21 Dec 2016

NZ's apartment laws to be changed

9:10 pm on 21 December 2016

Sweeping changes are being proposed to the way people buy and own apartments.

Environment Minister Nick Smith.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith said a shake-up of the Unit Titles Act was needed to better protect apartment owners and encourage high-density living.

"We need better property laws to support the change in our cities, where more people are living and investing in townhouses and apartments.

"The number of households in unit titles is already 145,000, with a value of more than $50 billion. This number is expected to double by 2040."

Six key changes were being proposed:

The reforms would hopefully make apartment and townhouse living a more attractive option, Dr Smith said.

"The average complex size currently is only 10, but many new developments have more than 100 units. The responsibilities and finances of body corporates now requires a greater degree of professionalism and regulation," he said.

The reforms were initiated by Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and a group of property professionals who highlighted inadequacies in the current law.

Consultation will end on 3 March.

View the full proposal (PDF, 1.47MB)

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