WA Property Law - Boundary Wall on Common Property - Who Pays?

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WiserNow

Well-Known Member
10 September 2014
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On this strata titled land, all external areas have been designated as common property (including the individual unit's court yards). Only the buildings themselves have been defined as being owned by the owners.

The front unit had an issue with an unapproved patio in their court yard and proactively applied for retrospective planning approval. As all external areas are common property, all four owners of the strata title had to provide their approval that they had no objection to the patio being on common land even though it would only be Unit 1 using their "private" patio accessible from their back sliding door.

The council has now advised the front boundary wall (which is also the wall for unit 1's court yard being on common property), and some of the level of the land within the courtyard have not been built according to the original planning application (20 years ago). The boundary wall is on common property.

Whose responsibility would it be to pay for and get this wall and raised land approved under Property Law? All the strata owners (as it is on common property) or unit 1 which benefits from the wall and the raised land (is part of unit 1's court yard).
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Does Unit 1 have a lease on the courtyard? Some OCs have 99 year zero dollar leases with conditions.
 

WiserNow

Well-Known Member
10 September 2014
108
16
454
Not to my knowledge. I assume it would be listed in the strata plan if it did exist.

If it doesn't exist who responsibility is the boundary wall and raised floor level to get approved?
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Leases are not placed on strata titles as the title is not changing. The OC should maintain these records if they exist.

Hard to comment on who is responsible. It will depend on many historical factors and I suspect previous owners decisions that are probably not documented. Boundary walls are normally an OC responsibility. Raised floor in a common area with no lease would be OC again, but you'd have to ask if OC approval was given for the raised floor, if none given, then the OC could ask for the floor to be reinstated back to original condition else the owner pays for approval.
 

WiserNow

Well-Known Member
10 September 2014
108
16
454
It was the original builders of the property who completed all the work 20 years ago. The work was outside the scope of what was submitted and approved by council in the builder's planning & building application. Even the strata units' joint letter box pillar has been placed in a different location from the plans.

The raised floor is in a common area (albeit within Unit's 1 courtyard - but marked as common area) so the "owner" would be the owners of the strata lot (being the 4 units). Would this mean the Council should legally address the common area issue (unapproved boundary wall and raised floor) with the owners of the strata lot or the unit 1 owner who benefits from the features?