Cross-lease to fee-simple titles

Changing your cross-lease to fee-simple titles can instantly add between 7-20% to the sale price of your property. In the current Auckland market, that’s an average of $100-300k.

We make the process so simple, it’s the easiest way to enhance the value of your home.

Changing from cross-lease to fee-simple

A cross-lease title simply isn’t as good a title as a fee-simple title, because your neighbour is a co-owner of your land, and you need your neighbour’s permission for things that a fee-simple owner wouldn’t. For example, any alterations to the property – even something as simple as changing a window to a French door – could require your neighbour’s consent. If your neighbour refuses to agree, and you go ahead, you may be required to take your alterations down (worst case scenario).

​Cross-lease properties are often the subject of neighbour disputes, and the legal process involved in resolving any dispute is not easy and can be very expensive. There is historically a value discount applied to cross-lease properties (we have the evidence to prove it!) – a fee-simple property is frequently worth more, and is easier to sell. But there is also a greater benefit than just money; the ability to make your home the way you want it, without needing your neighbour’s consent, and without the ongoing costs of needing to update the flats plan on your title after each alteration.​

Get total ownership of your home with a fee-simple title. The process can take time, so get started today with a quick enquiry now.

What you need to know

About changing from cross-lease to fee-simple tenure.

CONCENT goodtitle


Changing to fee-simple tenure is a subdivision process, so requires a subdivision consent from Council.

Agreement GoodTitle


In order for this to proceed, all property owners on the cross-lease need to be in agreement, disregarding who pays for it.

Alterations GoodTitle


Changing to fee-simple gives you freedom and the right to do what you want with your property without neighbors consent

Value GoodTitle


Your property is highly likely to increase in value on completion of the process (depending on location etc).

Ownership GoodTitle


Fee-simple tenure is the best form of tenure you can have in New Zealand

Time frame GoodTitle


This process can take between 10-12 months plus physical works.

What is involved To convert from cross-lease to fee-simple?

Changing a title from cross-lease is a form of subdivision and as such can be a complex process. It starts with a full subdivision consent application which needs to be approved by the council, and a full legal subdivision of the property, including a full land-transfer survey of the property including the placement of pegs etc. that needs to be approved by LINZ. All properties on the cross-lease must be accounted for in the subdivision and all the owners are required to sign the final documents.

Cross-lease to Fee-simple Estimated Timeline


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Step 1

  • CCTV Inspection underway
  • Initial survey site visit
  • Engineer reviews CCTV + report
  • Quotes for hydro clean/repairs
  • Work done and new CCTV + report prepared

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 6 - 12 weeks
(subject to repairs)



Step 2

  • Investigation of title, preparation of owners’ agreement,
    preparation of easements
  • Site measure up and preparation of scheme plan
  • Scheme plan to client for approval
  • Prepare subdivision application for council

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 8 - 10 weeks


Step 3

  • Council application submitted
  • Council consent approved and sent to client and lawyer
  • Lawyer submits council consent to banks for mortgagee consent*

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 6 - 10 weeks*

noun_site surveyor_2095936

Step 4

  • Pre calculations in office
  • Surveyor goes onsite to peg new boundaries
  • Further office calculations
  • Creation of legal survey plan, (CSD - Cadastral Survey Dataset

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 8 - 10 weeks

noun_Two people on Computer_970381

Step 5

  • Plan proceeds through internal QA process
  • Requests 223 Certificate once all required easements are confirmed.
  • Lawyer prepares all paperwork for signing by your and your neighbours*

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 3 - 6 weeks*

noun_Send Documents_123916

Step 6

  • Lodge plan with LINZ (Land Information New Zealand)
  • Obtain LINZ approval as to survey
  • Request and obtain 224 Certificate from council
  • Survus work is now completed

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 8 - 12 weeks


Step 7

  • Solicitor’s certificate sent to banks
  • Lodgement of dealing at LINZ containing paperwork for new titles
  • LINZ processes dealing*
  • New titles issued

Estimated Timeframe

Approx. 4 weeks*


  • The timeframes given are subject to being able to access the site, the client’s timeframes for response, and bank and LINZ timeframes.
  • The above timeframes reflect standard / statutory timeframes. Currently we are finding that councils, banks and LINZ are taking up to 4 times longer than their usual timeframes to process transactions.

Frequently asked questions

Fee-simple is what people think of as a freehold title – you own the land totally and (subject to planning restrictions) can do what you like on it without needing your neighbour’s permission.

Cross-lease titles were invented in the early 1960s to get around subdivision rules. The neighbours jointly own all the land but lease the buildings to each other. Auckland in general, and in particular the North Shore has a very high proportion of cross-lease titles, which aren’t limited to townhouses or flats – they can be separate independent houses.

We have helped many clients with cross-lease properties, we can help you too.

Our knowledgeable team is ready to answer any questions you have about your cross-lease.

17 Esmonde Road, Takapuna, Auckland 0622

4 Meadow Street, Papanui,
Christchurch 8052


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