Because we are specialists in this area, we know some questions you are likely to have.
How we work.
How is the fee split between the owners?
This is completely up to you and your neighbours. Usually, we find that the property owners want to share the fee equally, as everyone is being advantaged. However, there can be some instance where one owner can see a value uplift as being hugely advantageous for them alone, and is prepared to invest the entire fee to get that uplift. Or sometimes there is more benefit to one owner, and the owners agree to split the fee in a way that works for them.
Can I get finance on this?
Absolutely, and we can even help with this. Our experience is that banks much prefer lending on a fee simple property. We have contacts with many mortgage brokers, and can arrange for someone to get in touch to assist with this.
When is the fee paid?
How long will all of this take?
Will you act for my neighbours too?
What are the advantages of using Good+Title
These are many and varied, but largely the main advantage is that the costs are known prior to even starting the process giving certainty and no surprises.
▪ You are dealing with one entity from beginning to end
▪ You are dealing with professionals who know their stuff
▪ We come to you if required – stay home and enjoy the roses
▪ There are no ongoing bills, physical works to organise, tradesmen to deal with
▪ Plus, we love dealing with people, especially you!
How does it work?
Simple. And that is our intention. You make an initial enquiry on our website, freephone or email and provide a few details about yourself and your property (street address is all we usually need for your property). We will then investigate the property, existing leases and relevant details. Then we provide you with a combined fee proposal to undertake the job from beginning to end.
Are you able to be the lawyers for my neighbours too?
Yes, it is the intention, and one of the main reasons efficiencies can be made, that Overend & Associates undertake the legal work for all parties. We can do this because it is in all your interests to have the titles converted to fee simple, so all your interests are aligned. This is why we work on the basis that this is a pure conversion of title, so the owners all agree that whatever covenants are on the lease for the protection of one property, those same covenants, word-for-word, are transferred to the new title. This is so that everyone is in exactly the same position with respect to height covenants, etc, but simply with a much, much better tenure of title. If anyone did want to renegotiate this, then we would not be able to act for all property owners, as your interests may not align. This is why we need the owner’s agreement upfront to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Will you meet me at my property?
We offer a free onsite consultation service and would be happy to come and see you at a mutually convenient time to discuss the proposal in more detail, should you so desire. Ideally this could include all property owners at once.
Cost & Time
How much does it cost to convert my title?
We are happy to undertake a no-obligation, free desktop investigation and will provide a detailed fixed price proposal outlining all the costs involved. This can depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the ownership, the layout of the property, the number of units, etc. As a ball-park figure, for a standard two-lot cross lease property, the cost to convert from cross lease to fee simple can vary from $14,000 - $18,000 per lease owner. It is important to note that this is an all-up cost – including planning and survey costs, plus legal fees, Landonline fees, and Council fees, which are considerable.
Who is responsible for paying?
This is completely up to you and your neighbors. Usually, we find that the property owners want to share the fee equally, as everyone is being advantaged. However, in other instances where one property owner can see the uplift in values as being hugely advantageous just for them alone, they are prepared to pay the lot themselves. Or sometimes there is more benefit to one party over another, so this is split differently.
Do my neighbours need to be involved?
Disregarding who pays for the work to be done the neighbours on the Cross-Lease do need to sign the legal work involved in the process.
What is the process to convert to fee-simple and how long does it take?
2. Pre-application to Council outlining proposal
3. Preparation of subdivision application and submission to council for consent
4. Subdivision Consent issues and copy sent to owner’s representative
5. Survus undertake survey pegging and fixes of services and buildings
6. Preparation of eSurvey dataset (what used to be called a survey plan!)
7. Survus obtain Sec 223 Certificate
8. eSurvey dataset lodged at LINZ
9. All info to Overend Associates for processing
10. Overend Associates undertake legal work, cancel leases, prepare new documents etc
11. Survus request Sec 224 Certificate and send to Overend Associates for registration
12. New titles issue
How long does it take to convert to Fee-simple title?
Overall, we recommend that you allow around 6 months from start to finish, although we have seen these done quite a bit quicker. We have a flowchart that we can provide you which gives you an idea as to what is involved and how long each stage is likely to take.
What is a Cross-lease?
How do I know if my Cross-lease title is defective.
If the buildings on site do not match your Cross-Lease flats plan, then your title is probably defective. If this is the case then we advise that you either rectify the Cross-Lease flats plan, or even better, convert your property to a Fee-simple title. Although the conversion to Fee-simple is more expensive that an updated Cross-lease plan, in most cases we strongly recommend converting Cross-lease properties to freehold, particularly in the Auckland area, due to the often-significant uplift in values.
Why do I have to do anything?
When you own a cross leased property, you and your neighbour own the land together. You only lease the area shown on the Cross Lease flats plan. You may also have an exclusive use area (normally your lawn and garden). If you change the outline of your building (even adding on an additional level) then you are occupying an area outside your lease area until the Cross Lease flats plan is updated in agreement with your neighbour.
What are the difficulties with Cross-lease properties?
There are important considerations for owning a Cross-lease property, as the joint ownership of the underlying land creates limitations and increases the checks that you will need to do before purchasing. Selling a cross lease property also requires extra care, as it can really complicate the sales process if there are problems with the Cross-lease flats plan.
- You are required to get permission from your other title owners if you want to add any additions to your home – this can often cause problems because they can say no.
- When you buy or sell your property, the relevant flat plan needs to match exactly what the buildings are on the property. If they do not, this is what is referred to as a defective title. As well as your solicitor, not likely to approve the title for purchase, you also may not get a mortgage approved until it is corrected or updated. This can take between 12-18 weeks, which can delay the sale of your home.
- Because of the proximity of some cross-lease neighbours, and because of personality differences, tensions can arise that would not normally be a problem on non - cross lease properties where getting on with your neighbour doesn’t impact on your legal position.
- The garden area on a cross-lease property may be shown as “common ground” on a Flat Plan, meaning this area could be used for a party by other owners in the complex.
What are some of the advantages of Fee-simple titles?
- If and when you decide to sell, having a Fee-simple title makes it easier to sell the property and increases its marketability and sale value;
- You have much greater flexibility in what you can do with your property, in particular additions and alterations to the property;
- It makes it more likely for you to avoid any neighbour disputes.
Can I convert to a Fee-simple Title (aka Good Title)
Yes, and this is what we specialise in at GOOD+TITLE. This is typically called a ‘change of tenure’ subdivision. It is important to know that this does involve a full subdivision consent application which needs to be approved by council, and a full 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.