Forum: Space invader demands squatters rights

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It’s amazing how often this old chestnut comes up and it reminds me of friends who had a “creative” young chap move into their small 1930s walk-up and announce he would be renovating. 

His neighbours assumed the usual stuff – new kitchen and bathroom, perhaps. But then he removed the ceiling in his top floor flat to give himself a nice vaulted roof space.

His logic (such as it was) went something like, this is common property and I own part of it and no one else can use it so I might as well have it.

Yeaaaah … no!

If you want exclusive use of common property you have to pay for it. 

Not only that, you should agree to by-laws meaning you, and any subsequent owners of your flat, are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the common property affected.

It amazes me that even after all this time that we’ve been living in strata, people think “common property” works on a basis of squatters rights for whoever gets first dibs.

Even more amazing, they often assume the other owners are obliged to along with their somewhat selfish plans.

We mention this becasue a flatchatter’s neighbour has announced he will be taking over common property for an expansion of his top-floor flat and he has no intention of compensating the strata scheme.

Even worse, when our correspondent approached the strata manager, she said, “I’m not here to give legal advice”. You can read about this latest example of a blatant strata land grab HERE.

Elsewhere in the Forum:

  • Is there any way to stop an owner making the same proposals again and again despite knowing it’s probably going to be rejected.  That’s HERE.
  • How can I stop other owners from raising the levies (by quite a lot) every quarter?  That’s HERE.
  • Several storage cages have been allocated to commercial properties in the scheme.  Can I challenge this?  That’s HERE.
  • Where can I get a special by-law so I can put solar panels on my common property roof?  That’s HERE.
  • Are we allowed to make money off common property – like having billboards on the side of our block?  That’s HERE.

There are lots of new questions and answers every week on the Flat Chat Forum … and there are a few long-running sagas you might want to catch up with too.

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