Balcony struck down by High Court
A dispute over a 5 square metre balcony is probably the most expensive balcony feud ever in Australia. The High Court recently ruled in a dispute between the owner of a property and the body corporate itself. The owner of the property wanted approval from the body corporate to allow the owner to build an additional balcony between his two existing balconies in a Noosa Heads complex. This change would have effectively granted the property owner additional property, albeit common air space, for the property.
The rules and the body corporate legislation require that any change to a property that takes away body corporate property requires unanimous consent of all of the members of the body corporate before it can happen. In 2012 the body corporate members unanimously agreed to deny the balcony upgrade, sparking the property owner to try and overturned that decision through the courts. The property owner went through the appeals process before ending up in the High Court.
In the High Court, the property owner argued that it was unreasonable of the body corporate to not allow the extension of the balcony. However, the High Court ruled that it was not unreasonable that the motion to deny the balcony upgrade was unreasonable.
The fight, which reportedly cost the parties somewhere in the order of $500,000.00, now means that body corporates will know that such changes can be blocked and gives certainty to the way that the courts in Queensland will interrupt these disputes. It is also a good lesson for people considering entering litigation; now the property owner has been left to foot a hefty legal bill all over his attempt to create a bigger boundary on his property.
At Streten Masons Lawyers we can assist your clients in all types of legal disputes – particularly body corporate disputes. Heading into expensive litigation processes can be incredibly costly for your business so getting advice is the best thing to do. Contact one of our lawyers today on (07) 3667 8966 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can assist your clients.