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Completing a redevelopment of a unit title

Changes to a Unit Title after the title has been created is classed as a redevelopment. Redevelopments are a lengthy process, this article outlines what and who is needed to change the plan.

When a unit title development has been established, any changes to the boundaries are classed as a “redevelopment”.   As with a unit title subdivision (this process is outlined in our previous article which can be accessed here), this process involves a lawyer, surveyor, planner and valuer.

There are two types of redevelopment in relation to a unit plan:

  1. A redevelopment requiring an amendment to a unit plan; or
  2. A redevelopment requiring the deposit of a new unit plan.

A redevelopment is classed as a subdivision under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Amendment to a unit title plan

An example is when two units are looking to move the shared boundary-between them.

An amendment to the title plan can be completed if:

  1. The boundary is to be adjusted between 1 or more units; and
  2. The adjustment does not affect the common property, and
  3. Does not affect the use, enjoyment or ownership interest of any other unit (any units that are not being adjusted), and
  4. Does not change the number of units in the development.

Provided the above requirements are met, the process is as follows:

  1. The owners of the unit/s that the boundaries are changing must obtain a certificate from the body corporate that the redevelopment reflects only an amendment to the plan and provide sufficient written information about this. The body corporate will then issue a certificate to this effect.
  2. A surveyor will need to complete a survey plan showing the changes to the boundaries.
  3. A planner or surveyor will need to obtain resource consent from the local authority.
  4. An application will need to be made to Land Information New Zealand.
  5. The local authority will need to provide its certificate.
  6. A valuer will need to provide a Reassessment Certificate confirming that units have been enlarged or reduced and the adjustment does not affect the boundaries of other units in the development.
  7. The lawyer will obtain any consents from interested parties to the adjustment and there will be documentation required to be signed by the owners with the lawyer.
  8. The plan will then be deposited with Land Information New Zealand and there will be new title/s created for the affected Principal Unit/s and an updated Supplementary Record Sheet with reference to a plan amendment.

Deposit of a new plan

A new plan is required for changes such as transferring common property into units or the creation of a new unit.

This process is more complex and time consuming than an amendment.  As a general overview, the process is:

  1. The body corporate must ensure that all owners of the unit/s materially affected have consented. There is a 28 day waiting period to confirm that no owner or interest holder (e.g., mortgagee, lessee) objects.
  2. The planner or surveyor will need to obtain resource consent from the local council.
  3. The surveyor will need to complete a survey plan.
  4. An application will need to be made to Land Information New Zealand.
  5. The local authority will need to provide its certificate.
  6. The valuer will provide a Reassessment Certificate of the new ownership interests. This process also requires a special resolution (over 75% of owners agreeing) by the body corporate.
  7. The lawyer will obtain any consents from interested parties and there will be documentation required to be signed by the owners with the lawyer.
  8. The plan will then be deposited with Land Information New Zealand and there will be new title/s created for the Principal Unit/s and an updated Supplementary Record Sheet.

Completing an amendment or depositing a new unit plan requires planning and open communication between the owners wanting to make these changes, the body corporate and the other owners in the development.

The process can take a few months to obtain all the necessary sign offs and certificates. Due to the complexity and timeframes involved in creating a new plan, it is essential to consult your lawyer for advice regarding, for example, ownership changes before the new plan deposits.  Having all the consultants involved early will identify the best way forward in all situations.

 

This article is current as at the date of publication and is only intended to provide general comments about the law. Harkness Henry accepts no responsibility for reliance by any person or organisation on the content of the article. Please contact the author of the article if you require specific advice about how the law applies to you.

For further information

Charlotte Muggeridge - Harkness Henry Associate

Charlotte Muggeridge

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