What are the benefits of the new regulations for Unit-Titled properties?

June 12, 2024



What are the benefits of the new regulations for Unit-Titled properties?

In unit title ownership, which is very common in multi-owner buildings like apartments, you own your individual unit plus a share of communal areas. Additionally, you're part of a body corporate responsible for managing these shared spaces and setting regulations, which requires that you follow its rules and payment of associated fees.

The Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022, which came into effect on 9 May 2024, introduces a comprehensive set of regulations designed to improve the management and ownership of unit-titled properties. This legislative change is a significant step forward in ensuring that the process of buying and managing these properties is transparent, fair, and professional.

Prospective buyers will benefit from increased transparency, as they will receive detailed information about the property upfront. This change aims to provide a full understanding of what the purchase involves, to enable the prospective buyer to make an informed decision. The new rules also strengthen the rights of buyers, offering them greater protection and more remedies should they have issues post-purchase.

For body corporates, the entities responsible for the management of these properties, the amendment act defines a clearer operational framework. This framework mandates adherence to higher professional standards, ensuring that those in charge of managing properties are fully equipped and qualified to do so. The introduction of a mandatory code of conduct serves to formalise the expectations and responsibilities of body corporates, promoting a culture of integrity and accountability.

In addition to governance, the act requires body corporates to engage in thorough planning for significant repairs and maintenance. This forward-looking approach is intended to prevent unexpected expenditures and to ensure that properties are well-maintained for the long term. By mandating the establishment of a maintenance plan, the act ensures that all potential future work is anticipated, budgeted for, and communicated to unit owners.

Dispute resolution also receives attention under the new rules. The act introduces alternative methods for resolving disagreements, aiming to provide fair and efficient outcomes for all parties involved. This is particularly important in a communal living setting, where conflicts can arise from shared interests in the property.

The allocation of utility costs is another area addressed by the amendment. The act proposes a fairer distribution of these expenses, ensuring that each owner contributes a fair share relative to their usage and the benefits received. This change is expected to promote a sense of fairness and community among unit owners.

Finally, the act provides authorities with greater enforcement capabilities. This enhancement is crucial in ensuring compliance with the new regulations, maintaining the integrity of the system, and protecting the interests of all stakeholders.