JUNE 2012

Owning a Unit Title Property

Beware the 1st October

There have been extensive changes made to the laws governing Unit Title properties with the Unit Titles Act 2010. One major change relates to Body Corporate Rules, now referred to as “Operational Rules”.

A Body Corporate is made up of all unit owners in a development. Body Corporate Operational Rules help the Body Corporate govern the development. They are a set of expectations placed on unit owners and help prevent disputes between people who live and possibly work in the development. Just as a registered company has a constitution to ensure the company is governed effectively (in conjunction with legislation) a Body Corporate needs its own set of rules.

The Unit Title Regulations 2011 prescribe minimum default rules. The default rules cover issues applicable to most unit title developments. However, the 2010 Act enables Bodies Corporate to add to or amend those rules to suit the individual characteristics of their development.

The new 2010 Act also states that the default Operational Rules apply to every Body Corporate (regardless of size or type) from 1 October 2012, unless amendments are made prior to that date.

Therefore, if you own a unit title property it is important to be aware that after 1 October 2012 any existing Body Corporate Rules applicable to your unit will no longer apply and instead, the default rules will become the Operational Rules under the Regulations.

Any changes must relate to the:

  • Control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the units or the common property; or
  • The regulation of the body corporate.

Therefore, if you belong to a Body Corporate and have not reviewed and/or updated your rules since 2011, then we strongly recommend that you come and see us to discuss the same. This recommendation is made irrespective of whether you live in a two unit development or a 200 unit development. The danger with allowing the default rules to apply without a detailed review is that the default rules may not suit or be applicable to your particular property.

It may be hugely dangerous for you and your investment in your property not to undertake our recommended review. We look forward to you contacting us.