Committee members of unit title bodies corporate commonly range from unsophisticated volunteers to more savvy owners who choose to become involved in managing commercial, industrial or mixed use complexes to protect their business interests. Nevertheless, few understand that a body corporate is limited as to its powers and, as such, committee members risk personal liability for acts of the body corporate that are subsequently found to be invalid.
This On Demand webinar raises awareness of this pertinent issue. In particular, it explores committee members’ potential for liability in connection with:
- duties owed by the member to third parties where a breach of warranty of authority arises;
- tort and breach of the duty of care;
- statutory duties of the member to the body corporate and individual owners;
- fiduciary obligations owed by the member to the body corporate;
- fair Trading Act implications where the body corporate is “in trade”.
As well as providing guidance on measures that can be taken to protect committee members against liability, discussion also focuses on whether the body corporate can indemnify committee members against invalid acts. Also explored is possible defences that may be raised in the event of prosecution. Case law developments, including the recent High Court decision Guardian Retail Holdings Ltd v Buddle Findlay are discussed.
Who should watch
All lawyers who advise clients who are owners of body corporate units or have dealings with body corporate complexes, together with property managers of such complexes.
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Barrister, Author and Senior Lecturer in Law at AUT University
Rod Thomas is an Auckland barrister and senior lecturer at the Law School at AUT University, Auckland. Rod is co-author of New Zealand Land Law (now in its second edition) and, since its inception some 17 years ago, Brookers loose-leaf publication Land Law. He is also the author of Brookers Unit Title Handbook 2011.
In 2014 AUT Law School will be releasing an LLM degree, with a Property Law specialisation. Rod will be teaching the following papers; Unit Titles, Cross leases and Land Ownership Issues (with Thomas Gibbons) and Sale of Land in New Zealand (with Don McMorland). The Property Law specialisation offers papers focused on areas of expertise encountered in practice.