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  • #72790
    @tomic
    Flatchatter

      I live in a small strata of 4 townhouses. The old federation house next door was bought up by a developer a few years ago and he is in the process of building a 2 blocks of 23 studio flats, which he is calling a boarding house.
      Last week the site foreman approached us and said they’d be demolishing approximately 3/4 of the solid brick retaining wall and wooden fence between our properties in about 10 days and replacing it with a temporary fence prior to its replacement. The boundary wall while sound is leaning out of square somewhat and would at some point have had to be fixed, but wasn’t a high priority for us.
      We were ok with their proposal as long as the replacement was like for like, but the following day the foreman told me that they would only be replacing the bottom 3rd or so of the retaining wall and put in a higher fence to compensate. It would seem that having excavated all the soil on their side to level the block, the retaining wall was no longer there for that purpose and they were not obliged to replace it.
      We reluctantly agreed as long as the bricks used in the much reduced brick wall was a good colour match for the rest and we gave him a brick sample to work with. The foreman then spoke to me the following day and said they would not be colour matching the bricks, but be using bricks left over from the flats being built. The current wall is built from blonde bricks, the boarding houses will be using a coffee coloured brick.
      When I expressed our dissatisfaction with this decision, he basically told us that he is just a mouthpiece for the owner and not authorised to negotiate with us. I asked to speak to the owner and have had no communication since.
      My question is can we stop them from coming onto our property and demolishing the current boundary wall on Thursday.

    Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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    • #72792
      @tomic
      Flatchatter
      Chat-starter

        The property in my post is located in Sydney, N.S.W.

        #72794
        Jimmy-T
        Keymaster

          The developer next door can’t or shouldn’t do anything to the wall without your written permission (under the Dividing Fences Act) as your OC and they are joint owners with equal responsibility.  Get a strata or property lawyer to send a “Cease and desist” letter ASAP.  There is a compromise to be had, obviously, but that won’t happen if you just let them do as they please from the get-go.

          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.
          #72796
          scotlandx
          Strataguru

            I endorse what Jimmy says and also note that the foreman doesn’t have the authority to tell you what the developer wants to do or proposes to do, unless of course he shows you that he has the appropriate delegated authority. I very much doubt that he has that authority.

            You should tell the foreman if he approaches you again that everything must be in writing, from the party that actually is legally responsible for the development.

            #72814
            @tomic
            Flatchatter
            Chat-starter

              Thanks JimmyT and scotlandx for your input.

              I have organised a strata meeting of the owners to discuss our situation and will take your suggestions to the meeting.

              Fortunately the past 2 days of rain has pushed back the developers schedule as they were unable to do the ground floor concrete pour, which according to the site foreman was a prerequisite of moving forward with the commencement of the boundary wall demolition.

              #73007
              @tomic
              Flatchatter
              Chat-starter

                They approached us last week and proposed to replace our common 50 metre boundary wall/fence and have given us 2 options.
                I was just wondering if the cost they are quoting are correct? They seem a bit high to me, but I’m not a builder and am not knowledgeable about current costs.
                ‘Build Double brick retaining wall starting 200mm over existing driveway Level to reach 800mm over driveway depends of level need and to reach not less than 2200mm height with
                Timber fence
                Timber fence 1800mm -2100mm depends on level to reach the max. cover 2200mm in any point.
                This option cost $45,000.00
                Steel post and Concrete sleeper retaining wall in same required heights over the driveway as mentioned above instead of Brick works
                with same timber fence to same heights.
                This Option cost $30,000.00’

                • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
                #73009
                Jimmy-T
                Keymaster

                  If they are demolishing the wall, they have to pay for all of it. Talk to a strata lawyer and have a letter sent, as advised before.

                  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.
                  #73013
                  @tomic
                  Flatchatter
                  Chat-starter

                    I have to say I’m a bit disappointed when the answer is always “see a lawyer”. It’s been my observation that lawyers are really a last resort, introducing a 3rd party intermediary will often lead to an expensive protracted process where a simple good faith conversation between the 2 parties will lead an acceptable outcome. My question was really about the costs of building boundary walls.

                    #73015
                    Jimmy-T
                    Keymaster

                      I have to say I’m a bit disappointed when the answer is always “see a lawyer”.

                      But it isn’t “always”.  You’ve had your rights explained and the original question was about replacing the wall with a different barrier. Compared to the substantial and unnecessary charges you seem to be contemplating, a lawyer’s letter is a minimal impost and a sensible approach.

                      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.
                      #73042
                      kaindub
                      Flatchatter

                        Don’t believe that engaging a lawyer leads to court.

                        It was explained to me by a corporate lawyer that his job was to keep our company out of court. What he meant was that he would always try for a negotiated settlement before attempting litigation.

                        Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

                        Once litigation is involved the result is completely out of your hands.

                        Ive been involved , unfortunately, in too many legal disputes. But every time my lawyers have attempted a settlement ( in good faith) Sometimes the other party ( and I mean the people not the lawyers) are of a similar mind and negotiations are fruitful.

                        Thats the value of lawyers.

                         

                        #73044
                        Jimmy-T
                        Keymaster

                          Don’t believe that engaging a lawyer leads to court.

                          Agreed and, to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting court action. When you’re dealing with the sub-contractor of a developer who is only interested in getting a job done as quickly and cheaply as possible, who probably doesn’t understand their legal obligations and who has no idea about the extent of your knowledge of the law, then a lawyer’s letter can clarify issues to the point where sensible negotiations can begin.

                          At least then the builder can’t go ahead and do as they please and then turn around and say no one told them they couldn’t.

                          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.
                          #73057
                          David Ng
                          Flatchatter

                            ‘Build Double brick retaining wall starting 200mm over existing driveway Level to reach 800mm over driveway depends…

                             

                             

                            It looks like they plan to build the new fence over the driveway. If this is your driveway you need to act immediately. If you lose between 20-80 cms of driveway you may not be able to use it.

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