Titles

LAND INFORMATION NEW ZEALAND (LINZ) LINZ holds the records on land surveys and titles ownership. The following describes some of the terms used in describing titles, and the restrictions that may be embodied within a title. [our home page contains a link to Land Information NZ]

Types of Titles (listed Alphabetically)

Crosslease Title

This form of title was created to overcome the restrictions by local councils on subdividing small residential sites. With the advent of the Resource Management Act, the creation of new cross-lease titles has virtually disappeared, but there are a large number of cross-lease titles still in existence.

A cross-lease title has three components. It creates:

  • A share in the ownership of the total land area where the dwellings are located.
  • A lease for 999 years of the dwelling or flat.
  • An exclusive use area which can only be used by the owner of the lease area.

Guaranteed Title

Is a title where your ownership of the land is guaranteed by the the crown without any limitations as to the area or the ownership of the land. A title where the area or dimensions of the title are not guaranteed is known as a limited title.

Limited Title

When the current system of guaranteed titles was first used, there were a number of properties that had been insufficiently surveyed to determine their correct areas or measurements of the boundaries. These titles were tagged with the words "limited as to parcels", and copies of these titles will have those words on the title. When these titles are subsequently surveyed, either to remove this limitation, or as part of a subdivision, the Surveyor must undertake sufficient survey work to accurately determine the boundaries of the entire site. This can involve significant work as the effect on adjoining titles also needs to be considered and the adjoining owners must agree that the resurveyed boundaries do not adversely affect their titles.

Unit Title

Unit titles are frequently created for commercial sites or a complex of small residential dwellings, where there is a significant amount of land or facilities that are jointly used by a number of owners. A legal entity called a body corporate is created for the administration of common facilities and the overall management of the complex. A unit title creates individual ownership of a unit (being a dwelling or shop) and any associated area (such as a garage or parking space). The land or facilities used in conjunction with all the owners is held jointly by all the owners.

Terms Relating to Titles (listed Alphabetically)

Certificate of Title (C.T.)

The legal document held by Land Information NZ which records all titles to general land in New Zealand. The CT records the current owner, the legal description of the land, and any encumbrances, easements, restrictions and mortgages on the property.

Covenant

A covenant on a title creates an obligation on the owner (and future owners) to comply with the provisions of that covenant. It may restrict the type of dwelling that can be constructed or the materials that can be used on the dwelling. It may also be a requirement to comply with some controls on the use of the land.

Dominant Tenement

The land which has a right of use (or easement) over another parcel of land (the servient tenement) and which is described in an Easement Certificate.

Easement

An easement is a right for a land owner to use land, usually adjoining, owned by someone else, i.e. a right of way, right to drain sewage.

Easement in Gross

An easement that grants a right of use over a parcel of land to another party, rather than another parcel of land. These are commonly used for utility companies (such as Power, Phone and Gas companies) to ensure access and maintenance of their network when these have been installed in private land.

Right of Way Easement

Is a particular type of easement, which allows the owner of a dominant tenement to travel over land belonging to the owner of the servient tenement. Right of ways are commonly used to create shared access to properties, particularly in residential areas.

Servient Tenement

The land which is subject to an easement, over which the dominant tenement has a right of use.