Body Corporate Business Update April 2017
Increased district court jurisdictions
Legislation to modernise New Zealand’s Courts has increased the civil jurisdiction of the District Court from $200,000 to $350,000.
This means that the District Court now has jurisdiction to hear unit titles disputes where the order sought requires the payment of any sum, work to a value or other expenditure in excess of $50,000 but not more than $350,000 (see section 172(1), Unit Titles Act 2010).
Consequently, without limiting its inherent jurisdiction, the High Court now has jurisdiction to hear unit title disputes where the order sought requires the payment of any sum, work to a value or other expenditure in excess of $350,000 (see section 173(1)(a), Unit Titles Act 2010).
This change took effect from 1 March 2017.
Mixed use developments
The Auckland Unitary Plan – Operative in Part provides increased opportunities for mixed use developments in Auckland. The Metropolitan Centre, City Centre, Town Centre, Local Centre, Neighbourhood Centre and Mixed Use Zones in particular provide for a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial land uses as permitted activities. There is potential for an increasing number of multi-level mixed use developments in these areas.
Mixed use developments can foster a sense of community and contribute to a vibrant and vital urban environment. This type of development, the typical example of which is ground floor retail, mid-level offices and upper-level residential apartments, lends itself to being a unit title development. Issues that are commonly apparent in single-use buildings may, however, be amplified in a mixed use development.
Careful planning at scheme plan and building design stages of a development can help avoid issues relating to shared infrastructure, noise, odour, carparking and access conflicts. Specific operational rules and marketing can also help ensure that unit purchasers’ and unit occupiers’ expectations are appropriately managed.
Matters advised on
We have recently advised bodies corporate, unit owners and body corporate managers on:
- Common property easements
- Delegations and decision-making
- Responsibility for repairs and maintenance
- Property management agreements and disputes
Source: Body Corporate Business Update April 2017