Legal dispute over Wendy house at upmarket estate

2016-11-22 21:03
Midstream Estate (Facebook)

Midstream Estate (Facebook)

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Pretoria - A disagreement over a wooden structure in the upmarket Midstream Estate in Centurion has led to a lawsuit.

Christo and Christa Oberholzer, who live in extension 3 of the estate, were ordered by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on November 6 last year to remove the structure, Netwerk24 reported.

The order said they had to remove the "Wendy house" or similar structure within 20 days.

However, the Oberholzers hit back with a court application to have the order reviewed.

Their review application was rejected on Friday and the couple were ordered to pay costs.

The Midstream homeowners' association told the Oberholzers in 2014 that they were violating aesthetic and house rules with the structure.

The association was eventually able to obtain an order against the Oberholzers in November 2015.

The Oberholzers say the order against them was obtained incorrectly and in their absence. They did not know that the court case against them would go ahead. 

'Playhouse'

They said in court papers that the "playhouse" was for their daughter, who has Down syndrome. It was meant to stimulate the child's sensory and motor skills, and was never meant to be a "Wendy house".

However, the association said the crux of the matter is that the Oberholzers did not inform it in time that the structure was a playhouse for the child. The couple could have said so in a letter sent to the association on March 16, 2015.

The association said the parties had agreed on October 20, 2015, that the Oberholzers would ask their daughter's occupational therapist to motivate for the structure staying on their property. A final decision would have been taken after the association received the report.

The couple got the report on November 1, 2015, but only sent it to the association on November 30, despite knowing that the court case would be heard on November 6, 2015.

The association said the Oberholzers are not ignorant people and are "the architects of their own misfortune". The sheriff served the order on them.

Rules should apply to everyone 

The Oberholzers claimed in their review application that the parties had come to an agreement over the structure and that the court could therefore not have issued an order against them.

However, the association said there had been no such agreement. Had that been the case, the court would not have ruled against the couple.

The association says there are 1 571 houses on the estate and rules should apply to everyone.

If people are allowed to build an illegal structure, proper reasons should be given, so that the decision is fair to all the residents.

For this reason, it had been essential that the child's medical report be submitted by her parents on time.

Read more on:    pretoria

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