Unit Titles Amendment Act

19 November 2023

You may be aware the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 came into effect recently. The obligations of owners and Body Corporate are being introduced in several stages. The initial stages have already come into force with the last being implemented on 9 May 2024.

The Amendment Act aims to provide greater safeguards for people who buy or currently own unit title properties. Below are six key changes which may affect you as a current owner or prospective buyer of a unit title property.

  1. Attendance and Voting at Meetings

    Unit owners automatically become members of the building’s body corporate and have the right to attend annual general meetings and contribute to decisions about the unit title development. Previously these meetings could only be held in person. Now, owners have the option of remote attendance by audio link, audio-visual link or other remote access facility.

    From 9 May 2024 unit owners will have the ability to vote electronically before a body corporate meeting. However, keep in mind that the newly introduced “pay up to vote” specifies that owners eligible to vote must be up-to-date in paying their body corporate levies.

  2. Dispute Resolution Fees

    The Amendment Act has also introduced significant reductions in costs for those pursuing and resolving unit titles disputes. These changes include:

    • The Tenancy’s Tribunal jurisdiction to hear and resolve disputes has increased from $50,000 to $100,000;
    • A maximum fee in filing fees drops from $3,300 to $500; and
    • A fixed amount for legal fees in disputes where a body corporate is attempting to recover costs from owners with unpaid levies.

  3. Improving Disclosure Requirements When Buying or Selling

    Owners are required to provide purchasers with information about the unit title development and the body corporate. This information is disclosed in two documents before the agreement is signed and before settlement.

    The Amended Act provides purchasers with a wider range of important information than was originally required under the Unit Titles Act 2010. The disclosed information could include:

    • Any previous or current weathertightness or earthquake-prone issues;
    • Details of current court or tribunal proceedings;
    • Financial statements and audit reports of the body corporate;
    • Notices and minutes of both the body corporate meetings and the body corporate committee meetings;
    • Any significant defects;
    • Bank account information of the body corporate (including account balances);
    • Any funding for upcoming works and long-term maintenance plan;
    • Details including contact information of the body corporate manager;
    • Any remediation reports received by the body corporate;
    • Insurance details;
    • Off-the-plan units.

  4. Purchaser’s Right to Cancel or Delay Settlement

  5. Previously, there were no statutory consequences for owners who failed to provide complete or accurate disclosure statements and cancellation was only available to a purchaser if the disclosure statement was not provided within the required timeframe.

    Now, prospective purchasers have the right to delay or cancel the agreement without settling, where pre-contract disclosure statements are incomplete, incorrect, or have not been provided. This encourages vendors to provide accurate and detailed disclosure to avoid cancellation of the agreement.

  6. Raising the Standards of Body Corporate Governance

    The Amendment Act is modernising body corporate governance. Like the Unit Titles Regulation which commits body corporate managers to meet prescribed ethical and professional standards, the Amendment Act requires a higher standard from body corporate committee members to ethical and professional standards including:

    • complying and understanding the Unit Titles Act 2010, its regulations and other relevant legislation;
    • acting honestly, fairly, in confidence and in the best interests of the body corporate; and
    • disclosing any ‘interests’ which the body corporate must keep register of.

  7. Utility Interests

    Utility interests are costs associated with running the unit title development and are used to calculate the share to be paid by each owner. In the past, utility interests and ownership interests were often inseparable and by default, costs were equally shared between the unit title owners.

    Following the Amendment Act, developers now have the ability to assign a single utility interest or assign multiple utility interests in relation to a particular service or amenity. This will allow some interests to be assigned to specific units only.

    This can be beneficial for current unit owners who do not benefit from a particular service but are being charged for it in their levy. For example, ground floor units will not be assigned an interest for the annual costs of the elevator as it is only necessary and used exclusively by units on the upper floors. This also will enable some owners to exclusively benefit from an amenity that other unit owners don’t have access to, such as a private courtyard.


It is anticipated that the new legislation will create greater confidence for purchasers and more effective management of body corporates resulting in greater protection for current owners.

If you would like assistance in ensuring that you comply with the new provisions or would like advice before selling or purchasing a unit title property, please contact us.

Kainoa Hemi is part of our Private Client team at Norris Ward McKinnon.