If your neighbour is planning to carry out building works that may cause damage to your adjoining property, they may be required to undertake Protection Works to ensure that your property is not affected or damaged.
Your neighbor must provide you with notice of the proposed building works and details of the proposed Protection Works. If you receive a request to consent to proposed Protection Works:
1. Respond to the notice within 14 days
You must respond to the notice within 14 days after the Notice has been served. You have the following 3 options:
- Agree to the proposed Protection Works,
- Disagree to the proposed Protection Works; or
- Request for further information to be provided.
Failing to respond to the notice within the required time means that you are deemed to have agreed to the proposed Protection Works. If you agree or are deemed to have agreed to the proposed Protection Works, your neighbour may proceed to carry out the Protection Works after obtaining any necessary permits or approvals.
If you disagree with the proposed Protection Works or request for further information, the relevant building surveyor (RBS) must examine the proposal for Protection Works and determine whether the building work is appropriate.
The RBS must give you and your neighbour written notice of the determination. Either party may appeal within 14 days to the Building Appeals Board (BAB) against the determination.
2. Agree to an appropriate amount for insurance
The owner of the property where the building work is to be carried out i.e. your neighbour must take out appropriate insurance against potential damage caused by the proposed Protection Works to your property.
The insurance policy must protect the adjoining property, occupiers and the general public during the works and for 12 months following completion of the work.
The contract for insurance must be with an insurer for an amount agreed between you and your neighbour. Ensure that you have a copy of the insurance policy before building works commence.
3. Assist your neighbor to prepare a survey of your property
Your neighbour must prepare a full and adequate survey of your adjoining property. The survey is called a Dilapidation Report and must be a record of all existing cracks and defects.
This record must be signed or acknowledged as an agreed record of the condition of the adjoining property before any Protection Works commence.
Disputes about insurance cover or the adequacy of the survey can be referred to the BAB for a resolution.
4. Allow your neighbour to carry out Protection Works
Your neighbour has a right to enter your property between 8.00am to 6.00pm to conduct a Dilapidation Report and for the purposes of carrying out the approved Protection Works.
They also have a further right to remove furniture that would obstruct carrying out of the works. However, they can only do so provided that they give at least 24 hours notice to you and do not cause damage when entering your property.
It is an offence if you prohibit or hinder the work of your neighbour exercising these rights.
5. Seek compensation for incurred expenses
As the owner, your neighbour must reimburse you for all reasonable costs and expenses incurred. These include specialists’ fees to assess the proposed Protection Works, check Protection Works documents and expenses relating to the actual supervision of Protection Works.
These costs and expenses must be necessarily incurred and agreed to by your neighbour. If a dispute arises regarding whether these costs have been necessarily incurred, the BAB will make a determination.
Your neighbour must also compensate you for inconvenience, loss or damage suffered by the adjoining owner in connection with the carrying out of the Protection Works.
If you would like more information about Protection Works Notices, contact Boutique Lawyers on 1300 556 140 or via our website www.boutiquelawyers.com.au for your free 30 minute consultation.