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VIC Building Covenants Dispute - Recourse under Property Law?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Ian Watkins, 22 October 2015.

  1. Ian Watkins

    Ian Watkins Member

    21 October 2015
    Likes Received:
    I bought land in a new estate that had extensive covenants covering the type of houses and surroundings required. The Developer required that all building plans & elevations be submitted to them for approval prior to commencing construction.

    One of the covenants provides " In order to prevent the inadvertent incidence of similar dwellings in close proximity of each other, the Developer requires that at least 200 metres separation between dwellings of generally similar appearance takes place".

    I believe that the Developer has approved (duplex) dwellings of similar appearance to be built within the 200 metre exclusion zone described above. I wrote to the Developer with my concerns and received the following reply:

    Thank you for your email.

    I noted that construction of the dwellings are not completed.

    I will revisit this matter once they are.

    This bizarre reply defies the approval process.

    It appears that the Developer is relying solely on the difference in the facades of the dwellings in that they have different shaped windows & doors. The floor plans of these dwellings are almost identical - only the facade has been modified - but, in my opinion, not enough, as they are of SIMILAR APPEARANCE.

    What recourse do I have under Property Law?
  2. Therese

    Therese Well-Known Member

    11 October 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi Ian,

    As the dwellings have been approved, you would assume that the building plans submitted met the requirements.

    However if you have reason to believe that the Developer is acting outside the restrictions then my suggestion would be to get in contact with someone at the estate.

    I am not sure if the estate would be interest in pursing action on your behalf or if you would continue alone.

    If you were to continue, your next step should be getting in touch with legal aid, a lawyer or even Consumer Affairs Victoria or Victorian Building Authority. They will advise you of how to continue your complaint and if you can prevent the Developer from breaching the covenant.

    I am not sure how much action can happen after the dwellings have been completed so it is probably best to act as soon as possible

    Hope that helps!
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