Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #55096
    scammer
    Flatchatter

    We have moved into an existing building.  Our unit suffers from poor natural light as there are 4 metre golden canes planted on common property in front of our only window.  We have neighbours on either side but the canes do not affect their property but does give them some privacy from each other.  It does not impact their sunlight or overall privacy. We would like to get the golden canes cut to 1.5M but our northern neighbour wants to keep them as it stops apartments above us from seeing into one small part of his balcony.

    At the moment the northern neighbour refuses to allow the Owners Corporation to trim the golden canes

    Do we have a legal leg to stand on ?  What are rights ?  What should we do ?

    Thanks in advance

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  • #55206
    TonyC
    Flatchatter

    With hedge disputes, Sunlight trumps Privacy.

    The ‘legal leg to stand on’ is found in the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (NSW). It states that if sunlight (or views) are severely obstructed by a hedge (2 or more plantings, including bamboo) then the Court will usually order they be kept trimmed to 2.5 metres (in some cases, the Court will order removal).

    In this case, the OC owns adjoining land on which the Golden canes are growing, and is therefore a neighbour bringing it within the realm of the Trees Act.

    The best approach is the mediation route, not the Court route, as Jimmy suggests, with the threat of taking action under the Trees Act if mediation does not succeed.

    #55207
    TrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    Two things come to mind:

    1. Jimmy’s advice of mediation is useful. If so, you could quote a section of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act that could assist you:

    Part 2
    Division 2 Management of strata schemes
    9   Owners corporation responsible for management of strata scheme
    (2)  The owners corporation has, for the benefit of the owners of lots in the strata scheme

    It should be plain as day to a mediator that cutting the canes would benefit you and would not seriously impact on your neighbours. Also I would think your right to sunlight trumps another lot’s expectation of more privacy than they currently enjoy.

    That said, be ready at mediation for a neighbour to claim that you knew of the canes’ height when you recently moved in and now you seem to expect your wishes to be complied with? That is unreasonable, unless you were given an undertaking upon purchase that the canes would be trimmed.

    That said, IMHO given my experience at NCAT a few times (notwithstanding different Members offer different views), I suggest mediation but prepare THOROUGHLY as though you’re going to trial.

    Good luck.

     

    #55098
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    We would like to get the golden canes cut to 1.5M but our northern neighbour wants to keep them as it stops apartments above us from seeing into one small part of his balcony. At the moment the northern neighbour refuses to allow the Owners Corporation to trim the golden canes.

    So, is this guy the king of the building?  Launch mediation with the owners corp with a view to getting orders under section 232 (resolving disputes) to compel them to allow you to have the basic amenity of sunlight into your home.  They might even appreciate being ordered to do something they know is right but are too timid to do themselves.

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Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page