Sunday, June 20, 2021
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HomePoliticalUrgent Improvements Needed To Legislation Affecting Apartment Owners

Urgent Improvements Needed To Legislation Affecting Apartment Owners


The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa
has told a parliamentary select committee there is
widespread consensus that changes are needed to the Unit
Titles legislative regime and that the most urgent changes
should progress without delay.

The Law Society
addressed the Finance and Expenditure committee today about
its views on a member’s bill proposing changes to the Unit
Titles Act, including strengthening requirements for
apartments’ body corporate governance and
management.

“There has been criticism about the gaps
and errors in the legislation since the Act was passed in
2010. After a great deal of discussion and consultation,
there is general consensus in the industry on most of the
urgent changes needed to the Act – many of which are covered
in the Bill,” Law Society spokesperson John Greenwood told
the committee.

The Law Society supports amendments in
the Bill addressing issues that require urgent attention,
and has recommended some additional urgent
reforms.

“There needs to be a balance in terms of
protection for people investing in what will often be their
largest asset, their home, but too much regulation can cause
higher compliance costs which may disincentivise unit
ownership and discourage lay people from becoming involved
in body corporate governance. The Bill seeks to ensure that
balance is maintained,” Law Society spokesperson Thomas
Gibbons said.

“Given the length of time it has taken
for this Bill – which addresses issues needing urgent
attention – to get to select committee, there is concern
that momentum must not be lost. The Bill makes essential
improvements to several aspects of the Act and the Law
Society recommends that the Bill, subject to amendments, be
enacted as soon as possible.

The Law Society and other
stakeholders have also drawn attention to the need for
further and wider reform of the Act. The Law Society has
recommended the government undertake an immediate review to
follow enactment of the Bill, so that other less-pressing
but important issues can be considered and further
legislation introduced.

Notes:

The Law
Society’s submission on the Bill is here.

The
Bill is here.

The
submission was prepared by the Law Society’s Property Law
Section’s unit titles working group – comprising property
lawyers with extensive experience and expertise in unit
titles law. The Property Law Section was established in
April 2000 as a voluntary membership group, and it
represents the interests of over 1,500 property
lawyers.

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