Northern Territory industry and legislation updates

Find the latest updates and changes on Northern Territory community living impacting body corporates

The timeline below summarises relevant legislative and industry changes affecting strata stakeholders in the Northern Territory. It includes helpful links and further reading to help you understand NT legislative changes.

February 2024

Decoding unit entitlements

Uncovering the importance of getting an accurate lot valuation

Unit entitlements represent the proportion of ownership within a body corporate property, such as common spaces like barbecue areas, swimming pools or shared facilities.

Changing unit entitlements is a fundamental decision that can alter an owner’s legal rights and responsibilities, such as voting powers, common property duties, and financial payments. To modify or reallocate the shared ownership of the property, body corporates and owners should follow specific processes outlined by Northern Territory legislation.

How are unit entitlements calculated?

Unit or lot entitlements are calculated based on the lot’s market value. Generally, the larger the lot, the more unit entitlement it has, meaning an owner can carry higher levies and ownership of common areas.

A range of factors, such as the age, condition, common property facilities, design, onsite contractor services, insurance costs, financial status, the size of your lot, or any major changes to the property, can influence the allocation of shared body corporate ownership.

Why understanding and obtaining an updated unit entitlement valuation:

Historically, unit entitlements were calculated during the initial construction of the property or when significant changes were made. Developers were previously responsible for these assessments, which often led to inaccuracies. An independent property valuer is now mandated to handle these valuations, which has improved the accuracy and credibility of unit entitlement valuation reports.

It is important to get an accurate unit entitlement valuation. An undervalued lot may lead to lower voting rights on fundamental property decisions. On the other hand, an overvalued unit entitlement might have higher levies and fees than necessary.

The process for changing unit entitlements:

Adjusting unit entitlements is a crucial decision that may impact an owner’s contributions, rights, and responsibilities within a corporate body.

Under the Unit Title Schemes Act 2009, unit entitlements can be adjusted through a unit owner’s application to the Tribunal, by mutual agreement between unit owners, or due to land acquisition, with each scenario involving specific conditions and procedural requirements.

Furthermore, the Units Titles Act 1975 provides additional requirements around reassessing unit entitlements and formatting a proposal for a new subdivision plan. Notably, the body corporate may submit a reassessed schedule for unit entitlements prepared by a valuer to the Surveyor-General for approval from the third or sixth year after the property development is finished. Also, every owner should get a copy of this proposed change. If the senior surveyor agrees, the new division plan has to be officially registered.

Click the link below to learn more about the legislation around adjusting unit entitlements within your body corporate.