When the developer next door wants to use your property


John Devellis Headshot With urban land becoming increasingly scarce, many condominium boards will be asked for access to their land when their neighbours want to build or renovate, Toronto condo lawyer John De Vellis tells CondoBusiness.

“The condominium may be asked for permission to allow a crane to swing over its property, scaffolding to be erected on its property, for its property to be used to shore up part of the excavation on the neighbouring property, or for construction materials to be stored on its property,” writes De Vellis, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP.

“But these are just a few examples. The possibilities are endless and the disruption to the condominium’s residents can vary from minor to quite significant,” he tells the online publication.

Just because the developer wants access to the property, doesn’t mean he has a right to it, says De Vellis.

“In some jurisdictions, the law allows neighbouring property owners to access adjoining properties for repairs or renovations as long as certain conditions are met. In New York State, for example, the law allows a property owner to apply for a licence to effect repairs if the adjoining owner refuses to consent.

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