Issue 9 - December 2010
In this issue we cover:
Financial Assistance Package
The financial assistance package for owners of leaky homes is a step closer with the first reading of a bill to Parliament on 9 December.
The Weathertight Homes Resolution Services (Financial Assistance Package) Amendment Bill contains provisions necessary to facilitate the delivery of the financial assistance package. These include a proposed amendment to cap liability for councils and the Crown when they make contributions under the package.
The cap on council liability is needed to avoid a council paying twice for repairs on a single property- first through a contribution under the Financial Assistance Package, and second if the homeowner is pursuing others who seek to join the council to those proceedings.
The bill also gives the Minister authority to provide Crown credit support for bank loans. This is intended to help homeowners access bank finance to fund the remaining repair costs.
The Bill can be viewed on the New Zealand Legislation website.
You are able to make submissions on the Bill through the Select Committee process. Submissions have now been called for and can be made online on the Parliament website or in writing to:
Local Government and Environment Select Committee
Submissions on the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services (Financial Assistance Package) Amendment Bill close on Friday, 18 February 2011.
The proposed package is voluntary and in addition to the current disputes and litigation process.
Package options are still being worked through and we will be in contact again as soon as we have finalised details.
If you have a specific question about your circumstances, please contact the Department of Building and Housing, phone 0800 116 926 or by email email@example.com.
If you wish to make a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 go to our claims page.
Implementation of the Unit Titles Act 2010
If you live in or own a unit in a multi unit complex the Unit Titles Act 2010 is likely to affect you once it comes into force. We have launched the Unit Titles Act 2010 Fees Regulations Discussion Document and now we are inviting you to respond.
Unit title developments are typically apartment blocks, units, townhouses, office blocks and industrial or retail complexes.
In a unit title development, owners own a defined part of the building, such as an apartment or unit, and may also have shared ownership in common areas such as lifts, lobbies or driveways. Collectively, all the unit owners in a unit title development make up the body corporate. The body corporate is responsible for a range of management, financial and administrative matters relating to the common property and to the building as a whole.
The Unit Titles Act 2010 will come into force once supporting regulations have been developed. This is expected to be mid-2011. A copy of the Act is available on the New Zealand Legislation website.
Consultation on disputes resolution service and associated fees
Department of Building and Housing has launched the Unit Titles Act 2010 Fees Regulations Discussion Document. You can give us your views on the proposed disputes resolution services and associated fees for disputes relating to unit title matters.
The consultation period closes Friday 21 January 2011. Links to the document, and its associated submission form, plus a link to Frequently Asked Questions, are on the consultation area of the Department’s website.
Please take some time to read the document, and follow the links to make a submission. We are very interested in hearing your views.
There is also a new page on the Department’s website that provides a comprehensive overview of the work in implementing the Act. This will be updated on a regular basis and you can find out how to subscribe on the same page.
Christmas and New Year hours
The Department of Building and Housing Contact Centre will be closed from 4pm on 24th December until 8.30am on Wednesday 5th January. Information can still be accessed through our website.