Can a Body Corporate own a Unit Title?

August 26, 2013

in Property

Property: Unit Titles Act 2010We act for a number of body corporates and we are receiving increasing enquiries asking whether a body corporate can own a Unit Title in a unit title development.

In many cases the question is arising either because the body corporate wishes to buy out a delinquent or difficult unit owner or the body corporate has decided that it is for the benefit of all owners to acquire one of the units for common use or benefit.

Under the old Unit Titles Act 1972 it was relatively clear that the ownership of a unit by a body corporate was not permitted. Section 37(5) of the Act specifically prevented ownership of any interest in land by the body corporate.

While there is not such a clear statement in the new Unit Titles Act 2010 the provisions of the Act are such, including sections 77 and 78, that ownership by a body corporate of land other than common property in a unit development is not permitted.

If the members of the body corporate wish to own land within the complex that is not designated at that time as common property then some form of other ownership would be required. Either a collective ownership by all of the unit owners, such as a company, or the most appropriate mechanism would be to have the unit that is to be transferred to common ownership converted to common property by means of a redevelopment under the Unit Titles Act 2010.

This would then bring the intended units within the control of the body corporate and the provisions of the Act pursuant to the legislation.

Farry and Co has extensive experience in all aspects of unit title developments and advising body corporates.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Paul Farry

09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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