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VIC Property Law on Bedroom Window Distance with Neighbour?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Diana Law, 17 July 2016.

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  1. Diana Law

    Diana Law Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am on the 6th level of an apartment building, owner/occupier. A new building has just been granted a permit to build 6 levels next to mine. Their bedroom and bathroom windows are 4.5 metres staring directly into my bedroom.

    Thoughts (other than the obvious kinky statements please) on property law?

    This is very serious. I have been bullied my entire life, and I can't take it anymore.

    I'm on the verge of burning down the proposed building then jumping, if this slum building boxes in my only source of light.
     
  2. @thelawbundle

    @thelawbundle Well-Known Member

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    Diana,

    I'm not sure what State / Territory you're in but this is a town planning matter and your local Council will likely have the job of approving the development next to you in accordance with their local planning scheme.

    I assume from what you've said (that a "permit has been granted") that this is not a development which had to be publicly notified (and which you could have appealed in a Court). I also assume that if the permit has been granted, the new development complies will the planning scheme (and all relevant codes).

    However, you should confirm this by contacting your local Council (or your councillor). You can voice your concerns and ask for their feedback.

    Also, your Council's website will probably have all of the details of the development available for free online (including the plans) so you should also double-check were the relevant windows will be. In my experience, the Council will have a requirement that the buildings be "set-back" from the boundary to better avoid any problems of overlooking. Again, this is something that you can ask the Council to comment on - they will generally seek input from their town planners and formulate a response to you.

    If you think that the Council has somehow approved a development which is not in accordance with its planning scheme (or codes) then you should speak with your local community legal centre who should be able to put you in touch with a pro-bono civil law service who might be able to assist you with any reviews / appeals that you will need to engage in. There will also be various avenues of complaint available to you (e.g. contacting an ombudsman).

    If, however, the Council has approved the development in accordance with its planning scheme - then you will need to look at practical ways of stopping any overlooking (which the person moving in opposite to you will also likely do).

    As you can see, there is a lot that can be done so please don't get disheartened or consider doing anything that you will later regret. Now is the time to approach this matter logically and rationally.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Diana Law

    Diana Law Member

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    Thanks, Law Bundle

    The matter was sent to VCAT. My local Council was strongly on my side. They only wanted a 17-metre high building there. But a 20-metre building has been approved by VCAT.

    Council put in an almighty argument.

    But in the final report, my statements weren't even included.

    I suffer from severe claustrophobia and depression. I have lived in 46 different homes around Australia, due to poverty, and depression. I have lost my entire family, they all recently died.
    I was finally able to purchase a home, in which I bought on the top floor, with floor to ceiling louvres that I keep open, so I don't feel trapped.

    If a wall is put up in front of me.

    Depression + Claustrophobia = You do the math.

    I have even informed Police.

    I have little to no doubt, I am going to enter a rage, make everyone evacuate, and burn the building down, then I'm going to jump. I've been bullied my entire life, and Im reaching out trying to tell people what can happen.

    This greedy developer just has to go down one lousy metre.

    I've even offered to do letterbox drop flyers etc, to help him sell his apartments, should he go down one metre.

    I am getting bullied to oblivion, and the State isn't protecting me, nor what can happen now.

    This has got major news bulletin written all over it, all because of greed, and people aren't listening to what I'm saying and warning.

    I've had enough. This is very very serious.
     
  4. @thelawbundle

    @thelawbundle Well-Known Member

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    OK,

    Well I am sorry to hear all of that Diana.

    However, from a legal perspective, I can only recommend that you contact your local Councillor and let them know your situation. He / she may be able to confirm that the windows will not affect you or make representations to the developer on your behalf which may have some weight when it comes to alterations to building design to avoid the overlooking, etc.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I know someone who recently moved houses because of a development next door. Australian suburbs are changing, for the worse in my view, however until enough people complain nothing will change. With the amount of money around in property development and the 'donations' made by developers to various groups it means more and more inappropriate building will continue.

    I sympathise with your position.

    Try to come up with positive alternatives. You can add tinting to windows, frosting is also cheap to buy these days and is DIY. I've used that myself on part of window. You may not have to do the whole window. I was able to keep the top portion clear on my window and the window still gave good views of the sky while letting in light and providing screening from the neighbour's window directly opposite. I was very happy with the result.

    Blinds that pull up to close may be an option eg: Keep your blinds closed at the base whilst being able to open from the top to preserve your privacy
    [​IMG]
     

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