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VIC Council Issued Notice to Demolish My Shed - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Neville, 16 July 2014.

  1. Neville

    Neville Member

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    In 2002 I built a shed in my backyard for storage, it is 10m x 6m.
    At the time I was told I did not need a building permit unless it was going to cost over $5000.00.
    It cost me less than $3000 to Build.
    I did not get anything in writing and I cannot find what the councils requirements back in 2002 were anymore.
    The notice I have been given refers to the Building Regulations of 2006, The shed was built before this time.It states that any building over 10m2 requires a building permit.

    In the demolition order it also states that once the building has been demolished, I need to submit in writing for the order to be cancelled and pay a $550.00 processing fee. In the past two years, I have had to deal with a few council departments that have been questioning what happens on my property, such as being told I cannot park a truck on my 2 acre property unless I get planning permission to run a business. I was helping out a neighbor by letting him park his truck there a night. We stopped parking there after they threatened me with a $700 per day fine for not having a planning permit.

    I feel that the council is just causing trouble for me.
    My main question is, can I fight the council under property law or do I need to pull down my much needed shed?
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Neville,

    Could you answer the following:

    - Which State are you in and which Council are you dealing with?

    - Do you remember the name of the person you were dealing with in 2002? In many cases, the Council should have written case notes for any correspondences made with a resident of a property. Have you asked them to check their records for written case notes? Anything in writing, on either your side or the Council's side, would help.
    - Some councils destroy their case notes after 10 or 15 years (depending on the council/state), if this is the case, it may be difficult for the Council to enforce a policy where there is no written evidence to show no authority to build.
    - In any event, they will need to refer you to the applicable regulation(s) at the time of building. The relevant regulations/policies/legislation you should be looking at are the ones applicable in 2002. Most subsequent regulations do not apply retrospectively, this means that the Building Regulations 2006 should only apply to buildings installed after 2006, but do double check your current regulation to make sure this is the case.

    If you believe the Council gave you incorrect advice in 2002 and based on this advice, you installed a building that may now be torn down, you can give the State Ombudsman in your state a call. Have a search for their contact details on the internet and get some further information about your position and what your next steps might be. The state ombudsman deals with complaints against government bodies, including council decisions, and is also a dispute resolution body, to which you may lodge a complaint against your council.
     
    John R likes this.
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Based on Sarah's advice, then I'd be telling the council the building was built to regs in 2002 and the 2006 rules don't apply. Worth a try :)
     
    John R likes this.
  4. Neville

    Neville Member

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    I am in Nillumbik in Victoria.
    The council are willing to accept when it was built as they checked aerial photos over time.
    As for who I originally spoke to, I don't know, and nothing was official, so I don't know of any records kept.
    I would like to know what there rules were in 2002, this I can't find out.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Get them to tell you. If they don't have the 2002 regs how do they know the shed doesn't follow them?

    I'd say it's their problem, not yours.
     

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