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Sometimes people jump a little quick! They rush into something without good advice and an understanding that they might just poke a hornets’ nest.

A lady we have tried recently to help had determined to upgrade her laundry. It appeared to be within the parameters of her current unit. Maybe I should say, it was within the parameters of the unit she purchased.

The owners’ corporation reported the work to the local council. The council, being generally sympathetic to our single Asperger’s mother who has no laundry, can do nothing against the law.

When purchasing the property, no one advised our client that the laundry had been built on the common property. She resides in an old building, in which somebody had enclosed a portion of the common property and integrated it within our client’s apartment.

Our client faces the prospect of the council asking her to not only stop the work but remove the whole laundry. It is a simple lesson of ensuring you know what you are purchasing.

Solicitors or conveyancers who are skilled in strata interpretation should always be used in buildings pre-1996. It should be said good advice should always be sought, but particularly where things may have occurred which are not identifiable to the unskilled eye.

Some of you may be thinking that she has a claim in adverse possession if it is over 30 years – no, no, no! You can only make an adverse possession claim if a full lot has been taken over and used for 30 years. There can be no claim for partially engulfing a part of a lot, eg, common property.

We pray that a negotiated result is possible, however, storm clouds brew because of bad advice.