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  • #70061


      I’m not sure if this topic is in the right place.

      We are a small 15 unit 3 storey self managed strata plan. A developer has been granted consent by Council to build a 32m high multi unit development on adjoining vacant land parcels. An agreement was reached between the developer and council to amend the LEP to extend the height limit from 18m to 32m, prior to lodging their DA. The land has flooding limitations.

      Yesterday I found contractors for the next door developer on our strata plan common property opening up our sewer release and running piping down into it – some kind of surveying assessment. I asked them who they were and what they were doing. They claimed they had permission but could not provide evidence. I requested them to leave.  Later I found a notice from the developer in the letterbox informing our property that access would be required and that their people would be on our property and thanking us for our cooperation.

      I emailed the author of the letter and told them what they needed to do to request permission to enter onto or carry out work on our property.

      I have concerns. I learned from some quick research that it is possible for the developer to be granted (by a court) access or an easement on our land. Wondering what is our best course of action to insure our strata plan against any possible loss or damages. Can we require that they indemnify us before we grant access?

      Thank you for any advice.


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    • #70067

        I should add, I am Chair and Treasurer of our committee and there is nothing in our records discussing, mentioning or giving them permission and I’ve asked the Secretary and other committee members, and permission has definitely not been sought from our owners corporation to allow access to our property. We are in NSW. The developer is a private company and the contractors were private contractors for the developer, not connected in any way to a public or government agency or service.


          The inspection can all be legitimate.

          Property owners are not permitted to drain water and sewerage across another property. To do so requires an easement.

          Many older drainage systems cross properties and they could have been determining if this was the case.

          As far as getting an easement on your property. Only in exceptional cases will a court force a land owner to be burdened with an easement. However you will be awarded compensation for this.

          Usually an adjoining property owner will request an easement across your property. You can refuse it, or you can allow it again with compensation agreed between the two parties.

          The requesting party pays all the legal and registration costs.


            Great. Thank you. Good to know.

            I’m certain their inspection is legitimate and I have no desire to get in the way of them doing everything properly to build a decent building and not damage ours in the process. It could even increase our asset value if they do a good job.

            My issue is more the dishonesty, lack of respect, care and basic courtesy, not bothering to ask permission and cutting corners and lying about it and distributing a letter to all residents in our block implying they have permission/ authority and thinking they can get away with it. It doesn’t bode well. (Along with the deal with council to change LEP restrictions and consequently massively overshadow our building). This shows a lack of regard for our well being. They were about to start spray painting our property when I interrupted them. They were very rude.

            We need to know if workers are coming onto our property, who they are, if they’re licensed and insured, when, where, what they’re doing especially if they’re opening things up and poking into them and even driving into our car park and parking in people’s spaces.

            It affects our insurance and disclosure obligations and the interests of owners and residents. We have a duty to maintain the common property etc etc.

            Especially, considering serious costly damage that has occurred from developments, to neighbouring buildings in other LGAs. It happens.


              I think a strongly worded letter from your strata manager or lawyer telling the developer their contractors need to respect their neighbours and, by the way, you will be raising the issues of overshadowing at a strata meeting to see what action your scheme can take to mitigate the effects of their construction and determine if it was legally approved.

              Something like that to fire a shot across their bows.  Remember what happened at Mascot Towers – it’s very likely that work on the adjoining lot cause the building to collapse.

              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.


                Yes we may need a lawyer. Or at least to get some legal advice.


                  The DA should have been scrutinised by the committee before the approval stage.
                  Traffic, overshadowing, issues in the geotechnical report, a dilapidation report to cover any damage including possible subsidence from the excavation if it is not supported sufficiently etc etc.
                  Water flows above and below ground can affect your property and should have been addressed.
                  Sewer access etc should all be there.
                  All you can do now is ensure compliance in a polite manner!


                    I think many people do not know thst a property owner/ developer can use a private certifier. Provided that proposed design is fully compliant with council planning rules, neighbours are not required to be informed of the development.

                    Ive seen a number of developments around me. The developers appear to use architects well versed in the local council planning rules, and design the building right up to the allowed envelope. Not the prettiest things, but they maximised the return for the developer.

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