Do I have to take down a deck built without committee or body corporate approval? – Joan, QLD
We have erected a small deck in our small back yard we have exclusive use of it. It is within council rules as in height and size, but we have been told to take it down by body corporate because we didn’t ask for permission is there anything we can do about this problem.
– Joan, QLD
If the deck has been constructed on common property, is changing the appearance of the lot or creating a problem for other property owners, your body corporate reserves the right to ask you to take it down. So the first step is to find out if the deck stands on common property or another owner’s private property and how it may affect the body corporate.
Common areas may include lawns, gardens, fencing and even balconies depending on the plan of the property. So you may have to go over the property plans to find out where your private property ends and common property begins. You should also review your property by-laws and planning regulations to find out what are your options and restrictions.
Ideally, before making any changes and renovations in a body corporate property, it is advisable to take prior approval from your body corporate or the committee and formalise the approval at a general meeting. You may file a motion to include the request in your next general meeting and seek majority owner approval by way of vote.
It’s also important to clarify with your committee about who pays for the costs of building, maintenance and repair of the deck.
To know more about other rules that may apply to adding structures to your backyard, you may visit the Queensland government’s website. Here is another FAQ about adding a swimming pool to your body corporate property that may interest you.