Councils are forcing developers to bribe their neighbours to get access to ratepayer owned infrastructure, forcing up housing costs even further.
When developing existing property in town, by adding a house on the rear of a section, or taking away the old house and building new houses, a new sewer connection is often required. This entails getting access to an existing manhole, or installing a new manhole on the main sewer line.
Problems arise when the manhole or sewer line runs through a neighbouring property. Councils insist on developers obtaining the signature of the neighbouring owner on a ‘consent to enter’ form. Until the council has a copy of this signed document, they will not issue a consent.
This puts the developer in the position of having to approach the neighbour to ask for their consent. The response is often that the neighbour asks for payment, despite the fact that the developer will put the property back to as good if not better condition when works are completed. We’ve heard of developers paying neighbours up to $20,000 to carry out work 1m inside the boundary, with little or no effect on the neighbour at all.
What’s completely wrong with this process is that the waste water infrastructure is owned by ratepayers and councils have the legal right to enter the neighbour’s property to carry out the work. Councils choose not to use their legal right to save themselves the trouble. They prefer developers to be held to ransom, even though the ransom payment is passed on to the home-buyer in the price of the new house.
This is yet another example of how housing costs continue to rise unnecessarily due to poor processes and a complete lack of ownership of the development process by council or government. Everyone talks about the need for affordable housing, but no one actually does anything about it.
#assuredproperty #housing #rentals #propertyinvestment