07/05/2019 at 3:25 pm #37376
Hi, I hope I can articulate properly!
We own a ground floor apartment. Each ground floor apartment has a small grassed area and garden off their verandah which is private but not exclusive use. “Our” area has a small opening to allow the gardener in to mow our section and the neighbours section. We have been told by the committee they don’t want us to access our property via this opening, which we happily abide by. Unfortunately, our neighbour does access there property through this opening despite our requests that they don’t. It intrudes greatly on our privacy, as it’s not only them but their friends, delivery drivers, tradies etc.
Is the owners committee able to stop access to their apartment via this piece of common property?
Any advice greatly appreciated.07/05/2019 at 6:09 pm #37381
Have a look and see if there is a by-law that may be being breached. Or get the owners corp to pass one. Then start hitting the recalcitrant neighbout with breach notices.
Or get the Owners Corp to install a lockable gate07/05/2019 at 8:33 pm #37390
Ok will do, thank you for your reply.08/05/2019 at 10:14 am #37436
Either an area is Exclusive Use Common Property (with a Common Property Rights By-law), or it is Common Property – there are no other categories as far as I am aware.
If no Common Property Rights Exclusive Use By-law exists over this area then any other Lot owner should be able to use the Common Property directly adjacent to your Lot, as it belongs to everyone.
As a ground floor owner myself, I have some questions:
On what authority did the Committee determine that access to ground floor verandahs was not permitted? This seems unreasonable.
Who planted the garden barrier around your ‘private’ lawn – the owner’s corporation or the ground floor Lot Owners? Who maintains these gardens?
Is the mowing of the lawns adjacent to your verandah being undertaken and paid for by the owners’s corporation?
If there are areas of lawns with garden beds surrounding the ground floor apartments and only one access point then why not create more access points through the gardens that will permit direct access to each verandah? Providing more direct access points will assist with privacy as it will prevent one owner from crossing in front of another owner’s verandah.
NB: If it was me I would want access from my verandah to the common property and I would be objecting if the Committee prevented this.
One of the benefits of living on the ground floor is the easy and direct access to the common property lawns and gardens, particularly for children, the disabled, and the elderly. Having direct access from a ground floor property to the common property allows for a quick exit from the building in an emergency.
There are benefits of having tradespeople have access via the verandah as it saves on wear and tear on the common property foyers and lifts when bringing in materials.
If you and your ground floor neighbours want to make the areas adjacent to your verandahs Exclusive Use then there is a process to go through that is outlined in the Act. Payment for this Right would be expected. The Owners Corporation, and therefore all the owners, should be compensated for the loss of this property which all the lot owners own in proportion to their unit entitlements.
I would be contacting my neighbours to see whether this is something that they would be interested in doing. Survey plans etc may need to be undertaken to determine boundaries, and a properly drafted Exclusive Use By-law be included as a Motion at a General Meeting, the costs of which would be cheaper if shared between all ground floor owners who are seeking Exclusive Use areas.
You may possibly be successful, particularly as no other Lot Owners seems to be aware that their Common Property has been ‘privately’ taken over.08/05/2019 at 5:53 pm #37454
The grasses areas are maintained by owners corp, gardens usually by individual lot owners.
Other access points are not possible, the common area is hemmed in by the building and pool fencing, only a very small gap exists, requiring shouldering through plants. This is not something suitable for the disabled or elderly. Very uneven ground. I have two young (under 3) children myself, we use the front door.
We’re not trying to completely restrict access wholesale. But certainly feel it should not be the neighbours primary access point.08/05/2019 at 6:14 pm #37461
Without seeing your problem I can only re-state my opinion that if its common property then access cannot be restricted unless it becomes your Exclusive Use.
You are probably lucky that only one neighbour is using this area. In reality all occupants of the building could be using it, whether they have to shoulder through plants or not.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, and I’m sorry about that.08/05/2019 at 8:06 pm #37462
Ha ha, no problems Lady P, I appreciate the reply.
But, Operation “Access Denied” shall continue!