如果被开发商欺负了,房主应该怎么办?——关于邻接树纠纷的案例分析(中英双语)
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如果被开发商欺负了,房主应该怎么办?——关于邻接树纠纷的案例分析(中英双语)
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司法文明数据库
内容类别: 
司法制度
年份: 
2020
全文: 

如果被开发商欺负了,房主应该怎么办?——关于邻接树纠纷的案例分析(中英双语)

程顺 麦俊健

 

 

 Guantao Australian Law Series is prepared by its Sydney Office for the benefit of our existing clients in Australia and clients who are coming to Australia to start their businesses.

  观韬中茂澳大利亚法律系列是由观韬中茂律师事务所悉尼办公室为在澳大利亚的客户以及从中国赴澳经商的客户准备的系列法律文章。

  As a safe property investment market, Sydney has always been the top choice for local and foreign property investors with guaranteed higher return. According to published data, land owners generally can expect their land price doubled in a cycle of about 7 years. In Australia, the stable government and fair legal system give investors an extra protection and confidence. However, no one can guarantee that a developer always behaves, particularly when they are driven by greed.

  作为一个安全的房地产投资市场,悉尼因其有保障的高回报率一直是国内外房地产投资者的首选。根据已公布的数据显示,在一般情况下,房主可以期待房价每隔七年左右翻一倍。澳大利亚稳定的政府和公正的法律体系为投资者提供了额外的保护,增强了投资信心。然而,没有人可以保证开发商品行良好,尤其是被利益驱使的情况下。

  Recently we acted on behalf of a client of us who is a land owner in a Sydney suburb. We put up a fight for this client against his bully next door developer. Finally this bully developer was forced to enter into a consent judgement in favour of our client. We summarise the key information of this case for your reference. We hope that it will help you if you are in similar situations.

  最近我们代理的一位客户是一处位于悉尼郊区的土地所有者。我们为这位客户向其邻居开发商的欺凌行为发起抗争。最终,这位欺负人的开发商不得不同意一份有利于我们的客户的合意法庭判决。我们在这里将此案例做一个总结以供您参考。我们希望当您遇到类似情况的时候,该案例能提供一些帮助。

  The background of this matter

  案例的背景

  1. Our client is a land owner and his neighbouring lands were purchased by a well-known Chinese developer who entered into the Australian property development market in about 2016.

  我们的客户是一位土地所有者,而其相邻的土地被一位大概2016年进入澳大利亚房地产开发市场的知名中国地产开发商所购买。

  2. In late March or early April 2018, a letter was delivered to our client's premises with a request for our client's consent for the removal of a neighbouring tree.

  在2018年3月末4月初,我们的客户收到该开发商寄来的一封信,希望我们的客户同意移除邻近的一棵树。

  3. On 9 April 2018 our client expressed their reluctance to the proposed tree removal and raised the following concerns:

  在2018年4月9日,我们的客户表示不愿意将这棵树移除,并提出以下几点顾虑:

  (1) They were not aware of the claim that neighbouring tree was co-owned;

  他们不认为双方共同拥有该树;

  (2) As a matter of fact, the tree is within our client's boundary; and

  从事实角度来说,该树位于我们的客户所拥有的土地范围内;以及

  (3)  The tree canopy which was higher than the house provides very good privacy to our client's house.

  由于其树冠高于我们的客户的房子,该树可以为我们的客户提供良好的隐私保护。

  4. Shortly after the developer, through their arborist, engaged in a series conversation with our client.

  不久后,该开发商通过他们的树木专家,与我们的客户进行了一系列的沟通。

  5. From 28 May to 4 June 2018 there were various communications between the Arborist and our client by emails, phone calls and text messages. In summary, the parties couldn't reach an agreement.

  从2018年5月28日至6月4日,该树木专家和我们的客户通过邮件、电话和短信进行了数次沟通。最终,双方不能达成一致。

  6. On Thursday 7 June 2018 when our client came home in the afternoon and realised that the subject tree was cut down during the day when our client was away.

  2018年6月7日星期四,当我们的客户于下午回到家中时发现,该树已经在我们的客户不在家的期间被砍掉了。

  7. Our client contacted the developer and the developer confirmed that the tree removal was organised by them.

  我们的客户联系了该开发商,对方承认是他们的安排下移除了该树。

  8. On Saturday 9 June 2018, a group of tree service personnel attended the premises with intention of digging up the tree root. Our client refused their entry.

