Cross Lease Titles
These are a bit of a beast that were instigated in the late 1950’s at a time when they weren’t deemed a subdivision as such, and didn’t need to comply with the rigorous requirements of fee simple subdivisions required at the time. One of the main differences was that there were no Reserve Contributions applicable to this type of tenure back in the day. This main advantage disappeared in the early 1990’s with the introduction of the Resource Management Act which deemed them as ‘subdivisions’ as well, therefore requiring the payment of the Development Contributions the same as fee simple developments. This form of tenure is where a number of people own an undivided share in the ownership of a fee simple piece of land and the homes that they build on the land are leased from the other land-owners. The houses are usually flats or townhouses, and are defined on Flat Plans usually by a building outline.
The implications of being on a cross lease are that, when you are making major structural changes to your property or making changes that could affect the outline of the buildings on the Flat Plan on the certificate of title, then as well as approaching the local authority, you’ll need to approach your neighbours to make these changes, and obtain their written permission.This can be a very painful and slow process, particularly if the other owner is resident in Afghanistan and has no postal address. Any change to the building outline will also require a new Flat Plan to be prepared to rectify the changes. This is a process that can take a few weeks and of course take a fair sum of money once all costs are taken into account. Don’t do a new cross lease subdivision like this today. Someone will cop it in the future. We do undertake cross lease updates, but only where cost is of essence. There are better options available, as set out next.