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We are pre 1974 property and in NSW.
One owner with back courtyard wishes to update the courtyard. in doing so he wanted to lower the level of the courtyard. so he has leveled it out but then came into contact with common property storm water pipe that runs across his courtyard from 4 other courtyards above and joins his property and then continues on to 3 courtyards below.
so he has dug up the common property storm water pipe running across his property got a licenced plumber in to lower the pipe by about 30 to 40cm (elbow joint) replaced the pipe with pvc. all this has been done without permission. (this is not the first time he has just ‘done works’ without permission / or consultation. surprisingly there was nothing wrong with the pipes/
the strata mgr says we have to have a meeting to give permission. however, this owner has interfered with common property that services other lots is there not a Strata Act Law that says he should be fined for doing said works? or do we have to go to a meeting with owners to give him permission or not.
we would welcome a solution
Its quite simple
Have the chairman or SM speak to the owner first.
Let him know that he has breached the clause about damaging common property.
Point out that he can
a) reinstate the pipe to its former condition and raise the level of his courtyard as he has damaged commo property. Say that if he fails to do so the OC will issue a breach notice and if he fails to remedy the breach, he can be fined and the OC can reinstate the stormwater and charge him for it
b) tell him that he will need to get a bylaw passed for the change to the stormwater. That the costs of the bylaw will be at his expense and that he will maintain the stormwater pipe.
b) is the cheaper solution for the recalcitrant owner, but a) is where the OC has the big stick
Apart from breaches of bylaws, in NSW there is no law allowing owners to be fined for any such acts.
But consider thatnin this case, the owner has improved thecommon property by replacing old terracotta pipes. So you woild not want to chnage that out. If its not doing any harm, get that bylaw passed
If the SM is suggesting a meeting just to give permission and not to pass a bylaw, then he is mistaken. It needs a bylaw passed so that the OC is not stuck for any future maintenance costs .
The cost of the meeting can be charged to the owner as parg of the “permission””
You should also get a written scope of works from the tradesman that did the works, and confirmation from that tradesman that the works comply with all relevant standards – otherwise it will have to be removed.
Presuming the owner goes with getting the approval of the owners and a by-law, the scope should be attached to the by-law.
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