LIving in a caravan on private property is illegal

Discussion in 'General chat' started by sun burn, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Today the council came out to our property (there'd been a complaint by a nasty neighbour who wants to make trouble for me). That's when i learnt that its illegal to live in a caravan.

    I told him this is just my bedroom. Which is essentially true since i am using the bathroom and kitchen elsewhere on the property.

    I told him that i can't afford any other sort of accomodation. He seemed sympathetic. But its not in his jurisdiction so that may count for nothing. He said normally the council doesn't pay much attention to these sorts of things and its only when a neighbour complains that htey do anything about it and enforce the law.

    I have no idea what will happen here. If they make me move out of my van, I will have to move into a tent. They know that too as i told them so.

    Has anyone any ideas of what i could do.

    I've only thought of going to see my local member but i would rather not have to do that.

    I am addressing my neighbours complaints which is about the sight of my van. I don't want to have to move it and i certainly don't feel she has a right ot make me move it either. She knows that.

    I am putting up screening. What else can i do?

    She's just being a cow.

    So what to do with the council if they make life hard for me? Any advice?
     
  2. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    It probably depends how large your block is? setback distances, precedents, wastewater management. Did they say you could apply for a permit to live in the caravan temporarily there? Did you need to lodge building plans first?
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I am just using the van as a bedroom. There's no need for waste water and as yet I do't know the outcome. I told the guy i am just using it to sleep in.

    Its going to be pretty permanent. or at least that is the intention.

    Our block is one hectare. There will not be any building plans lodged. I cannot afford to build anything that would pass council regulations.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    In the first instance I would check double check that it is actually illegal (get some advice from a Community Law Centre). They say that here all the time too, but it's not illegal to live in a movable vehicle (it is illegal to live in an unpermited dwelling but vehicles aren't covered by the building code). What is illegal is living on a property without adequate sewerage, grey water and rainwater run off disposal. Shifting into a tent won't solve that. Those things will be specified somewhere, so you need to find out what that is too.

    Sewerage and grey water can be dealt with by using portable tanks. You just have to prove that you are capable (it's not like they're going to check all the time, so you could get away with still using your greywater on your land, and possibly even using a longdrop or composting system if you can make them not too obvious). The rainfall run off is usually to do with things like having too much area in tarps or leantoos, and they're worried what will happen in a big down pour.

    What are you doing with those things currently?
     
  5. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    What about local and state government planning regulations? I would be happy to provide you with some free advice in this regard.
     
  6. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    In Queensland it depends on what it says in the individual council by laws. Most of them make it illegal to stay in what they deem temporary accommodation. Some require a permit for temporary accommodation but require a development permit for a permanent dwelling before they issue one. The council is required to do something if someone complains. so check the council by laws.

    So I think you gotta get the neighbour to shut up. If that means moving away from her so she can't see you it may be the best option. Sorry this has happened Sunburn.
     
  7. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day sun burn,

    yep that's qld all over.

    you could register it as temporary accommodation, there is a fee involved for an annual registration, just so long as you can show that you either have or have access to bathing facility, and cooking. usually this si done by those planning to build. not a nice neighbour hey or someone driving by could have even been a council person, but no worry try the temp' accommodation trail. our new council (since amalgamation) little lords living around harvey bay, trying to enforce harvey bay standard on the bush communities around bauple and south.

    they run unchecked, not an ounce of common sense.

    about time we returned to a sensible stage if you own a block of ground and want to live in a steel built shed because that is all you can afford then so be it, they should provide at a least some sort of provisional dwelling status, provisional being that if you sell maybe then that habitational status is not maybe transferable.

    not sure about other states but maybe we who pay rates and taxes should stand up and be counted.

    as for living in a van why not? many live in permanent vans in parks. 2 rules apply hey?

    wanted to mention we are currently building in urban rural, there is app' $7k worth of council fees involved, ludicrous hey, who controls thse dictators?