  2018年6月9日星期六,一组树木服务从业人员到场希望挖走树根,我们的客户拒绝让他们进入。

  9. On 5 Sep 2018, a new Consent DA/XXX/2017 was approved by Sydney Central City Planning Panel for Demolition of XXX dwellings, tree removal and construction of 3 x 7 storey residential flat buildings containing 118 apartments and associated basement car parking, compared to previous DA there were 30 more apartment units under the new DA.

  2018年9月5日,悉尼中央城市规划组通过了一项新的开发许可DA/XXX/2017,同意拆除XXX住房,树木移除和一栋3 x 7层住宅楼的建造(包括118间公寓和附属的地下停车场)。与之前的开发许可相比,新的开发许可新增了30间公寓。

  10. On 10 Sep 2018 our client wrote to the developer, asking for the issue to be resolved amicably.

  2018年9月10日,我们的客户以书面形式联系该开发商,表示希望该问题可以得到友好解决。

  11. On 27 September 2018 the developer's lawyers replied disputing our client's version of events.

  2018年9月27日,该开发商的律师在回复中对我们的客户所阐述的事实表示异议。

  12. On 24 October 2018, our client engaged a surveyor to identity the exact location of the subject tree with respect to the neighbouring lands.

  2018年10月24日,我们的客户联系了一位测量师以确认该树在邻近土地中的确切位置。

  13. In December 2018 a valuation report was undertaken by an expert engaged by our client.

  2018年12月,由我们的客户联系的一位专家准备了一份估价报告。

  The legal issues and potential claims by our clients

  法律问题以及我们的客户的潜在论点

  By cutting the subject tree without our clients' consent, a few issues arise accordingly:

  由于未经我们的客户的同意砍掉该树引起的几个问题:

  1. The following principles apply to trespass to land and tree removal:

  以下几个原则适用于非法侵入他人土地以及移除树木:

  a). A tree belongs to the person on whose land it was planted (Masters v Collie (1620) 81 ER 712);

  树木栽种在谁的土地上,谁就是该树的所有者(Masters v Collie (1620) 81 ER 712);

  b). Even where branches or roots spread across the boundary onto adjoining land, they belong to the person on whose side the tree was planted (Holder v Coates (1827) 173 ER 1099; Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13,626);

  即使树枝或者树根延伸到毗连土地上,它们仍属于树木栽种的那片土地的所有者(Holder v Coates (1827) 173 ER 1099; Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13,626);

  c). However, if the tree was planted precisely on the boundary, and its branches and roots spread onto both parcels of land, it belongs to the adjoining landowners as tenants in common in equal shares (Percy v Le Heux [1982] ANZ ConvR 397);

  然而,如果树木栽种的地方刚好是边界线,而且树枝和树根延伸到双方的土地上,那么毗连土地所有者将作为拥有同等份额的按份共有人共同拥有这棵树(Percy v Le Heux [1982]ANZ ConvR 397);

  d). To enter a neighbour's land without consent and cut down a tree is a trespass (Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13, 626);

  未经许可进入邻居的土地并砍掉树木是一种非法侵入行为(Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13, 626);

  e). A permission granted by Council such as a development consent or a tree removal permit is not a defence to trespass (Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13, 626); and

  市议会的许可,比如开发许可或者树木移除许可,不能作为非法侵入的理由(Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13, 626); 以及

  f). In the appropriate circumstances, exemplary damages may be awarded for the trespass (Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6BPR 13; Port Stephens Shire Council v Tellamist Pty Ltd (2004) 135 LGERA 98 (NSWCA)).

  在合适的情况下,法庭可以因非法侵入行为而判决惩罚性损害赔偿(Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13; PortStephens Shire Council v Tellamist Pty Ltd (2004) 135 LGERA 98 (NSWCA)).

  2. Events of 7 June 2018

  2018年6月7日发生的事件

  Considering that the Tree is located 20cm inside the boundary of our client's land, it must be that the Tree was planted on our client's land, and therefore the Tree belonged to our client. The same inference was made in Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6 BPR 13,626. It is undoubtedly the case that the primary proprietary interest in the Tree belonged to our client considering its location.

  因为该树位于我们的客户所有的土地界限以内20厘米,所以该树栽种于我们的客户的土地上,因此属于我们的客户。在Carr v Sourlos (1994) 6BPR 13,626一案中也有类似的推论。考虑到该树的位置,毫无疑问,该树的主要财产性权益属于我们的客户。

  In order to remove the Tree, contractors engaged by the developer would have necessarily been entered our client’s land, or the airspace of our client's land. It would not have been possible to remove the tree otherwise.

