Aug 25, 2007 1:02 am
Here's a few questions on this topic to toss our there for discussion, though happy to be redirected if the topic has been discussed before....
1. Are you required (in the State of Victoria) to get permission from your neighbour if your garage is to be built on the boundary line replacing the original fence, or are you merely required to inform your neighbour....OR is it both or neither?
2. If permission or notification is required, whose responsibility is it? Owner of the land, building company or both?
3. What happens if neither the owner nor the building company secure permission or notify the neighbour about the garage replacing a portion of the fence, but the building permit is issued and the construction begins? Can the neighbour kick up a fuss and halt the project?
We may (or may not) be experiencing something similar here, but curious to know if there are any sort of definitive answers to these questions out there.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line2
Aug 28, 2007 7:25 pm
Hi guys, i would have thought that you are entitled to build on the boundary as long as you have council approval. At the end of the day, if the council have approved it, then the neighbours shouldn'tn't kick up a fuss.
When we renovated our last place, we tore down the double carport and put up a triple garage and turned the orientation of the opening of the garage 90 degrees to face the road instead of a right hook in the driveway. (Confused???)
Anyway we mentioned it to the neighbours but only out of courtesy. We built the garage with the standard gutter configuration on our side of the boundary. I would suppose that even if you are building the garage with a gutter incorporated into a parapet as long as the council approve it, you shouldn't need thieir consent as such.
If you are tearing down a bit of the fence though, you would probably need to liase between the neighbours and the builder so that there is not too much inconvenience. Again just out of courtesy. Don't wan to get on their bad side too early.... Hope our experience helps.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line4
Aug 28, 2007 9:38 pm
So the relationship with the neighbours is already hostile?
Why not chat with them - run your idea past them and see that they say?
I spoken to my neigbours about a few things and they even offered to pay for some for them when I was happy to just do it at my cost.
Talk to them - it's much better than suddenly them seeing an ad in the paper? or worse - being woken by a bulldozer (hmm there's book and a movie that starts like that isn't there
Re: Building On The Boundary Line5
Aug 28, 2007 9:45 pm
Thanks for your replies guys.
Phoenix, I agree with what you are saying and it sounds logical to me as well.
Home Review, we have done that and have gotten a couple of different answers which prompted me to post the question. We'll call again tomorrow and try to get someone to give us a straight answer to this dilemma, but here's a quick run down of events.
First, in our tender appointment, we distinctly recall being told that the garage will be built very close to the boundary line, but not on the boundary line and will have maybe a 1 or 2 inch gap at most. OK, no worries.
Then the drawings came in and it sure looked like the garage would sit right on the boundary line (again, fine, whatever no worries), but we are not builders so we weren't sure if it just looked that way and they couldn't draw it with such a small gap to scale, so perhaps there still would be gap. Couldn't bother us in the least, signed the drawings and away they went.
Building permit's were approved by council and issued and I would have assumed that they would have been able to tell if the garage would be close to the boundary or actually on it. Regardless, approved, all set and building begins.
Get a call from my site supervisor (who's been fantastic to this point), who asks if we had received permission or notified the neighbour re: the fence, post the slab pour. Told him no, but if we saw them we would notify them. Saw them and notified them, they seemed fine with it at the time, didn't say anything, but didn't ask for permission. At this point still unclear if we needed to ask or just inform.
Nothing for two weeks, then as the frame is being completed, get a call from my construction admin that the neighbour had just called and was upset that nobody had informed them or asked them permission re: the garage replacing a portion of the fence. Called the neighbour and explained to them that we would have happily done whatever necessary much earlier on but that we were never informed or asked to do that, nor knew if it was our responsibility or not. We're still not sure where exactly the sit on the issue, but that explanation seemed to help. Called admin back and was informed by her that she did some more background checking and was told by the legal dep't. that there was nothing the neighbor could do about it and due to the plans being approved etc. they were just going to move forward.
Neighbour in further discussion says that because they know us, they wouldn't do it, but technically they could take us to court over the matter. The confusion was increased when we checked with Council and they said technically they could do that if we didn't get permission first. The we callled BPI who said, no they couldn't the plans had been approved and essentially it's a building going on the boundary line (which we are entitled to do) and not a fence issue. Starting to see how hazy this is? So are we!
