rules to ensure people know earlier in the purchase process all relevant information about a unit or apartment and the governing body corporate 2. Accessibility of the dispute resolution processes and whether the Tenancy Tribunal is best placed to resolve disputes and 3. The role of body corporate managers and their legal obligations.

“I am open-minded about reform. There is always a balance to be struck between the benefits of additional compliance requirements and the costs these impose,” Dr Smith said.

“There are more than 14,000 body corporates in New Zealand, most of which have fewer than 10 units. There is a strong case for tighter regulatory requirements for the increasing number of large complexes involving hundreds of residents and millions of dollars in body corporate funds,” he added.

“I have asked officials to review these reform proposals and report back to me in August on potential options. I have also asked for a report on recent changes to unit title legislation in Australia to help inform any policy changes,” Dr Smith said.

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