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Let us help you add value to your property

By Kay Keam - 2 Sep 2014

Converting a cross lease title to a fee simple title or a unit title can add value to your property. This is particularly beneficial where your existing title is defective and needs to be rectified anyway. By way of example, this could be where you or a previous owner has carried out alterations to the building so that the external dimensions of the building no longer match what is shown on the flats plan. If you are going to spend money with a surveyor rectifying the flats plan then using that money to pay for a new fee simple plan may be a better use of your money.

We can also help you consider alternatives. For example, a simple fix where there isn't an exclusive use area attached to your unit is to register a land covenant. This will however need a plan to be drawn up by a surveyor to show these areas.

Before deciding what to do, it is necessary to work out a budget for how much it is going to cost. These costs may include separation of sanitary sewer and waste water (if this has not already been done), payment of a reserve fund contribution (if not previously levied at the time of the original cross lease) and fire rating if the flats are joined by a common wall or are closer than what is allowable under the District Plan. If there is a common area driveway then an easement would need to be created giving access to the flat owners who use the various parts of the driveway. It is also important to locate services such as power, water and electricity and document easements for them.

You should also bear in mind that there may be benefits to the retention of the cross lease titles. In particular, the requirement for your other cross lease neighbours to obtain your consent to any structural alterations to their properties. We can look at other covenants to protect what is important to you. For example, you might want to register a height restriction over the property in front of you to protect that lovely sea view.

There is a little known provision in the Unit Titles Act to convert cross leases to unit titles. This however requires that the new unit plan is exactly the same as your current flats plan.

If you would like to discuss options with your existing cross lease then please do not hesitate to contact Kay Keam or Lesley Thomson.

Contacts

Kay Keam

Lesley Thomson

 

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