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Cross-lease properties

Whenua rīhi māwhitiwhiti

Many properties in Auckland have a cross-lease title. It's important to know what your rights and constraints are with this kind of title.

What is a cross-lease property

Cross-lease (flats or household units) ownership involves a part but undivided share in the freehold title, along with a lease over a particular dwelling.

For example - if you buy a flat in a four-flat development that is on a cross-lease, you will become the registered owner of:

  • an undivided one-fourth share in the land and buildings (as "tenant-in-common in equal shares") with the owners of the other three flats, and
  • a long-term lease, from all four of the tenants-in-common (including you), for your particular flat.

Carrying out work on a cross-lease property

When you have an interest in a cross-lease property, you and your neighbours own all of the land.

This means that while you will each have a separate lease for your house or flat you have shared ownership of the entire site.

The lease may also specify exclusive use areas for each dwelling and other restrictions, e.g. colours that the house exterior can be painted.

Our tip

Before doing any external construction or development work on your cross-lease property, you need to get approval from your cross-lease neighbour. Without the approval, your neighbour can put a stop on your work. Cross-lease issues are a civil matter, not a council matter.

When you make additions or alterations that alter the location of external walls you will also need to update your cross-lease title plan as this will also alter the extent of the building area on the lease.

Working on the common property

If you are planning any work that relates to the common property, e.g. driveways or drainage, then you and your neighbours need to agree on the work to be carried out, before the project starts.

Renovating and altering your house

If you plan to renovate or alter your house, you may need to get permission from your neighbours (including other lease holders), depending on the terms of your lease and what you plan to do.

If your work involves extending your building, or adding structures you will most likely need:

  • permission from all the other lease holders
  • deposit of a new title plan – this requires an additional survey and a variation of the cross lease
  • a resource consent
  • a building consent.

Contact us

If you are thinking of doing work on your property, contact us and find out what can be done on your site. Depending on where in Auckland you live, there will be different rules that apply.

Call us on 09 301 0101 and ask for a duty planner.