Unit Title changes on the way

Monday 6 March 2017

Authors: Andrew Petersen and Elena Chang

​​​​​The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is undertaking a review of the Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA) and has sought submissions on certain proposals aimed at improving the unit title sector in New Zealand.

MBIE discussion document

MBIE issued a discussion document identifying targeted areas of the UTA for review and sought public input on a range of proposals aimed to resolve current issues with the UTA. There has been significant growth in the unit title sector since the introduction of the UTA, and growth in the sector is expected to continue, including in the number of unit titles, bodies corporate and practising body corporate managers (particularly in high population growth areas). The objective of the review is to ensure that the law that regulates unit title developments is functioning well and is fit for purpose for a growing market.

One of the major proposals for reform is a new distinction between unit title complexes based on their size, with smaller complexes being excluded from, or able to be opted-out of, compliance obligations altogether. In addition, five further targeted areas are identified for reform:

  • ​​improving the disclosure regime,
  • strengthening body corporate governance provisions,
  • ensuring professionalism in body corporate management,
  • improving the quality of body corporates' long term maintenance regimes, and
  • increasing the accessibility of the disputes resolution processes.

While the UTA applies to both commercial and residential arrangements, the review focuses on complexes containing residential units. 

Timeline for legislation

After MBIE has reviewed all submissions, it will develop a proposal which, if approved by the Government, will form the basis of new legislation. The target timeline for that draft legislation to be introduced is August 2017. We expect there will be further opportunities to have input into the Unit Titles reform.​

Bell Gully has made a submission on the proposals outlined in MBIE's discussion document. We would be happy to share that with any interested parties. Request the submission here.​​​​


This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.

For more information
  • Andrew Petersen

    Partner Auckland
  • Karl Anderson

    Partner Auckland
  • Elena Chang

    Senior Associate Auckland
Related areas of expertise
  • Real estate and projects
  • Residential property