Body Corporate Business Update July 2017
Unit Titles Disputes
The Tenancy Tribunal and Courts have jurisdiction to hear and determine “unit title disputes”.
Unit title disputes are all disputes arising out of or in connection with a unit title development. The types of person who may be party to a unit title dispute is a wide-ranging. The list in section 171(2) of the Unit Titles Act 2010 includes: current, former and prospective principal unit owners, occupiers of principal units, owners and occupiers of future development units, the body corporate, an administrator (appointed under section 141), a registered valuer, a service contractor (such as a body corporate manager or building manager), the original owner (developer), and the lessor of the base land.
Despite the potential breadth of personalities and issues that may be brought to the Tribunal or the Court, unit title disputes are most commonly between the body corporate and one or more unit owners in respect of debt recovery. Other types of disputes either do not occur, or they are resolved out of court. Alternatively, these other disputes are not resolved at all and the parties involved carry on as best they can. The time and cost of bringing proceedings, even in the Tenancy Tribunal, makes that third option the most likely.
This is one area that is included in the review of the Unit Titles Act which started in 2016. It is an area of unit titles law that needs change in order to provide effective, efficient and appropriate solutions for people connected to unit title developments. The review has not publicly progressed since submissions on MBIE’s discussion document closed in March, but we hope that it will be continued and expanded.
Matters advised on
We have recently advised bodies corporate, unit owners, and body corporate managers on:
- building management agreements
- common property leases
- sale and purchase of unit property
- decision-making processes
- debt recovery
Source: Body Corporate Business Update July 2017