Most people have heard of freehold titles and crosslease titles. A less common form of land ownership is Unit titles. The provision for Unit titles is contained in the Unit Titles Act 2010 and the division of a property under this act creates a number of Principal Units and a number of Accessory Units and the Common land.
Unit titles are frequently created for commercial sites or a complex of small residential dwellings, where there is a significant amount of land or facilities that are jointly used by a number of owners, or in the situation of multistoried buildings with separate individual ownership at different stories. In these situations, the more common form of titles is not appropriate.
A legal entity called a body corporate is created for the administration of common facilities and the overall management of the complex. A unit title creates individual ownership of a unit (being a dwelling or shop) and any associated area (such as a garage or parking space). The land or facilities used in conjunction with all the owners is held jointly by all the owners.
The Act specifically provides for a development to be undertaken in stages.
Because a division of land under the Unit Titles Act is a form of subdivision, the requirements of the Resource Management Act still apply, and the development will be assessed against the development codes and rules pertaining to subdivision.