Lawyer flouts building regulations… again

Extensive renovations are being done to this house on the corner of Kendal Road and Titus Way but without municipal building approval.

A lawyer and property developer with a history of flouting building regulations is behind renovations to a Constantia property that have not been granted municipal approval.

According to residents in The Vines, a house on the corner of Kendal Road and Titus Way was purchased on November 20 and building work started a few weeks later.

Wayne Hufkie says he is building two houses on this property at 2 Titus Way. It was formerly a single dwelling.

However, neighbour Maurice Dozetos has complained to ward councillor Carol Bew that plans for major renovations at 2 Titus Way have not been approved and building started before the transfer was approved.

Mr Dozetos said Mr Hufkie was known for building first and asking questions later.

In 2018, the Bulletin reported that the City had previously fined Mr Hufkie for unauthorised building work (“Lawyer in property row,” Bulletin June 21, 2018).

At that time, Eddie Andrews, the then mayoral committee member for area south, said the Plumstead conveying attorney cum property developer had flouted building regulations on three occasions: at Sunbury Road in Elfindale; a Constantia property, for which Mr Andrews did not supply details; and a third property in Hancock Road, Plumstead. The City had issued several fines.

Now, 2 Titus Way is the scene of yet more unauthorised building work, according to Ms Bew, who said the building inspector had visited the property on Monday February 22 to find “construction work in progress without approvals”.

The building inspector had issued two notices – a stop works, which is immediate, and another to have the building plans submitted and approved within 60 days, she said.

“The case will now be escalated to our legal department for further processing due to non-compliance to the stop-works notice,” she said.

Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said City records showed the property had not been transferred to Mr Hufkie. And building plans had been submitted but not yet approved.

Should the developer not comply with the notices, the matter would be handed to the legal department for court action and judgment, she said.

“If the developer is found to be in contravention of the development management scheme, they will be liable for an administrative penalty of up to 100% of the value of the building, construction and engineering work that is unlawfully carried out,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.

Mr Hufkie had contravened building regulations at other properties, she confirmed.

Residents in the area say the property was purchased on November 20 and building started a few weeks later.

Mr Hufkie told the Bulletin that he acted on behalf of “Klein Constantia Pty Ltd”, the company, he said, that had acquired 2 Titus Way, Constantia.

“The company does not intend ventilating grievances via the media, and, as such, our office is not authorised to give you any further comment in this regard,” said Mr Hufkie.

But company records list Mr Hufkie as the sold director of Klein Constantia Properties, which was registered in November last year. And the company’s Waterford Road address is the same one listed for Wayne Hufkie Attorneys.

In the case of the Hancock Road property in 2018, Mr Hufkie was the sole director of Midnight Feast Properties 157, the registered owner of that property. The company was registered in 2011, and Mr Hufkie is still listed as its sole director, according to company records.

On Wednesday February 24, Mr Dozetos said a truck delivered bricks to 2 Titus Way where workers continued to lay them. “If a notice to stop building was in fact issued, then it is being blatantly ignored,” said Mr Dozetos. However, two days later, building work appeared to have stopped, although workmen were on site, when the Bulletin visited. A neighbour was also there, and said she wanted to find out what was being built as she had received no notice about it.

The entrance to 2 Titus Way, The Vines

Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association chairman Mark Schäfer said they expected residents and developers to act within the scope of the law and the regulations – and for the authorities to apply and enforce the laws that were there to protect the community.

Mr Schäfer said the City was perceived to be only too willing to accommodate errant residents and developers to the detriment of the community.

“The by-law contains provisions for the City to interdict illegal land use and building activity. The City prefers to issue notices and then proceed to prosecute the contravention, which is a least a six-month process,” he said.

“It also makes provision for ongoing contraventions to be fined on a daily basis once it has been determined the perpetrator is guilty of the contravention and has not stopped the illegal activity,” said Mr Schäfer.

“The disrespect for law and order started with a lack of enforcement. The perception is that the City doesn’t take enforcement of its regulations seriously, so why should anyone else.”