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      I remember reading an article on the site many years ago about a unit that had claimed via a fence an extra part of the ground floor space as for their courtyard. Something along the lines of a un-used walkway. This space was claimed for years, then the property was sold. Some time after selling, the Body Corp tried to reclaim this extra space but was rebuffed on the ground that their chance to object was years ago when the original fence went up. Specifics are a bit fuzzy, but something along those lines.

      I’m now facing a similar issue. Unbeknown to me, apparently I’ve been using space that was deemed common property. I bought the unit 10 years ago, and the objection has only come up in the last year. When I purchased the unit the extra space was presented as belonging to my unit. It was a selling point that was mentioned.

      What are my obligations here. My understanding is that, if they objected to this, they should have objected when the previous owner made the change. And that their window of complaint has now passed.

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    • #58703

        I should mention the property is in QLD.


          The certificate of title of the strata is the sole document advising lot property boundaries and common property.

          You are trying to claim adverse possession, a form of squatting. Unfortunately adverse possession requires more than just using common property.

          In a perfect world Your conveyancer should have pointed out the illegal use of common property. The reality is that conveyancers don’t physically inspect the property in order to compare the title deeds with reality.

          When I purchased my first strata property, my solicitor places the strata plan in front of me and asked “show me what you think you are buying”. Great way to find out if what I was shown was on the plan.

          As in all commercial transactions, never rely on the word of the vendor unless they are prepared to include it in the contract.

          Sorry, you are out of luck.


            I agree with Kaindub. In Queensland, adverse possession can only be claimed after 12 years of continuous unchallenged use of a property but it can’t be claimed for only part of a lot.

            It would be worth reading the section on Queensland on pages 4 and 5 of this document

            The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.

              Thank you for the replies.

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