Conveyancing and Types of Property Ownership

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing | property transfer  is all the legal legwork needed to buy or sell a property whether this be an investment property or home for your family. There are a number of important legal steps involved, which include title searches and contract preparation.

When buying or selling a property it’s important to get the right conveyancing advice from the start.

If you are buying a property, our property lawyers | solicitors can help make sure the purchase is smooth and effortless, by providing advice at every stage until you complete the purchase or home transfer. If there is no real estate agent involved we can prepare an offer for you.

Type of Property Ownership?

One of the questions frequently raised by clients pertains to the type of property ownership involved, so our conveyancers thought that it would be useful to set out the most common forms of property ownership below:

Fee simple: This represents a form of freehold ownership and in essence represents absolute ownership of the property.  When people say that they “own” or “own the freehold of” a certain parcel of land they almost invariably mean that they own an estate in fee simple in that land.

Leasehold: This is a form of property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time.  A leasehold estate thus differs from a freehold where the ownership of a property is purchased outright and thereafter held for an indeterminate length of time, and also differs from a tenancy where a property is rented on a fixed term or periodic basis. Until the end of the lease period the leaseholder has the right to remain in occupation as an assured tenant paying an agreed rent to the owner.

Cross lease: This is a hybrid form of multi-unit tenure in which each owner has an undivided share of the underlying freehold as tenants in common, and is granted a registered leasehold estate of the particular unit or flat occupied.  Effectively the property owners share ownership of the land and each owner leases their building from the other owners, which together form the cross lease title.

Stratum estate: Under the Unit Titles Act 1972 the deposit of a unit plan has the effect of creating in each unit a new kind of statutory estate called a stratum estate in freehold, or a stratum estate in leasehold, depending on whether the land which was subdivided into units was freehold or leasehold.

Source: Type of property ownership by Ian Mellett, Auckland lawyer

Please contact an Auckland Conveyancing Lawyer and they will be able to answer any further questions.

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