    here are some:

    fire risk assessment (they drive to the front of you property sit in their vehicle have a fag) and charge $800

    plumbing approval $700

    $990 for soil testing

    sustainability statement cost unknown as yet

    they stipulate 45k litre water holding capacity why dunno? nothing about actually having that much water.

    we have to have pressure controls on our taps just like those in cities why? it is our water.

    we have to have leaf guards on downpipes why there are screen on the tanks, just another cost

    now the plumber has to pipe up the house

    len
     
  8. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    Sun Burn, I have no answers but I do have a great deal of sympathy. Being a little different tends to bring the neighbours out of the wood work and in to the Council. I've had my fair share of debates with the Council under these circumstances and have not won unfortunately. It makes me very angry just to think about it. I wish you all the luck and power in the world, and encourage you to speak with ecodharmamark, as he clearly has a lot of experience in this type of thing. Stay calm and positive! All the best.
     
  9. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Do the QLD councils define a motorhome as a 'temporary accommodation'? Lots of people live permanently in vehicles.

    This link talks about temporary accommodation as being something one does while building a house. If you are living in a vehicle instead of building a house then does that bylaw apply?

    https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/development.aspx?id=2396

    I think you should be careful about what you say to the council until you can get clarity on what bylaw, if any, is being broken.
     
  10. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes pebble

    bow and scrape to the little lord fauntleroy's, treat them with high esteem at all times, plead for mercy and plead ignorance, for at the end of the day you want some small token from them, always smile and admire them that is why they hold office after all. if they call a cold drink (non alcoholic) tea or coffee, sit in the kool of your current abode, i think you'll get the idea.

    i would think a mobile home would count like a caravan.

    the thing one might want to feel out is do you actually have to be processing house plans or can you only say by word you are planning to build a house??

    we are losing our rites as australian citizens, there should be a basic standard for the all of australia not different councils doing different things, depending on waht money they want to bleed from us, just got a bill for $100 property transfer fee??? gympie shire next door does not require a plumbing permit like ours does which for us is done prior to the plumbing plan going to the certifier, double handling.

    6 years ago up this way it cost $50 for a plumbing plan, 5 years ago it cost $50 property transfer in brisbane land and house.

    chin up sun burn

    if all property owners united we would swing change, here where we are that won't happen because all these new rules and charges are not retrospective. so the rot will continue.

    len
     
  11. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    when does a temporary house become permanent, if you take the wheels off and put it up on bricks with a permanent-ish front step will that change how it is considered by council? could you get approval for caravan-like house?

    i remember a story about a guy who built a carport without approval, the council told him it was an unapproved permanent structure so he cut it off at ground level and put wheels on the bottom, so it was not longer permanent in the council's eyes, don't know how true it is, but maybe worth a thought.

    on second thoughts, if you can keep your neighbour happy, then the council do not need to know anything, can you move the caravan?
     
  12. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    just noticed i am not a junior member any more! woohoo!
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    mmmm ingteresting wormwood,

    it might be like this if the van could be reclassified as a cabin (like they have in van parks, not much bigger than a van), then maybe they would certify that as a habitable dwelling, but then that would also be after you have paid all dues, plumbing would need to be to dwelling standard, fire risk level would need to comply, the sustainability statement will need to comply i guess, at the end of it all it would still be a very small home, i was going to suggest to 'sun burn' that she check the shed builders most have a say 6mX6m/6mX9m sherd ramped up to habitable dwelling standard, ours is coming in around $7k cheaper than a similar sized kit home, some have taken this design to final for under $90k. reckon that would make one of those cabins look overpriced, when you consider the shed thing is all steel storm and fire proof.

    good to work something out so you get the council off your back.

    len
     
  14. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hi there

    I looked up the local laws in regards to Cairns and Port Douglas (not sure what shire you are in sunburn). The only local laws I could find on the web are apparently pre-amalgamation. But I would suggest that these laws either still apply or would not have changed much. The first one is Cairns, second Douglas and a link to local laws online for Queensland.

