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Council Fine for Internal Renovation

Discussion in 'Development' started by Rayan, 13th Feb, 2016.

  1. Rayan

    Rayan Active Member

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    Hi Property Chatters,

    I recently completed a large internal renovation of a house. Works were all exempt/complying (in the opinion of 2 builders of 20 years experience and my own prior research). Council came through for a sticky beak after notification by a neighbour presumably. Took two months to consider things, discussed with their own "legal" team and then decided to issue a $3k fine for:
    1. Removal of a bathroom
    2. Replacement of two joists/bearers that were termite damaged and therefore could not be kept original.

    Opinions???
    The letter states that I can appeal to OSR, then OSR website states it will direct the appeal back to council........
     
  2. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    Is the property heritage listed?
     
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  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Did you remove or construct a 'wall'?
     
  4. Rayan

    Rayan Active Member

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    Property is not heritage listed and no walls removed or constructed.
     
  5. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Ask for another inspector, they all wear different glasses and see things different ways! But it's likely to late. What a pain in the apple! Do you know why they came out or who would have let them know? I don't understand why neighbours would dob you in
     
  6. Rayan

    Rayan Active Member

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    It could have been a disgruntled tenant- I provided the existing tenants with 3 months notice in order to start renovating. They weren't happy to move on.
     
  7. vbplease

    vbplease Well-Known Member

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    Was there any more info why the fine has been issued? Bathrooms and joists/bearers are often removed in a reno..

    did you do the work yourself without a licensed builder?
     
  8. Johnny Cashflow

    Johnny Cashflow Well-Known Member

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    What a load of crap. It's your house you should be able to replace a bathroom or put up a wall if you want.

    Different if your running dodgy electricity that could be dangerous
     
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  9. Anthony416

    Anthony416 Active Member

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    My guess is that council viewed this as complying development and wanted to see documentation from a private certifier.
     
  10. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    In QLD some council inspectors will overstep the mark. In some instances they have cost my clients large sums of money and they were completely and factually wrong.
     
  11. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Ask to see your file as you have a right to view it and then politely request that Council details in writing each and every breach and the penalty for same.

    You would have a local councillor so find out their details and ask them to step in on your behalf.
     
  12. Shazi

    Shazi Member

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    What a pain . I didn't think your reno. constituted any compliance issues however I would get a private certifier and then appeal or you may end up with an unnecessary legal bills. Good luck
     
  13. Rayan

    Rayan Active Member

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    Thank you for all the advice. I was completely astounded too- all the work was carried out by 2 extremely experienced licensed builders, licensed electrician and plumber. The actual penalty notice itself is extremely vague and doesn't actually point out what sections of any act have been breached etc.

    I agree that bathrooms and joists/bearers are often removed and thus they have no legal basis for the fine. I plan on writing an appeal to OSR and will ask my contact at council for the file and the list of breaches to help me address them one by one.

    Interestingly council dated the fine 29th November 2015 (the date they inspected), but sent it out by post on 2nd Feb 2016 with a non-dated cover letter!!!! OSR only allows appeals within 21 days of the infringement notice. I have written to council to ask them to re-issue the fine on the same date they actually issued the fine. Common sense isn't common to everyone......
     
  14. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, builders frequently don't know what requires certification or planning permission, and good builders will always ask their certifier or town planner before giving an opinion. Both removal of a bathroom and replacement of joists would require certification and possibly planning approval in my jurisdiction.
     
  15. Tools

    Tools Active Member

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    Regardless of the experience of your builders,
    what was the value of the work and did you have a building permit?

    Tools
     
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  16. Rayan

    Rayan Active Member

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    By value do you mean cost?? It was a major reno so cost was over 200k (severe water damaged property over three levels). I did not have a building permit- isn't this only needed when you are constructing or adding?? This was internal renovation only.
     
  17. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Uh oh... Isn't 12k the magic number or is that just owner builder, builders license
     
  18. Tools

    Tools Active Member

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    So with no permit is that what the fine was for?

    Tools
     
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  19. Anthony416

    Anthony416 Active Member

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    Council would want to see a DA (which can be done even under complying development) or documentation from a private certifier. That is what I think the fine is for but it will be interesting to see how this pans out.
     
  20. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    For a significant Reno like that I'd cop the fine over dealing with council!!

    You'll have to go back and fill out paperwork and get a certifier bit dealing with council from the start is painful!! This may have saved your sanity without realising :)
     
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