Flat Chat Forum Company Title Current Page

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  • #53393

    We have a new owner who insists he owns a laundry on his level and hes going to block in the verandah to the laundry and extend his apartment.  When questioned about his ownership he says he doesn’t have to prove ownership and told me to sue him.

    The other residents seem unwilling to challenge him on this but its my understanding the laundry and verandah is common property and no one has any knowledge (owners for 25 years plus) of any change of ownership.  The property is company title and is in Victoria.  Apart from paying for my own legal advice do i have any options?

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  • #53473

    In a Company Title unit block the owners are issued with a share certificate which is accompanied by rights in the Memorandum and Articles of Association to occupy exclusive space. The number of shares held depend on the size of the unit and any associated garage or parking space that may come with the unit. The more shares held the higher the proportion of quarterly levies paid to the Company for the upkeep of the building.

    The Articles should specify the boundaries of the space or area held by his unit number (and all units) , as well as what areas are common property. The agent who manages your building may also have a building plan of the unit block from when the block was built many decades ago which determines boundaries. Every shareholder should be in possession of a copy of the Articles of Association when they purchased their unit. The managing agent should also have a copy on file as well as any minutes from AGM’s and Director’s meetings.

    In any case, renovations and alterations to the laundry area could not be made without a shareholders meeting being held and subsequent resolutions by a majority made in favour of the work being done. I assume all other shareholders use this laundry, so they are hardly going to be in favour of their laundry being taken from them, not to mention another shareholder getting a benefit from the building for free. Humans are inherently selfish after all. Were such a resolution to be passed by a majority, the shares held to occupy the additional space would also have to be increased. This in turn would attract additional levies to be paid to the company each quarter. The paperwork to process such changes to the company and the necessary resolutions would have to be drafted by a competent lawyer, and the matter voted on by holding an extraordinary general meeting.

    I am not sure why your other neighbours are unwilling to challenge him unless they are elderly and ignorant of the law in Company Title matters. If you are a Director, perhaps you could call a Director’s meeting to discuss the matter. If he is also a Director then you cannot exclude him from the meeting. Trust me….I have been involved with this sort of contentious space grab in a Company Title block in Sydney previously.


    Thank you very much for your helpful and supportive answer


    You are fortunate that you are in Victoria as, unlike  in NSW, the Tribunal there (VCAT) will rule on Company Title matters, according to this factsheet.

    But wherever this dispute takes you, your first challenge is to establish that the laundry and balconies are common property, and that will be somewhere in the articles (rules) of the company that owns the building.

    There is only one appropriate response to people who say “sue me” – and that is, “I hope your lawyers are as expensive as mine as I will be coming after all costs when I win.”

    BTW, you neighbour sounds like a bully – and there’s only one way to deal with that kind of beast … unless you want to see where the thin end of this wedge leads to.



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Flat Chat Forum Company Title Current Page