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  • #52598
    AvatarLawoftheLand
    Flatchatter

    Hi,

    Lot A underwent major renovations by professional & qualified trades some years ago that was approved by the O/C, by-laws registered and Council DA issued costing $60K.

    Not long thereafter Lot B (owner who holds no trade cert) performs similar reno’s himself – dropping a stairwell from lounge room floor to basement that was opened up to a living room, removing walls, changing basement windows, non-waterproofing work done in bathroom, moving gas lines & more – all done without O/C approval and no DA.

    Initial Council inspection performed and owners issued with a long listed compliance order. Then the owner’s report sudden water issues to Strata in bathroom (which completely wrecked adjoining internal wall in Lot) attempting to claim it all as common property and for the O/C to pay.  Unbelievable! Plumbers report reveals the extensive damage was old and caused by no waterproofing in bathroom. Strata correctly issues owners the plumbers invoice.

    Council has now issued a Building Information Certificate under the EPA Assessment Act and the property is being sold. This certificate has been sent to the Strata Manager but no other specific information was supplied – as to what the initial inspector found and what he ordered to be rectified.

    Further inquiries with the issuing officer of the Building Info Cert are disturbing to me, who stated they (the owners) are allowed to move walls, allowed to move gas lines & walls? Really? And the stairwell is still in situ – yet it is listed in the compliance order?

    So basically not much has been rectified.  All the work has been certified and they never paid for a DA and not even fined?

    So how is this possible when good guy in Lot A forks out $60K and no shame guy in Lot B gets to keep all his unqualified work, still no DA and no O/C approval? You need a DA for a shed these days.  I don’t understand it one iota, if he keeps the work there should be a DA.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
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  • #52691
    AvatarLawoftheLand
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your advice Jimmy.

    This is a significant reminder to all other owner/occupiers out there – when you see & hear obvious works being done – report it! This work was done 8-9 years ago (I wasn’t here then) and not one single owner, at the time, stopped them.  There is only one owner/occupier left from that era who pulled the old “oh I didn’t know anything about it” bs line. This is the blocks sad & angry “Karen” who manages to complains endlessly today about the locations of bins and pot plants!

    I agree with <i>kaindub, </i>in that the issuing of that certificate is just an exercise – not worth the paper it’s written on. And that’s even dubious – it’s a Council letterhead with certifiers name in top corner giving the appearance it’s a Council employed certifier.  The Council was given photo’s of how the premises was originally – prior to them buying it.  No detective work here – all available on the internet. Council only inspected the premises and served them with compliance orders.  The Building Info Certificate was issued by a private building certifier – another choice the shonks opted for.

    #52693
    AvatarFlame Tree
    Flatchatter

    So essentially some dude has smashed your place and your value all without permissions? Our site’s disaster was a little more modest. That owner also sold up after the events. It was agreed with the outgoing guy that the rectification work was to be independently billed then deducted from that property’s price paid by the incoming owner who then paid for the rectification to the body corps satisfaction.

    #52674
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    When selling a property the vendor and/or real estate agent has to disclose all material things affecting the property.

    The certificate issued by the council is a paper exercise. The council does not have as prebuilt drawings for your strata so cant compare to what has been added. It only checks that the property complies with the “obvious” issues.

    Have the SM or the committee send the selling agent, with a copy to the owner, stating that the renovations do not have OC approval. The agent is then bound to tell prospective owners of this issue.

    Whether the agent does or not point out this “material” thing to prospective buyers, you have now shifted the problem to the seller. If a new buyer comes in and the OC requires remediation at their cost the OC says that this was advised to the agent/vendor. The buyer then has an issue with the seller for misrepresentation.

    If the agent does inform the prospective buyers, watch them retreat. Either the seller gets a low price or the seller  makes good all the issues so that the OC says its approved.

    #52665
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    It may be too late but your owners corp needs to get on to this immediately.

    Not only has chummy broken all the rules, he has left your block with a stack of potential claims against the strata scheme, if and when all his illegal renovations start falling apart.

    Make no mistake, the new owners will be able to demand that you, the current owners, fix everything that goes wrong with common property for the simple reason that you didn’t demand the mad renovator agree to by-laws covering the alterations.

    If the property hasn’t sold yet, talk to a lawyer about starting action at fair Trading and NCAT, quickly followed by an Interim order, demading that all common proeprty be reinstated – or responsibility accepted in a binding by-law, before the unit is sold.

    If you don’t do it, I can guarantee you will be back here in a year or two asking what can be done when the new owner demands (with some justification) that you fix the previous guy’s stuff-ups.

    Talk to a strata lawyer NOW!

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