  如果要移除该树,开发商所雇用的合同工必然会进入我们的客户的土地,或者我们的客户的土地上空。除此之外没有别的办法可以移除该树。

  At no point was permission expressly granted or implied. The entering of land without permission and the removal of a tree constitutes trespass and the actions were inconsistent with our client's rights as tenants in common.

  我们的客户从来没有以明示或暗示的方式给出过许可。未经许可进入我们的客户的所有地并移除该树构成非法侵入行为,这种行为同时违背了我们的客户作为按份共有人的权利。

  3. Damages

  损害赔偿

  Relevance of Carr v Sourlos

  Carr v Sourlos 一案的相关性

  In Carr v Sourlos, the plaintiff and defendants owned adjoining properties. The defendants obtained an order from the council permitting the removal of four trees growing along the boundary between the properties, subject to negotiations with the plaintiff. The defendants' solicitors sent a letter to the plaintiff advising him to remove the trees within 14 days, failing which the defendants would remove the trees themselves and seek contribution for costs. The letter was never received by the plaintiff. The defendants' agents entered the plaintiff's land to remove the trees. The plaintiff sought to recover damages for trespass.

  在Carr v Sourlos一案中,原告和被告所拥有的土地相邻。被告从市议会获得许可,在与原告进行协商的前提下,可以移除沿着两块土地边界生长的四棵树木。被告律师在寄给原告的信件中表示,原告应在14天内移除这些树木,如果未能移除,被告将负责移除这些树木并向原告要求成本费用补偿。原告并没有收到这封信。被告的代理人进入原告的土地移除了这些树木。原告要求对非法侵入行为进行损害赔偿。

  The Court held that neither the defendants nor their agents had permission to enter onto the plaintiff's land. Therefore, the defendants by their agents committed the tort of trespass on the plaintiff's land.

  法庭判决认为,被告以及被告的代理人均没有进入原告土地的许可。因此,被告通过其代理人的行为构成了对原告土地的非法侵入行为。

  Importantly, the Court held that the plaintiff was entitled to:

  重要的是,法庭认为原告应获得:

  · compensatory damages for diminution of the aesthetic appeal and market value of his property;

  因原告房屋美学外观和市场价值的减损而获得的补偿性损害赔偿;

  ·  aggravated damages for the violation of his property; and

  因原告财产受到非法侵入而获得的增加的损害赔偿;以及

  ·  exemplary damages.

  惩罚性损害赔偿.

  Considering the similarities with the factual circumstances in Carr v Sourlos, we are not aware of any reason in law or fact why these same heads of damages would not be available if proceedings were commenced in this matter.

  鉴于本案例与Carr v Sourlos一案事实上的相似性,我们认为,如果进入诉讼,没有事实上或法律上的任何理由使得我们的客户不能获得相似种类的损害赔偿。

  It is also noteworthy that in Carr v Sourlos, the Court found that the issues involved were of far greater signi?cance than the quantum of damages indicated and ultimately the Court made a special order for costs of $100,000.00.

  另外值得注意的是,在Carrv Sourlos一案中,法庭认为所涉及的问题的严重性远比表面上的损失量要大,最终法庭做出特别判决,要对方支付原告的律师费$100,000.00。

  4. Breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act)

  违反环境规划和评估法1979

  In the developer's lawyers reply they argued that when removing the tree, their client was acting "pursuant to a previous development consent XXX/2014/JP."

  开发商的律师在回复中声称,他们的客户的行为是依据于之前的开发许可XXX/2014/JP。

  As noted above, a planning permission such as adevelopment consent does not provide a defence to trespass. Where development consent is granted, the development consent does not constitute a property right to permit trespass, even if landowner's consent to the making of the DAwas granted (Stafford Quarries Pty Ltd v Kempsey Shire Council (1992) 76 LGRA 52; Pimas Group Pty Ltd v Maritime Services Board of NSW (1994) 82 LGERA 205.

  如上述,开发许可等规划许可不能作为非法侵入的理由。即使土地所有者同意开发许可的制定,开发许可也不能作为一种财产性权利允许非法侵入行为(Stafford Quarries Pty Ltd v Kempsey Shire Council (1992) 76 LGRA 52; Pimas Group Pty Ltd v Maritime Services Board of NSW (1994) 82 LGERA 205.

  Trespass aside, it is necessary to determine whether the removal of the tree was carried out in accordance with development consent XXX/2014/JP.

