Questions are being asked about restructuring the property management industry, following widespread concerns about lack of regulation.

Thomas Gibbons, a Hamilton lawyer and a specialist in the unit title and body corporate sector, said he helped chair a conference discussing the issues this month.

"Some of the points that arose were what: do we want to regulate?

"Is it primarily the holding of money, for example, requiring a trust account system for body corporates, or is it broader than that?

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"Do we want a licensing system? Would good self-regulation be a better start?

"What about compulsory education/training for body corporate managers? What about owner education?

"There is sometimes a sense that owners should be responsible for making good decisions as to whom they trust their monies to, and on what terms.

"As with many things, the cheapest isn't always the best.

"Would a better owners' network help, as is the case in Australia? Body corporate management can cover letting rights, building management and secretarial services. These are all different. Should we treat/regulate body corporate management differently from more general property management?" Gibbons asked.

He praised publicity on the issue, saying it helped generate further debate.

Others supporting reform are Real Estate Institute chairwoman Rosanne Meo, Body Corporate Chairs' Group national president Neil Cooper, Auckland Body Corporate Chairs' Group branch chairwoman Lyn Gillingham, Auckland District Law Society property law committee member Liza Fry-Irvine, Home Owners & Buyers Association president John Gray, Property 101 Group director Joanne Barreto, Auckland accountant and body corporate chairman Brent Murdoch, North Shore lawyer and former local board member Nick Kearney and Consumer magazine.

Debating the issues

• The Auckland branch of the Body Corporate Chairs' Group meets today at the Commerce Club, Ohinerau St, Remuera, 5pm. Contact: auckland.chair@bccg.org.nz

• Joanne Barreto of Property 101 Group is calling managers to a meeting in central Auckland at 11am next Wednesday, November 25. Contact: joanne@prop101.co.nz for registration and venue details.