    https://services.dip.qld.gov.au/loc...on/CAIR/05_Temporary Homes LL_res17-11-97.pdf

    https://services.dip.qld.gov.au/loc...ion/DOUG/26_Temporary Homes LL_res17-6-99.pdf

    https://dlgp.qld.gov.au/local-government/local-laws-online.html
     
  15. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    so far no joy finding anything about fraser coast regional councils rules on a temporary house.

    did get reminded but that they won't let anyone build a shed on their property before a house is built:

    https://www.frasercoastchronicle.co...council-shed-policy-couple-court-hearing-win/

    if anyone can find out i'd be interested to know about the temp accommodation thing for this council.

    this is obviously a council running out of control, they claim they are the bench mark for other councils, hope not bad enough the constituents here put up with this treatment would not like to see others cop it also.

    thought men & women lost their lives in conflicts for our freedom???

    len
     
  16. annette

    annette Junior Member

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  17. Don Hansford

    Don Hansford Junior Member

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    Sun Burn
    Call the council representative who spoke to you, and tell him your legal advisor wants to know the exact wording of the act/bylaw of which you are being deemed in breach. Tell him you require it in writing, on a Council letterhead. Be polite - he/she is only doing their job, but let them know you are willing to pursue the matter, and not be simply browbeaten into compliance. Explain to them (again) that you are addressing the neighbours' complaint (frivolous though it may be) with the erection of screens, etc, and that in your eyes, that should be the end of the matter.

    In many dealings with Councils, the merest hint that they may have to defend their actions in court will put them back in their box.

    In actual fact, no councils in Australia have the legal right to issue fines, or to create laws - they are not recognised as a government body in the Constitution. This is one reason why they prefer not to go to court over some issues, and why I never pay council fines (opt for your legal right to be heard in court, and they have, in all my cases anyway, backed down and dropped the matter).
     
  18. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Wow, that's interesting Don.

    According to the PDFs above, the bylaw does specify mobile homes as illegal. That's just bizarre. I'd be wanting to know how long you could park on a piece of land before you were deemed not passing through. Here there is the general idea that if you move the vehicle periodically, the time period starts again.
     
  19. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    thanks annette,

    is this since amalgamation?

    "Area" means the area of the City of Hervey Bay;

    we are rural at the southern boundary of the shire, nowhere near the city of harvey bay? interesting wording.

    for don our council obviously is not shy of pursuing people through teh courts, must have plenty of money from all the fees applied. if they really can't apply laws why don't we all stand up to them?

    gee they allow a 3 month permit, we are in the process of trying to get building started and so far it has taken 3 months the chap next door his similar house has been on the go for 12 months, good thing he has someplace else to live, we are renting.

    i still say that within reason it is our right to live on our land.

    to get final, no ceiling covering is needed and only wall sheets where necessary like bathroom and where power points exist, also plumbing and tanks. no need for floor cove3rings or painting or kitchen cupboards

    len
     
  20. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Len, those are the laws on the local government site. You may have to ring the council to see if there are any updated laws that aren't posted. You are right though, if it just applies to the City of Hervey Bay you may have an out. It may just be that the laws on not on the site though since amalgamation. contact the council and see if you can get a copy of the current laws pertaining to the new council. you may still be caught by whatever was in place before amalgamation. Not an expert on local by laws but they usually put transitional arrangements in place to carry over previous provisions to apply to new council areas .

    Don, what you say is intriguing. Section 28 of the Local Government Act provides for the local gov to make and enforce local laws. I'm not up on constitutional law (haven't looked at it since uni) but will check it out if i have time tomorrow.

    I remember a case not so long ago about a family that was evicted from their temporary home in Bauple because the house was not council approved.

    Don't forget if the council allowed this to go on they would miss out on a lot of money.
     

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