Holiday Over, Nightmare Begins

Well, seems I’ve taken a two week unscheduled holiday from the blogging world. No dramas or particular reason to blame, just that returning to work seems to drastically reduce the amount of time you have available to sit and write about what you’re doing. Even then, if you had the time, writing ‘got up, went to work, came home’ is a bit boring – even for this blog.

One problem we’re having though is probably worth mentioning. For those joining us late Rae and I recently purchased a block of land and are planning on building. This week we got a call from Henley, our building company, and what should have been a pretty straight forward start has turned in to a bit of a nightmare – it appears the owner/builder on the next block has built 4.5cm on to our land.

45 small millimetres. Not much in the scheme of things but, thanks to council regulations, when it comes to positioning our house it may as well have been a metre or two. I went out to see the builder. He was very contrite (“I sign anything. Just tell me, I sign.”) but I’m sure once we start asking him to pay for the extra costs we are now incurring (already about $800) that mood may change.

I’ve also had it pointed out that if we do nothing then after 12 years the land he is on becomes his. Arggghhhh. The best  solution for us would be to sell him 4.5cm of our land and have the titles adjusted accordingly, but that’s going to cost him even more so I’m not sure how he’ll react to it. I think the first thing we’re going to have to do is break the he said/she said stalemate that will eventuate and get the lots independently surveyed to make sure Henley have it right. From there on out I can only see lawyers.

Any one have any advice?

6 Replies to “Holiday Over, Nightmare Begins”

  1. The council may not allow a boundary adjustment for the sake of 4.5cm – i’m surprised that you are allowed to build so close to the boundary in the first place.

    Have you spoken with the council about the issue yet?

  2. Thomas,

    we don’t want to build that close to the fence line – the neighbour has built his garage wall flush with what he thinks is the property line. Not ideal, but within his rights. Our house should be 20cm on one side and 180cm on the other away from the boundary.

    The council want $400-$600 to apply for an adjustment to their regulations (one of the first things our buildier told us was the council was a nightmare to deal with). We’re still investigating other options on the siting of our house.

    One thing we don’t want to do is lose a piece of our land, no matter how small, for no benefit and at a cost.

  3. Owner/builders = idiots. I am yet to meet one that isn’t.

    Having had experience with the building department in what will be your new council… yeah… they’re ballbreakers (hate to be the bearer of bad news).

    I got nothing – no experience in this whatsoever. Adverse possession is a bitch too. To me it would have been a simple matter but the council will take any chance to get more money out of you.

  4. Caveat on the title comes to my mind for a start. I think it has to be formally discharged. It would be some protection for the future if it becomes really messy.

  5. Andrew, we have purchased the land already so I’m not sure a caveat on the title is applicable.

    Or, as someone just suggested, put a caveat on the land (is this possible) he has built on to affect his ability to sell his house until this is resolved?

    Oh boy, the deeper we go in to this more I know I don’t know.

  6. Furthermore, does any one know if he can sell the building given this is going on? OR is this why Andrew suggest placing a caveat on the title?

  7. Can you charge rent?

    This is a real bugger!

    Wish I could add something useful at the point but I’m all out.

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