Apartment living – pros and cons

March 25, 2015

in Property,Unit Titles

Property: Unit Titles Act 2010Due to the increasingly tight property market in most of New Zealand’s main centres Prime Minister John Key has suggested that first home buyers should consider buying an apartment.

This is a common occurrence in most metropolitan cities however apartment living does have its pros and cons.  We explore some of the pros and cons you should consider before taking the step towards apartment hunting:


  • Maintenance of the apartment is usually undertaken by the landlord or body corporate. Maintenance fees are usually included in the annual body corporate levies. However, this would need to be checked prior to purchasing.
  • Some apartment blocks provide access to amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, communal BBQs, covered parking, air-conditioning and secure entry that you may not get if you were to buy a separate dwelling.
  • Less space may suit people who live alone and who are not interested in getting a housemate in order to contribute towards their mortgage.
  • The cost of apartment living is usually less in terms of utilities such as electricity and water.
  • An apartment may also suit those who work in the area they plan to buy in. Closer proximity to work means less commute time (and perhaps less stress!) and less expenditure on travel.


  • You may not be able to make improvements to your apartment without first obtaining body corporate approval, a process that can often be quite arduous. Research would need to be undertaken as to what additions and alterations could be made.
  • The loss of privacy can take some getting used to and you would need to consider how much noise you would be willing to put up with not just from tenants within the apartment block but also within the area the block is based i.e. bars and nightclubs, traffic and local business noise.
  • Body corporate levies for some apartments can be quite high so you would need to check all body corporate information to determine what levies (including other than the standard body corporate levy) the body corporate were charging and what those charges consisted of and contributed to. Apartment blocks on leasehold land need further investigation as the land you live on is owned by one person/entity only and a ground rental is payable to that person/entity. Ground rental can be reviewed as often as every five to seven years and you would need to consider whether you could afford the change in rental.
  • Weathertightness issues and building defects need to be considered especially in respect to apartment blocks that were built in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
  • Some apartments may not offer parking in which case you would need to consider whether you would be willing to pay extra for the benefit of allocated parking.

The Unit Titles Act 2010 sets out rules in respect to units in developments and the disclosure of information required to be given to prospective purchasers by vendors.

If you are considering purchasing an apartment it would be advantageous to discuss your plans with a lawyer before signing any agreement. We are experienced in all aspects of property conveyancing and unit title ownership.

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:

Erin Maher
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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