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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22811
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We own a flat in Christchurch. We have a cross lease (fee

Customer Question

We own a flat in Christchurch. We have a cross lease (fee simple). Ours is the front flat of four and has a garage at the rear of the property (one of 3 in a row). One of the flats does not own a garage. A shared driveway runs the length of the property, past all four flats, and gives access to the garages.
The plan shows that the land in front of each flat (including the driveway) belongs to each flat. This is the basis of an issue with the owner of the rear flat. She has stipulated that we may drive into our garage, which is against the boundary fence and furthest away from her flat, but we are not allowed to park in front of the garage because this is 'technically' her land. This seems counter intuitive to us because no-one can park on that land as that would obstruct our access to our own garage. The owner of Flat 4 has refused to allow us to park in front of our garage based on an issue with the previous owners who apparently owned a noisy vehicle. She is a very opinionated person and has assumed the role of rule-maker for all four properties on the section.
Do we have any rights over the land in front of our garage?
Kind regards
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

I am just reading this now

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

Without seeing the plan it is a little difficult to be definate, but the answer is likely to be in what the falts plan shows as common land and separate land. Some older cross lease plans were not as well drafted, but if your plan shows the land in front of the garage is part of your separate land, and not part of the common driveway, then you can park there. As you would expect, you cannot park on the shared driveway as that would require consent of the other parties. But they cannot dictate what you do with your own separate land

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply. I have attached a copy of the plan and also highlighted section 27 of the Memorandum of Lease which I think is relevant.
My argument is that the owner of Flat 4 cannot have exclusive use of the land in front of our garage as it is deemed a common space and therefore she has no right to say we cannot park on that land. No-one else is able to use that land because if they did so it would block our access to the garage.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

The wording on the plan refers to the area being land with Flat 4. That would not be the same as the use of the paths referred to in the lease. But that clause does refer to the land srrounding the garage but without further definition or limit. I assume the flat 4 owner looks at the first part, of that clause, but does not take into account the second part giving you the right of access. i am not sure the right of access would permit you to park in front of your garage but is there to ensure that access is not obstructed.

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