What is odd is that we seem to get different answers no matter whom we speak with and many of them contradict one another. We have been on top of every other issue in order to even get the process going and the other issues were much clearer (i.e. permission and case building to have our setback shorter than the previous house, permission from the neighbours to have regular windows rather than the frosted version, permission from council and water company to build the garage over our easement), but this one was never very clear nor were there any instructions to us as to what to do.
Anyway, I've rambled long enough. We'll let you know when we attempt to get a straight answer tomorrow from Council or BPI.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line6
Aug 28, 2007 9:59 pm
Actually it's an interesting situation and not your normal one.
We have lived on our property for more than three years prior to demolishing and building the new house. The neighbour where the dispute is happening actually passed away (very nice older lady) about 2 years ago, so it's now a deceased estate. The ownership is now split by 4 or 5 surviving children, one of which (until very recently) was our neighbour across the street who just moved to another suburb. Nice family and the property is actually going on the market in October. Her concern (and I see her point) is that she was going to be faced with a decision or a situation without consulting her other family members and wanted to do that first. I totally get that, unfortunately, because of the lack of clarity from either the builder or the council, we were kind of in the dark as to needing to get consent or inform them. Not only that, but until recently we were under the impression that the garage would be built very close, but not on the boundary line. I think in the end it's going to be a non issue, but I initially posted the question to see if there was a straight answer or if its as vague as we have been finding.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line7
Aug 29, 2007 9:03 am
Hi bry & cbear,
Your house looks impressive!! I notice you're building with henley, make sure the side of the garage is covered by termite protection. Like mine, even though there is a small gap between the boundary and the garage (I think about 200mm), the builder still need neighbour permission to put the pipe in.
Good luck with your building journey...
Re: Building On The Boundary Line8
Aug 29, 2007 10:45 am
Hi Bry & CBear, for confirmation, just check your plans. There should be a side view of the garage wall. Does it have a standard gutter or a parapet & concealed gutter - these also cost more so you would have it in your tender as an extra charge too. If it has a concealed gutter then the fence needs to be removed and it is built on the boundary. But if it has a standard gutter, then the furthest point of the gutter will be on or close to the boundary line.
Does that make sense? Either way you will know whether the brick wall will be on the boundary or not.
Just chat with the neighbours, at least you wont have to keep replacing that part of the fence in the future.
It will be fine. It will work itself out.
Keep us infromed of how you go.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line9
Aug 29, 2007 3:31 pm
Thanks for the detailed gutter information and the words of encouragement, however we really aren't too worried about the neighbour, or the situation with the garage, just kind of throwing this out for spirited debate.
I understand what you are saying in relation to the gutter for the garage and yes, ours was always going to be built with a 'concealed' gutter as you put it, but there was no extra cost in our tender for that. This was due to the garage being built very close (and now apparently on) the boundary line, which we understood from the beginning.
We phoned the council today and spoke to someone with some experience and authority as we were looking for a straight answer to the question(s), did we legally need permission or to inform our neighbour of the fence being removed and garage being built. According to this person, the answer is neither. Legally you are allowed to build on the boundary line, the plans were approved and as a courtesy you can inform your neighbour this is going to happen, but are not required to do so. The neighbour can ask or have the fence replaced (covering the wall if they like), but they would have to pay half to have that done (with us), and we are fine to do that, but it will be up to them.
There you have it, the straight answer we were looking for, so it's no longer an issue. As for the neighbour, their main worry was that the garage wall in place of a fence might bring the value of the property down for potential buyers when the list it in October. The council person thought that assertion was comical and said if anything it might help the sale, but really won't have any effect at all.
Re: Building On The Boundary Line10
Aug 29, 2007 9:29 pm
In Sydney, council will inform all your neighbours about your application details before approval. If it's the same for your area, I think the neighbour probably forgotten about it or wasn't available when the council inform them about your application.
That's what happened to our neighbour as well. When we lodged our application last December, they went overseas for the whole month. When they returned it's all done. Before this they were just a bit unfriendly, after our application approved they became very rude and hostile...
After our construction finished, we think we will need our solicitor to be involved to sort out about the fence in between. They already very rudely claimed that because we are doing construction, and part of the already rotten fence was slightly damaged during construction, we have to pay for everything. Which is ridiculous...
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