  即使不论非法侵入行为,也很有必要考虑移除该树的做法是否遵守了开发许可XXX/2014/JP。

  It is noteworthy that DA XXX/2014/JP has a number of conditions that must be complied with prior to the carrying out of anyworks.

  值得注意的是,开发许可XXX/2014/JP规定,在开展任何作业之前,有几项条件必须符合。

  It is a fundamental principle of planning law that work undertaken in breach of a condition of the consent is prohibited and illegal and cannot be work relating to the development (the subject of the consent). Such work (in breach of conditions of consent) cannot be relied upon to physically commence a consent. Iron Gates Developments Pty Ltd v Richmond-Evans Environmental Society Inc (1992) 81 LGERA 132.

  在规划法律中有一项重要原则,即任何没有遵守许可中列出的条件的作业都是被禁止的、违法的,不能被认为是与开发相关的(开发是许可的主体)。这种(没有遵守许可中列出的条件的)作业不能认为是被给予许可的。Iron Gates Developments Pty Ltd v Richmond-Evans Environmental Society Inc(1992) 81 LGERA 132.

  In this case, DA XXX/2014/JP was granted in 2014 and approved works including the removal of the tree. However, there is no evidence that would suggest that DA XXX/2014/JP was lawfully physically commenced in accordance with section 4.53 of the EP&A Act.

  在该案例中,开发许可XXX/2014/JP于2014年通过,并同意包括移除树木在内的作业。然而,没有证据可以表明,开发许可XXX/2014/JP是根据环境规划和评估法第4.53条合法开展的。

  In particular, the conditions at 42 – 63 are conditions that must be complied with prior to the carrying out of any works. As a matter of fact these preconditions were not satisfied.

  尤其是,从事实上来说,作为开展任何作业之前必须遵守的条件,42-63中的前提条件并没有得到满足。

  It follows that DA XXX/2014/JP was never commenced because the Consent does not appear to have been relied upon, and in any event, the removal of the Tree was in breach of conditions 42 – 63 of the consent. Accordingly, for the purposes of the EP&A Act, the works were prohibited and illegal.

  这就意味着,开发许可XXX/2014/JP从来没有被触发,因为相关行为并没有依据于该许可。不管怎么说,移除该树都违反了该许可42-63中的条件。因此,根据环境规划和评估法,这些行为是被禁止的、违法的。

  The final outcome of the matter

  该案例的最终结果

  We engaged settlement negotiations with this developer on behalf of our client. Unfortunately this developer, by disregarding their corporate social responsibilities, tried very hard to avoid paying reasonable amount of damages while had to admitting their responsibilities.

  我们代表我们的客户与开发商进行了协商。然而,该开发商不顾其企业社会责任,在不得不承认其责任的情况下,仍然不愿支付合理的赔偿损害金额。

  In April 2019, our client had no choice but commencing proceedings in the Supreme Court against this developer. Shortly after the proceedings were commenced, the developer made a formal offer to our client. We were of the view that the offer amount plus our costs offered by the developer was reasonable in the circumstances. By following our recommendation, our client accepted the offer and the matter was settled by consent judgment between the parties without going any further.

  在2019年4月,我们的客户别无选择,只能在新南威尔士州最高法院对该开发商提起诉讼。在诉讼开始的不久后,该开发商向我们的客户提出了正式的和解提议。我们认为提议中的数额加上我们的诉讼费用是合理的。我们的客户接受了我们的建议,接受了该提议,案件通过各方的合意判决和解,没有继续进行下去。

  Lessons learnt from this case

  该案例的经验

  The real property market is always active in Australia, especially in Sydney even though there are cycles of ups and downs. As a land owner when you face a big developer, how to protect your interest? Lessons from this case:

  虽然有起有伏,澳大利亚尤其是悉尼的房地产市场一直很活跃。作为一位房主,如果你遇到了强大的开发商,你应该怎么保护自己的权益?该案例提供了一下经验:

  1. To know your position by seeking legal advice as early as possible.

  应尽早寻求法律建议,以了解自己处于何种情况。

  2. To follow the advice from your lawyers and act accordingly.

  接受并遵循您的律师提供的建议。

  3. Be confident when you face a big opponent.

  面对强大的对手也不要怯懦。

 

 

 

 

原发布时间:2019.10.10

稿件来源:北大法宝

网址:https://www.pkulaw.com/lawfirmarticles/50bd6fc4a2c3ef9f12a8102ee3533ec9b...