Strata Owner Wins Case But Forced To Pay Costs Of Owners’ Corporation

27 JULY 2020 PROPERTY LAW & CONVEYANCING LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Strata Owner Wins Case But Forced To Pay Costs Of Owners’ Corporation

A man purchased one (1) car parking spot in a strata plan in Potts Point as an investment. Being close to the city, the car spot was highly valued, however getting a car into it required that the man drive over part of the common property, which was a garden. The owners' corporation did not approve of this and sought to prevent his movement over that part of the garden. This was first done by putting a metal chain across the edge of the garden, however the man removed the chain. In response to this, the owners' corporation decided to build a raised concrete garden bed to stop him.

The man once again objected to this, claiming it would make access to his car space impossible. He raised the issue directly with the owners' corporation, only to be rejected. Following this, the man decided that he would not waste time discussing the issue any further. He immediately took the matter to the Supreme Court, where he sought orders on the issue. The Court agreed with the man and declared that the owners' corporation was not to restrict or impede access to the car space by creating the physical barrier. This decision allowed easy access to the car space.

However, despite winning the case, the Court also ordered the man to pay the legal costs of the owners’ corporation! This was because the strata laws required alternative dispute resolution methods be used before going to Court.

Knowing the ins and outs of the law is essential to successfully navigating any dispute as there can be expensive traps for those who do not act reasonably.