In this last quarterly update for 2019 we provide an update on the where matters are at regarding the long-ago changes promised to the Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA). It is worth noting that the UTA had minor amendments undertaken in 2013 and since then promises of significant changes have been given.
More recently Scope Strata attended a meeting where Nikki Kaye from the National Party gave an update on where the UTA amendments were presently. Nikki has been working in the background on this legislation for quite some time and is seeking to introduce a Private Members Bill to Parliament. This draft legislation is called the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. If the bill is accepted to get a reading it will still need to go through Select Committee and consultation phases. I outline some of the key changes proposed below which provides some idea of current changes being considered.
A key change would be the use of multiple Utility Interests for specific items of costs that the body corporate deems more beneficial to some units over others. An example could be a lift where it is generally accepted that the higher up the building you are the more benefit the lift is to you. Under present obligations all owners pay for lift servicing if it is within the common property proportional to their Utility Interest. This could apply to a number of specific property costs
Another change would be the restriction on use of proxies which would include no allowance for more than one proxy to be held by an owner for a property with less than 20 units, or otherwise a maximum of 5% of total units can be held by one owner. Another change would see the committee required to have a written code of conduct and addressing conflicts of interest such as not being able to vote on a matter where such a conflict is present.
All bodies corporate would also be required to hold a 30-year Long Term Maintenance Plan that is peer reviewed every three years. This would replace the current ten-year plan. For a property with 30 units or more owners would each year be a requirement to fully fund the plan and have an annual audit of the funds held.
In terms of disclosure requirements on a unit’s sale there would only be one disclosure statement only required, but it would need to include 7 years of financial information and 3 years of all meeting minutes including those of the committee.
If you have any specific questions regarding the proposed legislation, or would like to review a copy of the draft please contact our office – 09 320 5215 and we would be happy to assist.