VIC Garage on site boundary

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OC Novice

Member
20 May 2018
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I live in an 8 unit apartment block, some units have shared garages, some have private ones and some have only carports. Some garages have external walls on the site boundary. One lot owner recently had to have the wall of their private garage on the back site boundary partially pulled down and rebuilt - expensive and they want the OC to pay. My view is that as the wall is part of their lot and doesn't touch common property, it's their cost to fix it. If it was a fence, it would be shared between the neighbouring site and the lot owner but as it's their exclusively owned garage, I can't see why the OC has any responsibility. The front wall of their garage borders common property so is 50% OC I think (our boundaries are the median of walls on the subdivision). If they're correct it would benefit me was two of my garage walls are also on the boundary but I fundamentally don't think it's right that everyone (including those with no garages) should contribute equally to this wall of their garage (we have equal lot liability). Is this a grey area or am I correct in thinking it's their responsibility & cost?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Look at the plan of subdivision for the back wall. If it is median then 50/50 between owner and OC seems reasonable, as long as the owner is not responsible for the cause of the problem (eg their car damaged the wall). Means OC gets to choose the look of the exterior face. Image how it would look if it was brick and the owner selected a different type of brick to the rest of the wall.

While it may not seem reasonable to some, this is life in OCs.
 

OC Novice

Member
20 May 2018
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Look at the plan of subdivision for the back wall. If it is median then 50/50 between owner and OC seems reasonable, as long as the owner is not responsible for the cause of the problem (eg their car damaged the wall). Means OC gets to choose the look of the exterior face. Image how it would look if it was brick and the owner selected a different type of brick to the rest of the wall.

While it may not seem reasonable to some, this is life in OCs.

Thanks but the plan has no indication of site boundary responsibilities. Definitely median split between lots and between lots and common property but the property on the other side of their garage is the neighbours. The back boundary is made up of wooden fences next to common property and garages. They could choose anything for the wall of their garage and it wouldn't be visible as it's wholly within their garage.
The front fence is the responsibility of those whose property touches it (no common property between theirs and the footpath) so I'm struggling to see why the back would be different.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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Ok. At face value then the lot owner should pay.

However the plan of subdivision, which I have not seen, may alter my opinion.
 

OC Novice

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20 May 2018
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Thanks Rod, I think your footer says it best - we should see a lawyer but the OC won't seek legal advice and pretty much said they'd ignore any I got as "you could get 10 different opinions". sigh... looks like I'll just be paying again.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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The OC should just refuse to pay, let lot owner take OC to VCAT and have the matter heard at VCAT. Low cost solution. VCAT is not a huge issue. I've helped someone at VCAT and it work well, even if the member doesn't always follow the law.

Failing that, you take the OC to VCAT for unnecessary expenditure if they decide to pay.
 

Sandee1981

Member
5 December 2020
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We moved to this property in March 2020. After a month or so we moved our neighbors said that tour garage aircon switch was facing his side of the wall , so it needs to be removed .
He just said this ..and with in a month he had removed the switch and rendered our garage wall . Explaining my husband that it's facing his side , and that it is good for u as well.. that ur wall will be secured, I was not happy but still did not say anything, as we did not want to get into a dispute due to my children being little ..we had no time for all this. He also kept our switch that he had removed .
After that just a 2 weeks ago he was drilling into our garage wall and putting a clothing line and some decorative screens. My husband went and asked him he said it won't harm our wall and that he has full rights to do this work as he is a tradie.

We tried to talk to him , but they are not coming on any solution .
We need to put up a fence on our did to cover our garage wall for any damage in future . We requested them to remove it , but they say that we can go to court.
They also claimed that the had the clothing line there for last 8 years , but there was no clothing line when we took the pictures for the plug that was on the wall..when I said this, they exclaimed it had been removed and then hung again .

As I was the recent owner they should still have asked us before putting up on the wall as we were the current owners.
But they don't want to listen to us.