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Granny flat construction whilst property is leased

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Montgom90, 9th Jul, 2016.

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  1. Montgom90

    Montgom90 Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm seeking advice as a tenant of a property on which construction of a granny flat has begun at the rear of the block. We were notified verbally by the property manager when we signed the lease in September 2015 that a granny flat was likely to be built sometime during our lease, however no firm date was ever provided, and it was not disclosed in the lease agreement.

    We were notified construction was going to begin via phone less than a week prior to commencement, and we received a letter providing further details of the construction only 5 days prior. The letter was dated 27/5, yet was received hand-delivered in our mailbox 29/6. Construction began 4/7. Seems to me like dodgy practice from the agent.

    I contacted the agent yesterday to discuss reimbursement in the form of reduced rent for both the inconvenience caused to us during the construction, and the fact that they will be accessing our power. So far they have said they will drop a measly $60 from 1 weeks rent.

    Just this morning I was awoken at 6:30 by a knock on the door from the tradies requesting we move our car out of the driveway so that they can access the site. This is despite been told by the agent that our driveway access during construction would not be affected at all. Off-street parking is included in our lease.

    I feel it's time for a strongly worded email to the agent expressing our frustration. Any advice on how we should proceed? Is it too soon to threaten NCAT proceedings?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Hi @Montgom90, you sound like the other side of the coin to this: Tenant is not happy with the granny flat construction
     
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  3. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    There was a discussion about this recently, with a landlord posting about this topic.

    Generally responses were that this was not acceptable at all.

    Edit: just saw Gockie's post - that's the one I meant!
     
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  4. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    You should have got something in writing when you signed the lease that this was going to happen. Clearly the property manager didn't do their job correctly.

    BUT

    You did know this was going to happen...so...
     
  5. Montgom90

    Montgom90 Member

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  6. Montgom90

    Montgom90 Member

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    @Biz , yes we knew construction would occur so anticipated some construction noise etc, however we were not informed that they would use our power source or that our parking would be affected.
     
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The builder cannot use your power for free if at all. They should provide their own power supply eg new power supply from pole or a generator.

    They generally cannot commence work before 7.00am nor use your driveway if you have the complete rights of use - builder needs to get their own access.

    They cannot use your water or toilet either.

    If the lease does not indicate that you have less than the full use of the yard, then they may be trespassing.

    Are you on a current lease or has it expired?
     
  8. Montgom90

    Montgom90 Member

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    @Scott No Mates , lease is current until mid-September. The only area specifically excluded from access on our lease is the back garden shed.
     
  9. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you have to agree about the use of the power source. They could get a temporary pole as they will need a separate connection in the end anyway.

    In Vic it is not legal to run an extension cord from a residence for this type of construction work. The builder must have their own power source.

    I would see the $60 as being part compensation for the loss of parking. Was this amount what was agreed at the beginning of the lease?

    If you are losing more amenity than agreed, then renegotiate. And be careful where you park so your car doesn't get damaged by trucks unloading.

    They will need to use your water during the build, if there is brickwork etc.
     
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  10. markson

    markson Well-Known Member

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    I would be closing the gate and putting a padlock on it. If they want access then they really need to compensating you. I would be asking for a decent rent reduction and $x towards the electricity. And get it in writing. If its not in writing then it didn't happen!
     
  11. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    I am assuming this is a battle axe type setup in which case how else were they going to get access to the backyard? Helicopter everything in?

    Power is negligible, they will only use a bit until they get the seperate connection going, might be $20 all up.
     
  12. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough for the power but as I said above its only a small amount. Lock the gate? They knew it was happening. Rent reduction? They agreed to a lease knowing this would happen so why?
     
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  13. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Because they have to move their cars every day and lose use of the driveway too.

    This will get very annoying, especially if work occurs on a weekend.
     
  14. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    That is part of what the rent reduction is for.

    Look, clearly the owner/pm didn't dot all their I's and cross all their T's but the tenant knew it was happening and they need to use a bit of common sense as to how something is going to be built behind an existing house.
     
  15. twobobsworth

    twobobsworth Well-Known Member

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    From you post you haven't detailed what outcome to you actually want. How much rent do you pay and what reduction would satisfy you. Alternatively would you prefer to terminate your lease?
     
  16. markson

    markson Well-Known Member

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    "So far they have said they will drop a measly $60 from 1 weeks rent"

    Yeah fair enough but I think one single week reduction of $60 is pretty poor compensation.
     
  17. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Pretty standard reduction when building a gf. I built 3x and reduced the front house by $50 while it was being built. Keep in mind this is Newcastle, average rent is around $350-$450.

    That should be the whole time during construction though not just one week.
     
  18. Montgom90

    Montgom90 Member

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    @twobobsworth we would be satisfied with a 25% reduction in rent for the duration of construction. Current rent is $400, so $100 reduction per week. I do not feel that our compensation request is excessive.
     
  19. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    I think you should be asking for a much larger reduction than $100.

    No agreement in the lease
    Giving up your parking
    noise
    use of power.

    You should request GF construction to halt immediately. check out the 'tenant union' in your state.
     
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  20. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Extension cord is illegal. Hard-wiring by an electrician from an existing dwelling is legal. Had one approved by work-safe recently.