The big-wigs among Eketahuna’s apartment developers, builders and dwellers will be toasting Housing Minister Phil Heatley down at the club tonight.
Legislation he introduced to modernise the way apartment blocks are built and managed received its first reading in Parliament today.
The Unit Titles Bill will make it easier to set up unit title developments and more flexible as well as streamline and simplify the way multi-unit developments are managed.
It was referred to the Social Services Select Committee and the public will soon have the opportunity to make submissions on the proposed changes.
“The old Unit Titles Act is out of date and is not meeting the needs of modern, intensive property developments. This Bill updates the Act at a time when apartment living is becoming increasingly popular.
“I look forward to making the sort of real, concrete improvements to unit title legislation that those living in and working with unit title developments have been waiting for.”
There are more than 16,000 unit title developments in New Zealand with nearly 96,000 units.
Around 70 percent of them are residential.
Within 50 years, Heatley reckons we are looking at half a million people living in multi-unit developments in Auckland alone.
“It is important to ensure the legislation governing multi-unit developments provides the right level of protection, is easy to understand and will continue to work into the future.”
Key proposed changes will ensure that if an apartment block has a leaky roof it will be the body corporate’s responsibility to fix it, rather than the responsibility of the owner of the top floor apartment.
Makes sense, eh?
And the bill would enable an apartment block, shopping centre and carpark building in a multi-use development to each have its own subsidiary body corporate to separately manage the interests of each group of owners. Each subsidiary body corporate will be a member of a head body corporate responsible for the overall management of the development.
Survey and title processes for surveyors and developers will be streamlined and the staged development process will be more flexible. Developers will be able to comply with subdivision consents in stages instead of having to comply with all conditions at the outset of the development.
The requirement for unanimity in body corporate decision-making will be removed. Decisions will be able to be made based on 75 percent agreement by those who vote at a body corporate meeting. This will mean unit owners who don’t vote will not be able to hold up the process.
There’s more to all this, as with any legislation. Check it out, if apartment living is your thing.