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Unit Titles - Body Corporates

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On 31 March 2010, the Unit Titles Act 2010 was passed replacing the older Unit Titles Act 1972. The new Act relates to the creation and management of developments such as apartment blocks and flats.

The Act will provide a more flexible legal framework which is able to better deal with the complex, and diverse large scale of property developments today.

The Act will not come into force until later this year once a number of regulations contemplated by the Act have been developed.  They are presently being worked out.

The Act makes a number of changes to the Unit Titles Act 1972, some of the key changes are:

The most significant change is that the Act provides a comprehensive disclosure requirement which was lacking in the Unit Titles Act 1972. The significance of the disclosure provisions of the Act is that purchasers of unit titled properties will now be entitled to pre-contractual, post-contractual and pre-settlement disclosure of certain information. This will enable purchasers to make a more informed decision on their purchase. More importantly, the Act does not allow the parties to contract-out of the disclosure provisions.

The Act has a lower voting threshold of 75% for body corporate decisions. Under the old Act, bodies corporate required a unanimous agreement. The lower voting threshold will make decision making more manageable and will enable the body corporate to act in the interests of the majority of unit owners. The reduced voting threshold will prevent voting on important matters from being blocked by one unit owner. This occurred frequently under the old Act.

The new Act states that the body corporate owns the common property. This will enable the body corporate to act on behalf of all unit owners and get common property repaired. The body corporate will also be required to make a long-term maintenance plan spanning ten years.

The Act clarifies the definition of “principal uni”t which must contain or be contained in a building. A more fair system is also created for calculating how much a unit owner should contribute to body corporate funds. The Act provides for cost effective dispute resolution by way of mediation or adjudication in the Tenancy Tribunal.

The Act streamlines the process under which a development is built in stages.

 

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"Gosh these Trust documents are so long. There should be shorter documents. but I suppose they are necessary. But good of you to include so many docments in your site. We have been helped by your wills sites too. John Mc."
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"Dear Net Law,
I am perplexed on a matter concerning challenging a will. My father is a very elderly man living in New Zealand, my mother passed away some 35 years ago; I have 6 siblings – 5 males - 1 female all well over the age of 18 years. My father has verbally informed me I shall not be a beneficiary, and/or at best in a minor way. I am not an executor of my fathers will nor have I have seen its contents. My father’s verbal communication has various versions dependent upon his mood. As I understand the situation from your website I can get a copy of my fathers will once probate has been granted and the will is in the public domain, hence one can then get a full understanding of the contents of the will. However how does one challenge a will once probate has been granted?

Netlaw advises: You must advise the executor of the will within 6 months that you intend making a claim and you have 12 months from probate being granted to lodge the claim. But do so as soon as you can.

Netlaw
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"Dear Netlaw,
I have just found out that i have been left out of my grandparents will. I am 1 of 4 grandchildren and the others are named in the will. How successful might i be in contesting and what is the first step in this process - i am not sure at this point wether it is financially viable to contest as i may end up spending more money contesting through lawyers - your thoughts?
Thanks.

Netlaw replies: You are able to contest a will of a grandparent. Equal sharing is NOT one of the legal principles but the Family Court would want to know why you were left out. We have all the law and procedure on Netlaw but try a good look at the New Zealand Family Court website and look for headings under the Family Protection Act 1955 or "Contesting a Will". There is some good stuff on that website. You could do it yourself if you are prepared to spend a bit of time. There is a section on the Family Court website on representing yourself.

Hope this helps . . . Richard at Netlaw"

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"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
"Now that I understand the principles it has made it easier for me to prepare and make final decisions. thank you. Kirsten."
"Great coverage to have it all laid out. Could you try and give us some uncomplicated documents. yours are useful but are there any simpler docs? Keep up the good work. A really helpful website. Graeme H. Wellington - May 2007"
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

"Hi Netlaw...i have found your site very helpful to me in applying for a parent order. Anexcellent site with the right information, easy to use steps.

Thanks so much :)))"

"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
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"Can the Family Protection Act help 2 kids 11 and 13 to some provision from their fathers estate when there is no will. They live with their mother (divorced from late father) and now his defacto (no children involved) is claiming everything and not willing to make any provision for these children. House and furniture gone to her as purchsed jointly but there is still balance of insurance, super ann. ute, boat and personal effects that could be dispersed to them. At present all they have is hte ACC weekly payment that replaces the child support thir father paid.
Is there anything fathers family can do to get something for his boys? Any thoughts or othe similar experiences??

Netlaw replies: YES. A claim can be made if there is no will. It sounds as if they have a very dtrong case. See a lawyer immediately.

"

"Dear Netlaw,
Our father had a will which was invalidated by a 3-day form of marriage. The woman in question got divorced 1-month before and married our father when he was in a semi-coma and he died 3-days later. The supposed spouse is now applying to be Administrator under the Administration Act and after $121,000 + 1/3 share of remaining property. Could you please advise, do the children (there are 4 of us) have any remedies? Your expertise will be gratefully received and is very much appreciated, thank you.

Netlaw replies: Yes. Children can file a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 asking the Family Court to provide "further provision" from the will. Our special topic "Family Protection Act 1955" covers the principles.

But in this case, you might also be able to challenge the validity of the new will on the basis of your father's medical condition and possibly on the basis that he signed under pressure."

"Hi
I have a mother who is 80 years old with dementia. We (6 children) don't think she has a will and no EPOA. She has no real assets except $8000 in the bank which is intended for her funeral. Are we likely to run into any problems or major costs if no will exists at her death. Is there anything we could do now to make life easier in the event of her death. I'm guessing if she doesn't have a will now, its probably too late.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Netlaw replies - It is too late unfortunately. See a lawyer."

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"My husband and I liked all this information. Keep it up please! Well worth the $45. We have spent so much on lawyers, blast them. I suppose they are necessary but when we see these concepts set out simply by you in Netlaw we wonder what all the secrecy and fuss was about in other matters. "
"I have heard that through the Will I am able to gift up to $27 500.00 of my property per year to some one that I want to inherit without paying gifting fees where do I find a template for this

Netlaw answers: Good morning,

You posted a blog on Netlaw this morning. We reply as follows.

Gift duty is not payable on money or assets which pass under your will. Therefore, you can leave $1,000,000 to someone in your will and it is not classified as a gift.
However, if you wanted to give someone $1 million during your lifetime then that would attract gift duty at 40 cents in the dollar (subject to a more specific calculation about a lesser amount of gift duty in some bands above $27,000) for any amount gifted over $27,000 per year. This is why gift programmes over a number of years have to be set up during the course of your lifetime to avoid or minimise paying gift duty.
But we repeat - money or assets left under a will are not treated as gifts for gift duty purposes. Nor are death duties payable any more. They were abolished well over 10 years ago.

Cheers . . . . Netlaw"

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