A Unit Titled complex had a set of rules that they required owners to abide by.  These were created under the “old” Unit Titles Act 1972. 

Once particular rule prohibited owners from having pets in their apartments.  When a new owner moved in, they advised the Body Corporate that they were bringing a pet because the rules that prohibited this were not applicable anymore, as the Unit Titles Act 2010 (“the New Act”) cancelled those rules.  The Body Corporate took legal advice to confirm this.

The new owner was correct. Any Body Corporate rules registered under the 1972 Act have been cancelled entirely by the New Act, as any Body Corporate that did not change its rules by October 2012 is deemed to have accepted the default rules in the Unit Titles Regulations.  These default rules are very basic rules, and do not include any reference to pets.

If a Unit-Titled complex wishes to add to the default rules, they can register new rules.  Any new rules must relate to the control, management, administration, use, or enjoyment of the units in the Body Corporate, and cannot be contrary to the New Act.  You therefore cannot use rules to contract out of the New Act, or any other legislation.

Often complexes will want to consider rules around hanging of washing, pets, aerials, and other rules specific to their complex.  This can be done by agreeing to draft rules at a general meeting, and registering a specific notice with Land Information New Zealand. 

To pass the rules at a general meeting, this requires an ordinary resolution of the Body Corporate (ie a majority of votes).

It is vital to take advice when preparing rules for approval by owners at a general meeting, as any rules that are outside the power of the Body Corporate will either mean they can’t be registered, or leave the Body Corporate open to challenge by owners.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.