Property Problems: Body corporate is able to act over breaches

Thursday 5 August 2004

By The Landlord

Q. I am part of an owners' body corporate and we have a number of issues arising in our new 20-unit development. The development is a light business/residential mix and is listed as owner-occupier according to resource consent. Some units have been bought by investors and are being tenanted. To help this, owners are adding bedrooms to their building. This has brought additional people and cars that are being parked in carparks belonging to other people. Tenants are leaving large rubbish containers outside and so on. Generally the standard and appearance of the development (approximately 12 months old) is being degraded. Many owners have obtained consent to add rooms and have proceeded without the consent of the body corporate and in contradiction to the original resource consent. What can we do?

A. Your body corporate rules will cover alterations, nuisance and disturbance to other proprietors. From what you say it appears that certain proprietors are breaching the rules by their alterations, misuse of carparks and excess rubbish.

Under the Unit Titles Act 1972 the body corporate is able to take action for breaches affecting the common property and individual owners for breaches affecting their own units. However, before any legal action is initiated there are some practical steps the body corporate and/or owners can take.

Carparks: Each unit is allocated specific carparks. These carparks are for the exclusive use of the designated owner. If someone is parked in your carpark you have the right to call a towing company and have the car removed. The body corporate may want to look at erecting signs to remind drivers not to use carparks allocated to others.

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