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  1. #1

    Default Unit title extension?

    I'm hoping someone has some information on unit titles.

    We have a 1970's townhouse in a until title structure, it is 1 of 3 (total land 1100 sqm) and we have added a minor dwelling on to our own 673sqm title 3 years ago with the other owners agreement. The owner of the Unit 1 is detached and is really keen to separate. Unit 2 and our - Unit 3 is attached by a partition wall.

    Now we have been told by surveyors that we can separate the unit titles into individual freehold titles and this way we can then subdivide our 2 dwellings. Unfortunately the owner of Unit 2 does not want to do this even though we said that we will incur the costs.

    We were wondering if there was another way of approaching it so everybody is happy. Can a unit title be expanded or added to if we can get the other owners to agree to it? Can the the minor dwelling be added into the unit title as another unit on the unit title? I can't find any info on whether this is possible. Or is it possible to separate unit 1, separate the minor dwelling by creating a new title and Unit 2 & Unit 3 can stay as a Unit title?

    Thanks for any information

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Do you know why Unit 2 is not interested in freeholding? If at no cost to them it is surely to their considerable advantage. Maybe they don't realise.

    I don't see why the unit plan cannot be changed if all owners agree. Legal advice would be helpful, not to mention a significant bank balance!

    Buy out unit 2? A possibility at some point perhaps. Jointly with unit 1?

    The other thing is how the Body Corporate is managed. Small complexes like yours often don't have BC managers and levies / maintenance / long term plans / insurance / accounts / AGM etc is done on an informal basis, or even not at all. If that is the case, then may be worth looking at formalising the BC structure. That should be done in any case but may persuade an individual owner to consider alternatives.

  3. #3


    Thank you for your thoughts Artemis.

    Unit 2 has the smallest portion of the total land and he occupies about 90% of his unit title. He is concern that if his house burns down the council may not approve of him rebuilding. We know this is not the case because we have spoken with the council.

    We can't pay him off or buy him out so we are trying to think outside the box. Ideally we want to be able to separate our 2 dwelling so we can sell one and keep one to pay off some of our mortgage.

    Common area is just the shared driveway so we don't have a BC but our Unit and Unit 2 have insurance with the same insurer. We opted not to have a BC as we don't have to (a unit title development of nine or fewer principle units may form a body corporate committee).

  4. #4


    There is provision in the unit title act to redevelop the site and change from unit titles you need to read this carefully. You don't need unanimous support,
    You could satisfy the unit 2 by getting a certificate of compliance from council that would assure him that the proposal would not affect him. This is a akin to a resource consent

  5. #5


    Thanks John the builder.

    I just spent the afternoon reading the Unit Title Act 2010, I am certainly a lot more knowledgeable than when I started and definitely found a lot of info that I need.

    I like your idea of getting a Certificate of Compliance from the council! Unit 2 is a good neighbour and we want to work with him on this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005


    We are freehold in a unit title. The issue I have had was the entitlement calculations. To recalculate everyone's share required a solicitor. Then, when a new room was attached or built required a lodgement with LINZ at to the additional bedroom. Is this the reason why you need to break from a unit title? Do you mean to break away from that to cross lease? Do you share the same driveway?

    Is it that you are sharing a fire wall between your houses? Your neighbour may be worried about future (maybe you guys get on great but then later move overseas and he ends up with noisy tenants) and no recourse if issues such as noise issues coming from other side of wall, perhaps there are insurance snags with a shared roof that occur; maybe s/he is concerned about care and maintenance of driveways and common areas ... I know people with cross lease prefer body corp due to this requirement to pitch in and maintain.
    Last edited by AndyB; 15-03-2020 at 10:04 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005


    He is also going to have extra cars coming up and down due to a fourth property added to the existing property. I wouldn't be into that either.


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