Alterations and Additions to your Cross-Lease Property

For those of our clients who have an off-farm investment in the form of a cross-lease residential, rental or bach property, this article is for you.

Often, there comes a time where you decide that you would like to add another bedroom, extend the living area or build a garage on your property.  But what things should you consider if the property is a cross-lease?

Consent of Co-Owner

Any alterations to the property must first have the consent of the co-owner.  We recommend that you get this is writing and have a copy of the consent lodged on the property file held by your local council.  This will avoid any doubt in the future over whether consent was given.

Building Consent and Consent of Affected Persons

You should make enquires with the council in relation to what consents should be obtained.  If the alterations or additions are within certain distances from a boundary line, or could affect the sunlight or view of neighbouring properties, then you may also need the consent of your neighbour.

Cross-Lease Flats Plan

If alterations change the external boundaries of the buildings on the property it will be necessary for a surveyor to prepare a new flats plan and a replacement lease to be registered referring to the new flats plan.  This is a costly process as you will need the involvement of surveyor and solicitor.

Although not registering a new flats plan will have no effect on your enjoyment of the property, it is likely to cause problems if your property or the neighbouring property is sold.  The purchaser’s solicitor may recommend to their client that a new flats plan be registered as a condition of purchase or that the purchase price be reduced to enable the purchaser to arrange for the new flats plan to be obtained.

Code of Compliance Certificate

You should ensure that a code of compliance certificate is obtained for all alterations and additions made to the property, and that it is filed against the local council’s property file.

What if you are looking at purchasing a cross-lease property?

The agreement for sale and purchase should be referred to BlackmanSpargo for consideration and approval before you sign.  This will enable us to ensure that, amongst other things, the purchase is subject to approval of the title, cross-lease and flats plan.

Written by Elise Hayes