|Part of the |
Strata title is a form of
Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in the
Other countries that have adopted the Australian system (or a similar variant) of apartment ownership include:
Strata Title Schemes are composed of individual lots and common property. Lots are either apartments, garages or storerooms and each is shown on the title as being owned by a Lot Owner. Common Property is defined as everything else on the parcel of land that is not comprised in a Lot, such as common stairwells, driveways, roofs, gardens and so on.
A Unit Title can be either a Stratum in
A person purchasing a unit title purchases a Principal Unit, which is designed as a place of business or residence; any accessory units included in the title for the principal unit, such as car parks and storage lockers; and a beneficial interest in the common property, such as corridors, air ducts, building structure and entry ways; and membership in the body corporate, which is composed of all unit owners and which legally owns the common property.
Creation of a unit title is a type of subdivision and so requires the approval of the relevant territorial authority under the Resource Management Act 1991, as well as under the Unit Titles Act 2010. A unit plan must be deposited with Land Information New Zealand and new titles issue in respect of each principal unit.
The body corporate is responsible for maintaining the common property and the structure of the building (if this duty is delegated by the owners), and for insuring the common property and the building structure. The body corporate can set rules governing the use of the common property (for example, an owner who causes damage must repair it) and the units (for example, no keeping pets or making noise after a certain time), and for the regulation of the body corporate. These rules must be registered and non-registered rules do not have legal effect. The operations of the body corporate are paid for by levies on all owners. Levies are assigned based on the ownership interest or utility interest of the particular unit. An ownership interest is based on the value of the unit, while a utility interest is either the ownership interest or a proportion that is fair and equitable having regard to the costs and benefits of the unit.
The owners in the unit title development must meet yearly to approve the levies, the financial statements, long term maintenance plan and fund (if any), approve changes to the body corporate rules (if any), and the appointment of the body corporate chairman and committee (if any). The body corporate can delegate most of their duties to the committee of the owners. The body corporate can also enter into service agreements in respect of the administration of the body corporate, usually to a
A body corporate must have a long term maintenance plan, which provides for maintenance of the common property for at least ten years and an estimate of the costs. The long term maintenance plan is then paid for by the long term maintenance fund, which must be separate from the body corporate general operating fund. However, a body corporate can elect not to have a Long Term Maintenance Fund.
Disputes under the Unit Titles Act are heard in the Tenancy Tribunal.