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NSW Neighbour's Garage on My Property for More than 15 Years - Encroachment?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by jamesshort, 5 June 2015.

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  1. jamesshort

    jamesshort Member

    5 June 2015
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    My neighbour's fibro garage is built 20cm over the boundary. It has been like this for more than 15 years.
    I would like it removed from my property.
    Hornsby Council sent one of those Building Certifiers, and said that because it has been there for more than 7 years, the Statute of Limitations say they can't do anything.

    How can a person build over onto someone else' land and just as long as it has been there long enough, the council will not do anything? It doesn't make sense to me.

    I thought it is all black and white; something built on my land is encroachment under property law, isn't it?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi James,

    The legal principle of adverse possession, dictates that if someone has occupied all or part of a piece of land that doesn't belong to them for long enough they can claim ownership of the land. However I don't believe this applies per se to Torrens title land (which is the majority of properties in NSW). In addition, though the Limitation Act 1969 may prescribe an amount of time during which you are able to bring an action to recover your land, after which your action will be statute barred. I assume this is the 7 years your Building Certifier is talking about.

    I would seek specific legal advice if you are concerned about it.

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