Repair and Maintenance Rights for Unit Title Apartments

June 14, 2022

in Property,Unit Titles

A person’s home is their castle right? Theirs to do as they please.

Well if that home is a free-standing building on land with a freehold title, sure.

With an increasing number of us living in apartment buildings with a body corporate, you will probably know that there are times when you have to make decisions together with other owners, and generally majority rules.

What might come as a surprise to learn is that even within the confines of your own unit, you’re not always free to do whatever you want.

The automatic rights of repair and maintenance that go with a freehold title are not enjoyed by the owner of a unit title apartment, where the owner’s rights are what is provided for by the Unit Titles Act.

As an example, say your apartment has a balcony, and just like every other apartment in your building the decking is a basic kind of treated pine.

If you don’t like the look of the pine and want to replace it with something that is to your taste, you aren’t necessarily free to go ahead and do that.

If the different decking, or the work required to change the decking, could affect another part of the building (maybe new holes need to be drilled, or the new decking will channel water off your balcony in a different way), then any right to repair, maintain, and/or replace that decking could belong to the Body Corporate and not to you.  

As that shows, Body Corporate living involves a distinct set of rights and obligations to what a lot of us are accustomed to.

If you want to understand more before committing to body corporate/unit title ownership, or because your already in one, its worth getting some advice.

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

Wallace Revell
wrevell@farry.co.nz
09 379 0055

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 Law does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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