Operational rules help the body corporate manage the unit title complex.

The Unit Titles Regulations 2011 include default rules. These cover things that apply to most unit title properties. Your body corporate can add to or change these rules to suit your property.

It’s a good idea to get legal advice before making any changes to the rules.

Setting and changing the rules

Any changes to the rules must relate to either:

  • the management, use or enjoyment of the units or the common property, or
  • the regulation of the body corporate.

The changes must not:

  • give the body corporate any extra powers or duties that do not relate to the ones already in place under the Act
  • be inconsistent with the Act, Regulations and any other Act or rule of law.

Rules should be fair to all unit owners and everyone living in the complex. Consider what rules you need in your development, for example:

  • rules that help prevent disputes from arising in the future
  • rules that protect or ensure access to shared facilities
  • rules about acceptable or unacceptable behaviour.

You must lodge rule changes with Land Information New Zealand in order for them to take effect.

Complete Form 15 - Notice of change to body corporate operational rules [DOC, 38 KB].

Enforcing the rules

The body corporate and unit owners can enforce the body corporate rules.

As a first step, talk to the unit owner involved. They may not be aware of the body corporate rules or what they are. Give them a copy of the rules and remind them that they need to follow them.

If the person not following the rules is a tenant, you should still talk with the unit owner or landlord first. They are responsible for making sure the tenant follows the rules.

If this doesn’t work, you can apply to resolve the issue through the Tenancy Tribunal or the Courts. The Tenancy Tribunal also handles unit title disputes.

Unit titles disputes process

Examples of body corporate rules

Common property

Depending on what kind of common property you have, you may make rules about:

  • hours of use of recreational or other facilities
  • whether residents can use parts of the common area as a garden
  • whether there are areas for specific purposes only (such as service lifts or loading docks)
  • details of any preferred suppliers or tradespeople
  • how to dispose of rubbish or recycling
  • where owners and guests can park
  • health and safety in using common property, eg, safe areas for children to play
  • whether there are restrictions on placing signs, eg, for sale signs


The way people use their units can impact on other unit owners or the common property. You may choose to include rules on:

  • where people can hang out washing
  • whether owners or occupiers can have pets
  • the external appearance of units, eg, approved colour schemes
  • not having parties after certain hours
  • restricting hazardous materials in units
  • pest control in units
  • behaviour of unit owners, occupiers and guests. 

Default body corporate rules (Schedule 1 of the Unit Titles Regulations 2011)(external link)

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