What Does Cross-Lease Mean In Property Law, Hamilton

March 28, 2022

Property

Developments

What Does Cross-Lease Mean In Property Law, Hamilton

f you are looking for a new home in Hamilton and find your dream home you need to check the legal parameters of the property. If it is a cross-lease section should you be concerned? Doing due diligence on the ownership types linked to your shortlisted properties is an excellent step in your property journey.  Let us look at ownership options in property law, Hamilton.

Types Of Property Ownership, Hamilton

Property ownership in Hamilton and NZ is mainly executed via four options: 

  • freehold,
  • leasehold,
  • unit title, and
  • cross lease.

The definition of a cross lease is: 

a freehold title is shared with holders of individual cross leases. Your cross lease will refer to a specifically defined area within a specific building and it details your leasehold interest in that area.

What Is A Cross Lease?

Understanding a cross lease can be difficult so don’t feel alone if you try to read it and don’t grasp it immediately.

Cross leases do have a history of giving homeowners and courts a headache. The number of challenges experienced is so profound that the legal fraternity has proposed this type of ownership is expunged. 

Cross leases came about when larger properties were historically subdivided many times or a building that is split into a few units. If a property has a cross lease title linked to it then you share the land and the dwellings on that land i.e. you have a share in EVERY structure on the defined piece of land.

Cross Lease Details

A cross lease mostly has a nine hundred and ninety-nine year period of lease for a token rental amount, e.g. $1 per annum. 

The lease of each leaseholder will define:

  • Which areas are exclusive-use for each shareholder,
  • Which areas are shared-use,
  • Which areas are common-use.

This means your home is defined separately from other areas and clearly excludes other shareholders from this space. It gives you equal use of any shared-use zones e.g. a garden area. 

When you are given a cross lease title, you should simultaneously receive a set of plans that show a site plan, a ground floor layout plan of the whole property and a floor plan of your exclusive-use areas. An owner should check the plans carefully to ensure they represent what they are buying as well as the entire property and all structures.

Any changes to the property require mutual agreement from all leaseholders. Some cross leases can be far-reaching and require a full mutual agreement for the painting of your unit’s exterior, fencing, etc. These details are usually where the challenges can arise.

Conclusion

Whilst the above are forewarnings this doesn’t mean all cross leases should be avoided. It is best to use the services of a lawyer so you aren’t tripped up by a misunderstanding of the ramifications of some phrases. 

For more property law, Hamilton, help or insights chat to us

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