Convert a Cross Lease Property to Freehold with us

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We can convert your cross-lease property to freehold, first you might like to check if your property is cross lease or freehold.  How do you do this?  The quick and simple answer is that you can phone or email us and we can let you know, as we have access to data that isn’t in the public realm.  We access Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) databases and Auckland Council records.  We would be happy to answer this question for you at no cost.  Alternatively you could order a property report from LINZ or Auckland Council (various charges may apply)

How to tell

This is easy, you can:

  1. give us a call and we will be able to tell you directly (and meet if you would like to)
  2. or if you have a copy of your titles it will refer to your ownership at Flat X on Lot X DP XXXXXX
  3. or you can search your property through the following link on Find your property rates or valuation on Auckland Council’s website.
    Follow these instructions:

Click on Find your property rates or valuation

Click in Enter your property address and a selection field will appear.

Enter your address and it should automatically offer a selection. Click on your address.

A new page will appear with two tabs – Rates and Valuation or Property Information.

Click on Property Information and a new page will appear.

If you scroll down the headings to Legal description then if your property is on a cross lease then it will be described- as discussed above as Flat X on Lot X DP XXXXXX. The X’s here representing the actual numbers of 1,2,3 etc.  If you have a freehold property or are considering purchasing one read on…

Convert your Cross-Lease Property to Freehold

For many years cross lease title subdivisions were the most popular form of land subdivision for small to medium size projects and developers; particularly in Auckland and Canterbury, as they were quick and cost effective to complete and for a period of time did not attract any financial contributions to the local authority.  A cross lease is where a number of people own an undivided share in a piece of land and the homes that they build on the land are leased from the other land-owners (normally for a term of 999 years).

It is well documented though; that this form of title and ownership has some major pitfalls and the property market recognises this in that; if two identical properties were being marketed, one on a cross lease and the other a fee simple title, the latter would always attract the premium.

How much this equates to is an unknown and marketing information from some new players in the Auckland market are touting a 10-18% increase in property values between the two; however, it is a little naïve to put a figure like this.

Recent published research from the Property Institute of New Zealand puts a figure at a lower percentage than this and frames it that the market tends to discount the value of a cross lease property with the 2014 -2015 figures at approximately 8%.

Click here to read Opportunity Knocks in the March 2017 edition of the New Zealand Property Professional magazine, see page 35.

Why would you want to convert a cross lease property to freehold?

There is agreement that there is both immediate and long-term value in converting from a cross-lease to a fee simple title; because,

  • Your property may be worth more on a Fee Simple Title (freehold)
  • You will not be a co-owner of the land with another person(s) that can dictate conditions to you should you wish to undertake additions or alterations
  • When selling you will not get drawn into any argument as to whether your title is defective or not
  • Your property will be more attractive to raise a mortgage against
  • Ultimately, as owner of your own land you have the highest degree of freedom of useage and ownership

What to do next

If your property, or property that you are looking to purchase, is cross lease and you would like to realise the benefits of converting to a fee simple title (freehold) then we can help with your next steps.

  • We look closely at the property and review the engineering and planning issues.  ​
  • We can manage everything for you – planning, consenting, surveying, engineering (if necessary) and we have the in-house skills to assist you in getting the most of your property.
  • Best of all, we will work with your lawyer and if you don’t have one, then we can refer you to good local professionals

Tom Bretherton, Managing Director, said “I have 25 years of experience with these and as a firm Envivo has completed hundreds of conversions of cross lease to freehold and also updating of deficient cross lease titles – if your preference; for whatever reason, is to maintain this form of title.  The terminology may have changed over time, flats plans, fee simple, free hold, cross lease and unit titles – we can explain these and help you get the most from your property.  ​Our in-house consultants work together to provide a seamless range of services to ensure your resource consent is thoroughly prepared.”

  • Our Planners and Civil Engineers will review the Council property file and planning rules and determine if there are any special considerations that need to be taken into account.
  • A Licensed Cadastral Surveyor will visit the site and gather information on access, drainage, position of existing dwellings and any other features that are necessary to effect the change.
  • Our Civil Engineers to review and report on infrastructure, including sewage, water supply, stormwater drainage, earthworks, power and telecommunication services as well as any extra civil engineering services such as access, including roading, footpaths, driveways, etc.
  • Our planners will prepare a Resource consent and Assessment of Environmental Effect.
  • The Council may set conditions on the consent that requires improvements to be undertaken
  • Once these works are complete our Licensed Cadastral Surveyors will complete the Land Transfer Survey and apply for the 223 and 224(c) certificates.
  • Your trusted solicitor will then take over from here to work with us, lodge the documents with LINZ including the Order for New Certificates of Title.

Tom added “We will make it easy for you and having Planners, Civil and Structural Engineers, Project Managers and Surveyors in house together with great relationships with Council means that our fees are always going to be competitive in the market.”

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