Ten Top Tips for Buying an Investment Property in a Body Corporate

May 2024

Reading Time: 5 Minutes  

Buying an investment property in a Body Corporate can be a great option, but it's important to do your research before you buy in. Here are our top tips for buying in a Body Corporate.

1. Understand What a Body Corporate Is 

First up, it's important you understand what a Body Corporate is. 

A Body Corporate is a legal entity that exists to own and manage the common property within a unit titled development.  

When a multi-unit dwelling is developed it is generally on a form of land title called ‘unit title’ or ‘strata title’. In such a multi-unit dwelling, there will be property which is ‘common’ to more than one of the units in the complex. 

The Body Corporate pays the costs of servicing, maintaining and insuring the common property, and it does this by raising fees (or levies) on its owners. 

Find out more about Unit-Titled Properties and Understand the Jargon of Bodies Corporate

2. Know Your Role in a Body Corporate 

As the owner of a unit-titled property you are automatically a member of the Body Corporate, and you help make the decisions for your Body Corporate. 

Other roles in a Body Corporate include the Body Corporate Committee and the Body Corporate Committee Chair. Your Body Corporate may also have a Building Manager and Manager/Secretary (this is the role that Crockers takes on).

3. Ensure You Have Your Say at Annual General Meetings 

A ‘General Meeting’ is a meeting of all the members of the Body Corporate, called in accordance with the requirements of the Unit Titles Act. A Body Corporate must have at least one meeting every year, referred to as the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  

As the owner of a unit or apartment within a complex, you have a say in the decision-making process at AGMs. However, if you haven't paid what you owe to the Body Corporate when a General Meeting is held, you won’t be allowed to exercise your vote. It is important that you have your say about your Body Corporate, so ensure your account is up to date. 

Find out more about How Decisions Are Made in a Body Corporate.

4. Understand the Importance of the Unit Titles Act 

A unit-titled development is created under the provisions of the Unit Titles Act and this Act is the basis of Body Corporate life.  Everything a Body Corporate does has to be in line with this law. 

New provisions of the Unit Titles (Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act came into effect from 9 May 2023. 

5. Find Out who is Responsible for Maintenance 

When buying a property in a Body Corporate, it’s important to understand which maintenance jobs you are responsible for, and which costs are covered by your Body Corporate fees. 

In a nutshell, your Body Corporate is responsible for: common area upkeep; building exterior maintenance and repair; shared utility maintenance and common property insurance. In many cases the insurance of the structure of the building is also a Body Corporate responsibility. 

Landlords are responsible for: maintenance and repairs within individual units; tenant-related insurance; compliance with BC regulations; and insuring their own personal property within the unit, as well as any contents provided to tenants (e.g., furniture and appliances).  

More about Body Corporate Insurance

6. Consider the Size of Your Investment Property 

When choosing the size of your investment property, you should consider the local real estate market conditions, the demand for different property types, and your budget.  

Studio and one-bedroom apartments are popular lower cost options, but depending on your budget two-bedroom apartments may also be a good investment. Larger properties appeal to families and professionals looking to share with others, increasing your potential rental return.

7. Ensure Your Tenant is a Good Fit 

When renting out your property in a Body Corporate, it’s important to look at your neighbours and ensure your tenants will fit in, be respectful and follow any Body Corporate rules. 

A professional property manager such as Crockers has a big pool of tenants to choose from and is experienced in vetting tenants. We also understand the Privacy Act and will always work within the law when undertaking vetting.

8. Understand Pet Policies 

Finding a property that accepts pets can be challenging, so once tenants have found a home that allows their furry friends, they are likely to stay longer. However, you will need to follow Body Corporate rules before accepting pets in your rental property.  

There may be restrictions on keeping animals so it's important to check the conditions of your Body Corporate rules or leases.  

Understand the process for allowing pets in a body corporate. The recently announced pet bond may be reassuring for Bodies Corporate and landlords. 

9. Provide Body Corporate Rules in a Timely Matter 

The Body Corporate rules are a set of guidelines and regulations that outline the rights and responsibilities of both property owners and tenants within your community. 

As a landlord, you must understand unit title regulations and provide a copy of the Body Corporate rules to your tenants when they move into your property.

10. Prepare to Successfully Manage Disputes 

Body Corporate residents often live in close proximity, and it is important to manage relationships with neighbours and other residents with care and consideration. Shared facilities should be respected, and residents and landlords must adhere to the rules and regulations outlined in the Unit Titles Act 2010 and the Body Corporate's specific rules.

How Crockers Can Help 

Crockers are NZ's leading body corporate experts - managing over 20,000 units across 1,000 bodies corporate NZ-wide. For further advice, contact Crockers’ Community Living experts on 09 968 3311 or email bc@crockers.co.nz

Crockers Body Corporate Proposal Request

Get in touch with us today

Call 0800 CROCKERS or Call 0800 2762 5377

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