Two front doors, a distinctive feature of a tyneside lease property, all explained by SAM Conveyancing
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These type of properties can be advantageous, as you share responsibility for insurance and repairs with the other owners.

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Tyneside Lease

(Last Updated: 23/02/2023)
4 min read
Key Takeaways
  • A tyneside lease is common in the North-East part of England and it refers to a property which is usually split in two or more flats. You would normally own the leasehold for the flat you live in and the freehold for the other flat and vice versa.
  • This is also known as a crossover or criss-cross lease and it can be applied in two different types: either a North Tyneside Lease or a South Tyneside Lease.
  • Responsibility for structural repairs can either be shared, or split, depending on the terms of your lease.

What is a Tyneside lease?

North-East-66BEPQ.png A tyneside lease, also known as a crossover or criss-cross lease, is common in the Northern region of England, specifically the river Tyne area. Tyneside properties are usually terraced and they have two storeys. They can easily be recognised by their distinctive feature - two front doors.

Although they are legally dependant on each other, the flats don't usually have shared access spaces. The first door will lead to the ground floor flat and the second one will lead to a hallway with a staircase and then the first floor flat.

Tyneside leases can be advantageous for a number of reasons:

  • as stated above, the flats are legally dependant on each other
  • insurance or repairing costs can be split between the two owners
  • covenants can be enforced without having to involve any external landlord

The North Tyneside Lease is the most common type of criss-cross lease and it involves two freeholds being created - one for each flat. This means:
  • the leasehold owner of a ground floor owns the freehold for the top floor flat and vice versa.
  • responsibility for the maintenance of the building is shared by the two owners
  • ground rent is payable, although for North Tyneside Leases, you will only pay a peppercorn rent, therefore a low figure.
Under the South Tyneside Lease, one owner will have the freehold for the entire building. This attracts the following:
  • the owner of the freehold is responsible for insuring the building in their name.
  • the leasehold owner will pay for half of the costs of insuring the building, as well as service charges for maintenance and repairs.
  • ground rent is payable to the freehold owner, although it will most likely be a nominal figure

Extending lease on tyneside flat

Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, you have the right to extend your lease following the same procedure for a normal lease. This means you will need a lease extension valuation.

We discuss lease extensions in further detail in our article - Lease Extension Process

When extending a lease on tyneside flats, you can consider extending both leases, for no premium, all while sharing the legal costs. You will need to speak to a tax advisor to see what the implications are. SAM Conveyancing does not gice tax advice. We can, however, help you with extending a lease on tyneside flats.

What are the downsides of a cross lease?

  • If the leasehold and freehold title are not transferred correctly when selling, this can cause delays for the other owner if they decide to sell as well.
  • As this type of lease is specific to the North-Eastern region of England, you might find that only local solicitors or conveyancers can handle their purchase or sale. We can help with any transaction relating to your crossover lease.
  • Not all mortgage lenders will lend on a tyneside lease or they might impose stricter requirements. We always recommend consulting an independent mortgage broker.

When selling, both the leasehold and the freehold title must be transferred to the new owner. This ensures that you don't have to chase an absentee freeholder in the future. In these cases, the freehold title is priced at £1.

What happens if there is a dispute between the two owners?

In the case of a dispute, if the two owners cannot reach an agreement, a third party will have to make a final decision. An arbitrary party can be chosen by the owners, or if this is also not agreed upon, by either the Presidents of the Law Society, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, or the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Frequently Asked Questions
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Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
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Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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