Cellar dwellers undermine strata laws


Just when we thought we had read everything, along come two owners who have illegally created cellars under their units.

They have cut holes in their floors, removed soil and built walls to create store rooms in the foundations of the building, all without approval, writes Flatchatter Col.

“Both owners are now seeking a special resolution to use this space,” he adds. “Does anyone know what the building code and regulation is for the construction of an underground cellar or store room on common property in a unit complex.”

Let’s be clear, this is not only a land grab, it could pose a threat to the rest of the building and it needs to be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

These unapproved works are in breach of by-laws, strata law and probably council planning regulations too.  They may also be a threat to the structure of the buildings as a whole.

If they want to keep their cellars, Col’s neighbours need to get council approval, prove that the work is safe and accept ongoing legal responsibility for the cellars and the floors, via a specially drafted by-law.

They need to compensate other owners for the value of the common property they have grabbed as well as all professional fees and charges related to putting this right, including by-laws, meetings,  engineering checks and legal fees.

They should also find a way of paying a larger share of contributions since their levies no longer reflect the size of their unit.

Failing any of the above, Col’s owners corp should seek NCAT orders requiring the cellar dwellers to either do the right thing or reinstate the floors and areas underneath to their previous condition.

You can read the whole story HERE.


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