What pisses me off: Neighbours, councils and getting the runaround

Making phone calls and getting passed from one department to another in an effort to get some sense of fairness

Making phone calls and getting passed from one department to another in an effort to get some sense of fairness and understanding from the local council is really pissing me off!

The old house next door was recently sold. It was a big splitter block and the bloke that purchased it has divided the lot into two, and the land that the house is on has been made incredibly small. I have never seen a house so dodgy makes its way to the market so quickly; the property was only purchased around six weeks ago.

I explained to council that over the years, when the rains come (and they do hit often at this time of year), Mum not only gets rain from the heavens but also from the road, which one has to accept. What I fail to accept though is the amount of water that pours in from the house next door, and because the house was built in the ’60s it doesn’t have to comply with the stormwater rules and regulations of today.

Mum’s property floods to the point of having to bring in industrial fans to dry the cement slab before putting down new flooring. That has happened three times. Water hasn’t come into the house, but it has knocked at the front and back doors and it has seeped through weep hole and got in under footings. Combine all that with a termite problem and you have a recipe for a very big headache.

Years ago Mum approached the former owner about the lack of decent plumbing and drainage, and even though the owner was not prepared to fix the problem — mainly because the law said there was no requirement to — the property owner was reasonable about it. The owner’s son put a mound of dirt along the entire length of her yard, which successfully diverted the stormwater to the laneway behind the back fence. It saved Mum a lot of grief for years.

Now the house has been sold and the new owner has flattened the land and divided the property. I have approached the new owner, but they were unwilling to listen — he was only interested in making a quick buck, and as he wasn’t planning on living on-site the water issue was of little concern to him.

It’s really not fair. Insurance won’t cover Mum and to add insult to injury, the local council said that perhaps when the houses are sold the new owners might do something about it (patronising bunch of twits).

Council has also advised that when the storms start if water is pooling in Mum’s backyard two days after the rain has stopped we are to contact them and they will send a photographer out to get proof so they can take action… In essence, we have to wait until we flood again for the possibility of getting something done!

Have you ever experienced a problem with your neighbours? What was the issue and how was it resolved? What things make you irate?

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  1. Ian  

    While I sympathise with you .
    the owner of the house next door has no legal obligation to protect YOUR house.
    I had the same problem where I was living . I solved it by digging a trench along inside the boundary line lining it with concrete gully trap drains purchased from bunnings and piping it out into the street .unfortunately you can’t stop water flowing down hill .If the problem has been continuing for so long I’m surprised that your insurance company hasn’t insisted tat you do something.
    sadly the bottom line is it is your problem, not you neighbors .

  2. lurch  

    All the usual BS from any council I can think of. Quite a few years ago there was a neighbor behind my parents property, His house was up the hill, and back then no septic tanks and every drop of water (gray and storm) entered their property. The rain water flowed over the back garden but the dirty water from the kitchen sink and bath water ( we hoped ) just pooled and sat there and the smell in warmer weather. Well I will leave that to your own imagination.

  3. Truth 13  

    I too live in a very corrupt council in the Inner West. My next door property was subdivided with the one block only 220 M2, although the council requirements to build is 400 m2. When the buyer wanted to put up a 2 story house, they produced a false survey certificate to with 295 m2. Due to my protest regarding the windows to my back yard, the Mayor & the Technical Director invited me to a meeting. At that meeting I had two other witnesses, one was a Structural Engineer of another council. At that meeting the Technical Director, a tall man about 190cm or over 6 feet, got up & showed where the windows on the upper floor will be, 7 feet or 2.1 m about the floor, & they are too tall for anyone to look through to my back yard. But when the structure was been built, I found the window were only about one meter. So I brought it to the notice of the two I had the meeting with. Then the Tech. Director said, “It looks, the builder has taken the second option”. That was a lie. There were no ‘second options’ in the approval. That council is non other than Strathfield Council, still fighting the amalgamation. The area is only 14 Sq.Km & total population is under 36,000, the voters are about 30,000, the GM get about $ 350,000 pay + car, Tech Director, Director Corporate services, and another 10. There is a Mayor & a Deputy too. Their pay is close to 30% of the revenue. What a ‘honey pot’ they have. NO wonder they don’t want an amalgamation.

    • Chyrel  

      We bought a house and the neighbour has a large shed on our fence line metres off our house he runs a weekend metal business he’s been grinding welding and spray painting which blows over our house we have complained to the council a few times and he’s been investigated and he’s still doing it what is that it’s a health issue with metal fibres and dust we have to get the proof not the bloody council

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