The Tenancy Tribunal can hear and resolve unit titles disputes up to $50,000. The District Court or the High Court hears disputes that exceed this amount.
Almost anyone with an interest in a unit title property can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal, including:
- owners or former owners
- tenants or other people living in the property
- a body corporate
- prospective buyers.
An agent can act on your behalf with the Tribunal. You will need to notify the Tribunal of this in writing.
There are two categories for unit title applications.
Category 1 applications are average to high complexity and are likely to involve a hearing before the Tribunal. They may be about:
- the repair or maintenance of common areas
- body corporate governance
- decisions and processes of a body corporate.
Category 2 applications are straightforward and because of their low complexity are likely to involve mediation to resolve the dispute. They may be about:
- the day-to-day management of the complex
- the actions of a unit owner or occupier
- not obeying the body corporate rules.
Applications about someone not paying their body corporate levies are Category 2.
- Category 1 - $3,300 including GST
- Category 2 - $850 including GST
You may get the fee back if your claim is wholly or partly successful.
Refund of application filing fee
A refund of the application filing fee, less the administration costs, may be requested in some circumstances.
A refund can only be considered when an application is withdrawn:
- at least 48 hours before the first scheduled mediation date or
- at least two weeks before the first Tribunal case conference or adjudication date.
Any request for a refund must be made in writing. It must include the application number, reason for the refund request and proof of the bank account that was used to make the original payment.
This information can be sent by:
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org or
- post to PO Box 76 469, Manukau 2241.
Appealing a decision
If you are not happy with a decision, you can appeal to the District Court.
The fees for Tenancy Tribunal appeals are:
- filing fees ($200)
- hearing fees ($900 – for each half day, if the hearing lasts for longer than half a day)
Suppression of details in a decision
Tenancy Tribunal cases are usually published on the Ministry of Justice website(external link). The Tribunal can decide to make a suppression order, which means that the names of the parties or a witness, their identifying details, or the evidence may be removed from the decision before it is published.
The Tenancy Tribunal has to consider the interests of the parties and the public interest when deciding whether to remove information. A party can apply for suppression, or the Tribunal can decide on its own to suppress details. A party will need a good reason if they are seeking suppression.
Section 95A(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986(external link) states that the Tribunal must grant suppression (except in limited circumstances) to parties who have been wholly or substantially successful in tenancy disputes. This provision does not apply to unit titles disputes.