OMC in conflict with a greedy member

gebbel

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There is a small wedge of land between the rear communal fence of an apartment block and the estate boundary. It is overgrown and unused. The only people who go back there are painters really, as the fences are wooden and they get treated every few years. Now this wedge is causing friction between the management company and the builder's son (who is an owner occupier). He is claiming that the wedge is his, and he wants to enlarge his garden space by erecting a gate and modifying his section of a communal fence. All the other gardens are the same size. The management company are arguing that it should be transferred to the OMC, as if he claims it, he will deny access to contractors for painting/ weed killing etc. . If it sounds complicated it's because it is. It looks like developing into a nasty spat. His motivation is greed, pure and simple. How can the OMC stop him? Cheers
 

Leo

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he management company are arguing that it should be transferred to the OMC
This suggests that he may in fact own it, or at least it is not owned by the OMC. That's the first thing that needs to be clarified.

Is ownership of the fence established in the leases? This may clarify whether he is permitted alter them in any way.
 

Zenith63

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Have you taken a look at the property folio with the Land Registry, to see if that strip of land is included in the plot that the apartment block was developed on? If it is shown as included then it should be classed as part of the Common Areas. Were the common areas transferred to the OMC as required by the MUD Act when the development was completed or in the intervening years?
 

gebbel

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The common areas have not yet been transferred. The Land registry shows the little strip of land belongs to the builder. His son who is also an owner occupier is now saying it will be transferred to him, not the OMC. The rest of us have a big problem with this and are determined not to allow it happen.
 

PaddyBloggit

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The Land registry shows the little strip of land belongs to the builder. His son who is also an owner occupier is now saying it will be transferred to him, not the OMC
Surely, the builder (who owns the strip of land), is entitled to pass it on to his son?
It looks like the OMC has no rights to it, but is trying to do a land grab.
 

Zenith63

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The Land registry shows the little strip of land belongs to the builder.
You could also take a look at the planning application for the complex and see what was specified there, it should be freely available online. If the strip was included there, then there may be a good argument that it is part of the common areas, and as I mentioned earlier it is mandatory that the developer transfers all common areas to the OMC under the MUD Act.

If it wasn’t included in the planning application either, then as the previous poster said, it would sound like you are trying to argue that somebody shouldn’t be allowed to transfer land to their child...
 

gebbel

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The wedge of land is a small area at the back of the development that lies between apartment common area fencing and the estate boundary. The OMC believe it should constitute a common area. The area could be cleared up, and a pathway laid down. This would allow units with gardens at the rear to have a gate installed and improved access to the front of the development (at the moment access to some rear gardens is through their apartments which includes front and rear stairwells).
The bulider's son intends to enclose this wedge of land, put up a gate and essentially expand his own garden (all of them are the same size gardens, he wants to enlarge his). He doesn't care about the common good, just himself. By enclosing it, he also denies the OMC free passage to the rear fences, which are wooden and need painting from time to time.
 

Zenith63

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He doesn't care about the common good, just himself.
Which unfortunately makes him no different to the vast majority of people in the world, especially when it comes to money or property. You may be different, but I guarantee you then 9 out of 10 of the other OMC members would not hand over land free of charge in a similar situation. Humans.

I would check the planning permission though, it’s freely available online and the plot should be very clear from that. If the strip of land is there then you’re good, if it’s not then you must either appeal to his better nature (see previous paragraph) or the OMC could offer to buy it from him.

Note that if he takes ownership of it it will be up to him to maintain his side of the fence, so I don’t think the access thing is a problem/runner.
 

Bronte

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. This would allow units with gardens at the rear to have a gate installed and improved access to the front of the development (at the moment access to some rear gardens is through their apartments which includes front and rear stairwells).
He doesn't have to act on the common good does he. And it looks to me like the owners above want to get additional property rights which they originally did not have.

The OMC views and the other apartment owners desires are not relevant. What is necessary is to find out the legal position of that strip of land. If the builder owns it then he can transfer it to his son. If that were the position antagonising the son isn't a good strategy. Better he gives a right of way to the OMC to paint/repair fences. To keep everybody happy. Building bridges and mending fences comes to mind.
 

Zenith63

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The planning documents are hardly evidence of title.
Agreed, wrote that with a bit of haste. What I was trying to convey was that if it is not shown as part of the development in the planning document and it is still shown as a separate plot owned by the developer then OP is out-of-luck, whereas if the planning document shows it as being part of the development then there's at least something to go forward with. But agreed, it would be nothing more than evidence building.
 
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