Bill to modernise apartment laws on its way

A bill to modernise apartment ownership and body corporate laws will be introduced to parliament soon.

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 2:41PM

by The Landlord

The Unit Titles Bill will make unit title developments easier to manage and provide greater flexibility for both unit title owners and bodies corporate.

Building and Construction minister Shane Jones says, “Time and time again we have issues where unit owners are being hard done by. For example, I’ve heard of people buying an apartment then finding out the developer has locked the body corporate into a costly and unfair contract for services that the owners can’t get out of.”

He says the bill will stop events such as this from happening by providing access to dispute resolution services, so the involved parties can renegotiate the contract, or even have it cancelled if it is “really unfair.”

The bill is also set to prevent situations such as owners facing huge one-off levies for big ticket maintenance costs they simply can’t afford. Under the bill, the body corporate will be required to plan for maintenance and unit owners will contribute to future costs on a yearly basis.

Jones says the bill will also help people living in a leaky building, especially those trying to go through the repairs process, but are having problems with unit owners who don’t think they should be paying for repairs.

“The bill will empower the body corporate to act for the development as a whole and get repairs done,” he says.

Jones believes the 1972 Unit Titles Act is archaic and out of touch with modern property development, and the changes proposed to the Unit Titles Bill will bring the legislation into this century.

“The proposed changes will provide broader and more adaptable ways of setting up and managing multi-unit living, both now and the foreseeable future.”

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