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Neighbours drainage issue impacts our unit - can we force repairs?

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  • Neighbours drainage issue impacts our unit - can we force repairs?

    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can give us some guidance on where we stand here…

    My mother bought an investment unit in Christchurch >20 years ago. She is now elderly and has been looking to sell the unit for several years but has been having a lot of trouble shifting it as every time a buyer is interested, the survey shows drainage issues and this scares them off.

    The problem is earthquake related and caused by something (I’m a bit fuzzy on the specifics) that is located in the grounds of the unit next to ours (No.4). The issue doesn’t impact No.4 directly, and because they have no interest to sell the owner-occupiers of No.4 refuse to contribute to getting the repairs done.

    I believe they may even have received an EQC payment for this issue but chosen to pocket the money rather than do the work.

    This block of 8 units has never had a body corporate, which has caused a lot of other issues over the years such as people (and in particular, the owners of No.4) refusing to contribute to communal repairs such as re-paving the shared driveway, or trying to make those at the back of the section pay more as they use more of the driveway..!

    - Is there any way we can force the neighbours to deal with this drainage issue?
    - Is this something that would normally fall under Body Corp jurisdiction?

    Or are we really stuck in the situation that if we want to sell our property, we have to pay for repairs to someone else’s?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    is it unit title or cross lease?


    • #3
      Originally posted by John the builder View Post
      is it unit title or cross lease?

      Just learnt today that it's cross lease. I suspect that gives us slightly more rights...?


      • #4
        Yes, if it's a cross lease read the cross lease agreement and as you'd share equal responsible for the 'land' and that would be proven with the rates split so too any repairs.

        This may work in your favour and if the unit received a payout from EQC there's a case that it should have been used for remedying the issue.

        It's such a fuzzy area and needs professional input.

        Have you also considered - getting the damage surveyed so you can explain the issue in more detail - i.e. how is it affecting your drain?

        Other options: getting it fixed yourself or just dropping the sales price to get the property sold.

        You need to weigh up all the options - especially for your Mum. Once you fully understand the drain issues in respect to your unit you can then make an informed decision.


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