Neighbour says boundary & 30+yrs old pool is wrong location

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Miaow, 3rd Feb, 2023.

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  1. Miaow

    Miaow Member

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    Hi all
    Hoping for a steer on a boundary issue with our neighbour.
    We bought our house in 2016; our neighbours moved into theirs 2006.
    At the time we bought the house, the dividing fence between us and next door was in the process of being replaced by them and the previous owners - it was actually partially down at the time of our property viewing, and was fully installed for when we moved in, along the exact same line as the original fence.

    Fast forward 7 years later, and our neighbour (after a survey) is now claiming that the fence is not on the right boundary and he is owed 40-50cm from us towards the back - which conveniently, is where the pool is. Now, with council approval, the pool has been in place at our house for the last 30 years. It was there when we moved in, and when he moved in. It has not moved, and neither has the fence for which the pool location was approved re. setbacks.

    My Qs/thoughts are:
    - He put the fence in along the exact same line in agreement with the previous owners in 2016 - can he force us to move it now?
    - Fence & pool have been in place for 30+ years, council-approved pool location?
    - He's saying that because he's owed 40-50cm, that means our pool isn't in the right place re. 900mm setback
    - He admits he didn't get a survey when he replaced the fence in 2016 because he 'was in a rush'
    - Topography of the fence line is tricky - his property is higher than ours, steep slope at the front, and there's sloping rock along the fence as it stands on our side (see attached pic of the fence in question) - which might be why they put the fence where they did. It's not level land.

    A bit of extra background:
    - All this started because our property was severely damaged by our neighbours overland storm run off (from their neighbours higher up) that they channelled straight onto the back of our house via a trench - causing $100k+ damage & subsidence to the top section where the pool is in last year's NSW storms
    - This meant the pool fencing & decking needed to be replaced and therefore brought up to current compliance

    He had issues with this despite us telling him the pool fencing/decking was no closer to him and it's all still 900mm+ from the fence - he went so far as him doing drawings telling us what we could & couldn't do according to him; and we've adhered to all his requests - including making the fence higher along the pool for his 'privacy'

    - He told us verbally he doesn't want us to have a pool (or a deck) at the top of our property at all as their bedroom is at the back and we're building a 'party deck’

    - He's even gone so far as to report us to council for illegal building for trying to fix all the damage his stormwater run off has caused

    Can anyone give advice? We will of course seek our own survey- however what happens if that shows the fence is out? It affects not just the pool but the actual property? (see image of how the house sits on the land - we're the red marker)

    Thanks everyone.
     

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  2. Paul@PAS

    Paul@PAS Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    I doubt they sought a survey of the land including your land. Fences are commonly not ON a boundary which is invisible of course. There are also legal principles. If the survey/s finds the fence encroaches seek legal advice. The building roofline "appears" to encoach in the overhead image based on the fence. Commonly a roofline etc may require setback.
    Property owners have no right to allow stormwater to affect neighbours incl if its a existing issue when they acquire. The decking may have needed new approvals. Depends on council.

    The pool setback inst a issue for him. Council wont cancel a former building consent nd order demo after 30 years for a pool because its 50mm within a setback. In some ares a pool within a setback is permitted IF the earth is reinforced (piers ?) when built. NSW Land & Enviro would oppose the council and it would be a waste of taxpayer money. Sounds like he doesnt like the pool and has a stick up his ****
     
  3. Miaow

    Miaow Member

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    Thanks for your reply Paul :) The roofline doesn't go over the fence - here's an image. House has been here in this way for years and years. Yes, he definitely doesn't like the pool....although he admits he bought his house knowing there was a pool next door so...
    As for the stormwater issue, we have video of the landscaping he did so that water didn't flood him and went onto us instead. He's been in a fight with the council about it for years. Thanks again for replying, really appreciate it.
     

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  4. Lacrim

    Lacrim Well-Known Member

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    Nice neighbour :rolleyes: Honestly there are so many drop kicks around these days. Why does he hate the pool? Noise?
     
