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Cross-lease to Freehold

16 November 2022

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

Articles written previously have discussed the general concept of crosslease titles and why these had been so popular in the past. (which can be searched on this page under the Surveying Category. These days crosslease titles are seldom created, and most surveys of crosslease titles are modifications to the crosslease areas.

However it is becoming popular to convert crosslease titles to freehold titles. There are a number of reasons why this is being done. The most common reason however is that freehold titles are less complex and therefore more attractive to purchasers and are normally are valued higher. A conversion to freehold also removes all the complexities inherent in crosslease titles.

So what is involved? In essence your Surveyor will obtain consent from Council to modify the titles pertaining to the crosslease, undertake the necessary survey, and obtain approval from LINZ. Your solicitor can then request the issue of the new titles.

What are the issues? The main issue is to ensure that appropriate easements are created so that each title has legal access to services (power, telephone, water, etc). Such easements are generally not required on crosslease titles because all the land is jointly owned. Although each lot also needs to be designed to ensure it has appropriate outdoor living areas and meets any yard requirements, these aspects tend to be considered minor because of the existing buildings. Often it is challenging to locate where existing service connections have been located for each dwelling, and on some more historic crosslease titles, the sharing of services makes the location of specific easements difficult. In these cases appropriate easements can be created to cover most situations.

These are issues your Surveyor can discuss and sort out for you, and also advise on likely costs and timeframes. Clients generally find the conversion of crosslease titles to freehold titles a worthwhile and cost effective process.