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Frequently asked questions

  • What is the main difference between cross lease and freehold titles?
    The main difference between cross lease and freehold title is the ownership structure and the associated rights. With a cross-lease title, all the owners have an ownership share of the underlying land and have a lease for exclusive use of their building (flat/unit) and any exclusive use area. The legal rights and responsibilities of a cross lease property are defined within a lease document on the respective titles. On the other hand, with a freehold title, you enjoy complete and exclusive ownership of both the land and any structures on it, without shared ownership. This grants you autonomy to make decisions regarding your property without requiring consent from other owners. Additionally, you have the flexibility to undertake alterations, renovations, and modifications to the property without being bound by cross lease agreements.
  • What is a unit title?
    Unit title owners own a defined part of a building, such as an apartment and share of common areas such as lifts, lobbies, or driveways with other owners. Unit titles are commonly found in apartment buildings and are also associated with other commercial and residential developments. A conversion from Unit Title to freehold is a similar process as cross lease to freehold titles, but may not be suitable for all Unit Title developments.
  • Can I do cross lease conversion without other owners’ permission?
    No, for a cross lease conversion to occur the other owners will need to agree to the process. For a cross lease development with three or more houses there may be a clause in the lease agreement that will allow a change to freehold title by a majority vote.
  • How long does a cross lease conversion take?
    It usually takes five to six months to complete. This is dependent on the intricacies of the project and Council processing times which vary from project to project.
  • Will I need to make any upgrades or changes to my property?
    In most circumstances changes will not be required. Auckland and Christchurch Councils have slightly different requirements which if not met may require minor changes.
  • Where do new boundaries go?
    The usual process is to follow the boundaries as they are defined on the cross-lease plans. This is usually the fairest way to create the new boundaries as they follow the area which you currently hold. Upon mutual agreement we can move boundaries to follow a new path if this is desirable.
  • Will there be any easements?
    Easements may be required to provide legal protection for certain elements shared by owners, these often include shared driveways and in occasions where services run through properties. Each project is different and we will discuss the need for easements through the process.
  • Will the new titles be free of lease obligations?
    Yes, the new titles will remove the previous rights and responsibility that’s were in place under the lease agreements. The result is a clean freehold title at the end of the process.
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