  5. Miaow

    Miaow Member

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    Ha I know...! We're really careful to keep it quiet in the pool, and it's been fine for 7 years+. He's seen what we were doing with replacing the damaged pool fencing and to make it compliant etc and kicked off about it, saying we should have shown him plans, drawings, etc (even though it's nothing to do with him and we legally have to do it to make the pool safe & compliant). From that point it's gone nuclear. He actually told us that we 'brought all this on ourselves'. Thanks for your reply Lacrim.
     
  6. strannik

    strannik Well-Known Member

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    some people just have too much free time on their hands, and don't know what to do with it...
     
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  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    • Survey is step 1 to confirm that your structures are within the boundaries of the land. If the fence is on/near the boundary, all good.
    No, the boundaries are what is drawn on the plan of subdivision, these will not have changed.

    Because it's meant to be in his yard.
     
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  8. Gen-Y

    Gen-Y Well-Known Member

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    Problem solve - just invite him over for a skinny dip.
    We can be ourselves and relaxed :rolleyes: when we are totally naked.
     
  9. bmc

    bmc Well-Known Member

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    ^ agreed

    @Miaow I assume you didn't get a survey report done when you purchased your property.

    Do have you have a copy of the survey sketch he is referring to ? (50cm) 0.5 metres is a substantial amount. is he reading the sketch correctly ?

    some people have trouble interpreting dimensions shown on a plan.

    If the survey sketch shows the fence out of position and he installed it in the wrong position and the fence is in good condition then, I think its too bad.

    I doubt you can be forced to move the fence until it needs replacement. therefore in his words "he brought this upon himself" next time pay for a bloody survey !

    as for the pool location, - the pool in the photo looks to be an above ground pool, so generally they are not setout by a Surveyor therefore probably wouldn't have a setback requirement.

    as a Surveyor I have never set-out an above-ground pool. only a concrete inground pool, and the setbacks can vary depending on the surrounding structures and habitable areas.

    you could try looking back through the council archives for any approved plans or documentation regarding your pool installation (if it exists at all)
     
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  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    You will never look at your neighbours in the same way again. :eek:
     
  11. Gen-Y

    Gen-Y Well-Known Member

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    You will be seeing eye to eye.
    We are at our most vulnerable when naked.
    All your trash talking will go out the door. :p
     
  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Me? Trash talking? Never! :oops:
     
  13. Gen-Y

    Gen-Y Well-Known Member

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    Not talking about you..
    I mean people when naked usually don't trash talk as they feel vulnerably exposed.
     
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  14. Paul@PAS

    Paul@PAS Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    He cant afford one. Its like Borats neighbour. High Five !
     
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  15. Paul@PAS

    Paul@PAS Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    There are no noise laws that apply to daylight use of a pool. Police and council will tell him its not a matter they will address. Night time pumps etc are a issue.
     
  16. Miaow

    Miaow Member

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    @bmc no, we didn't - we never thought we'd need to query or check it as the fence was being put in during our purchase process, we therefore thought it had to be in the right place as agreed by the neighbours and previous owners. And yes, it is an above ground pool. I'll check with council see if they have anything on record still. The council are coming out soon to inspect the work we've done re, our neighbour's illegal building allegations. Watch this space!

     
  17. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    I had a neighbour years ago who claimed our fence encroached on his land, he didn't have enough width on the side of his house for a driveway so thought he could bully me [I was a single parent at the time] and go ahead with his plans.
    Or so he thought, I told him not to do anything until I arranged for a surveyor to check the boundaries. Never heard another word from him ...:D
     
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  18. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a fairly standard rectangular block, so does the fence in dispute align with the rear neighbors fence ?
     
  19. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

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    Can you push back on him re the landscaping and water run off going into your backyard. You may have a claim on him to pay for the new deck, and there's a possibility that he did this with the intention of getting your pool/deck demoslished, and he's upset that you are fixing it.
     
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  20. Miaow

    Miaow Member

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    Looks like it does but it's hard to say without a survey. That's the next step for us if he wants to take this further. Thanks for replying! :)
     
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