Unit Titles and Subleases

The recent case of NZPS Investments Limited v The Registrar-General of Land1 provides some very useful guidance on the application of the Unit Titles Act 1972, in relation to leasehold developments.

The applicants, NZPS Investments Limited, had previously sought advice from LINZ as to whether a unit title development could be effected in respect of a sublease registered under the Land Transfer Act 1952.

LINZ's conclusion was that it could not, because the relevant provisions of the Unit Titles Act only provided for such developments in respect of a lease of the fee simple.

The applicant then sought declaratory relief from the High Court.

The matter naturally hinged on the correct interpretation of the Unit Titles Act. The Court held that the Act does not permit unit developments in respect of subleases. Accordingly, the relief sought by the applicant was declined.

The decision provides a thorough analysis of the relevant statutory provisions.

1 HC AK CIV 2005-404-6920