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When I stopped a builder from slicing into community property here, destroying a part of the balcony walkway to make room for a drainage pipe, the owner involved did not accept there had been miscommunication with his builders. Instead, he threatened to bio me if I ever interfered with his builders and their work ever again.

It is all part of the laissez-faire building code here where owners feel they are free to do whatever they want – and cannot be bothered to discuss their build, or alternatives, with other owners.

For the past few years, construction of a massive extension that looms over the patio area has been underway. In the accepted design, there appeared to be no way to manage the water run off. Rainwater that fell on the new roof simply fell, unobstructed, onto the patio area, flooding the garden.

It all seemed like a minor issue. After all, the issue was clear, the owner would be shown the problem and a solution devised. The flooding was a temporary aspect of the build – and I treated it that way for a couple of years.

This year the issue was brought to the fore and a solution demanded. However the owner – I will call him The Tin Man after the all metal facade of his new project – seems to be of the opinion that a mandate to resolve the issue has given him free right to resolve the issue in any way that suits him.

On Friday, I stopped his workers from cutting a drainage pipe sized hole in the metal flooring that is our balcony. They were going to install a drainage pipe that would have obtruded about 40cms from the wall. It was a botched and clumsy solution and I made it clear I would not accept the solution. I was at the latest General Assembly and no plan had been presented, no vote made and no permission for total freedom to solve his issues.

The next day, one of the management trio told me there had been a miscommunication. The patio balcony was never supposed to be cut and another clumsy pipe at a higher level was expected. At least the flooring was not going to be cut – but the design is something akin to the plumbing fiascos from the feature film, Brazil.

Now… Unhappy with the design to resolve a small element of the rainwater issue, I sent a letter to The Tin Man, the house syndic, Thierry Duquesne of AC Patrimo, and two of the three members of house management (I do not know who the third is).

In the letter of complaint, there was also an explanation of how the issue of rainwater on the facade could be solved without an ugly aqueduct system of guttering and the runoff would use established rainwater pipes, rather than create new systems.

Frankly, the solution is more elegant, less expensive and does not require destruction of community property.

Te reply from The Tin Man was that if I ever stopped his workers again, he would bill me for their time.

It seems the position of thug and bully, so effectively run by The Loft Ransfort Photographer, already has a person applying for the position. Thugs and bullies abound in Loft Ransfort.

Part of the inevitable results of ad hoc building arrangements in Loft Ransfort are owners thinking they can do whatever they want when they build. While there is reason in terms of what is their property, when they have to access community property, they often consider themselves free to do whatever they want.

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Flood buckets on the balcony spaceFlooding in the patio area continues. The balcony area around my house has been unusable for most of the summer as rain buckets are a constant. In the last two days, I have captured over 150 litres of water running from the metal rooftops. If this were allowed to fall into the patio garden, the flooding would be substantial.

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icon image for a shade gardenA beautiful shade garden near the Parc Royale in Brussels, Belgium, has been demolished as the host building is undergoing a major refurbishment. I had permission to lift the various plants from the space and rescue them – and will reinstall them at the Loft Ransfort Patio garden. This last-second rescue has brought dozens of integral plants to this complex – for free. Some of the plants will travel further, into other gardens, but there is no doubt, Loft Ransfort is the big winner here.

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icon image of the patio garden flowersIn the rebuild of the patio garden, I bought plants yesterday from a new garden centre and placed them, in a safe place, on the patio table. When I awoke the next morning, all the plants had been removed from the table and put onto the ground directly at the base of the stairwell where the could be accidentally damaged. Continue Reading »

©Barry Sandland - Hydrangeas on rue FinLoft Ransfort sits at the tip of Rue Fin, Molenbeek, its entrance looming over a street that has been a dumping ground for every sort of cast off and filth. But the reputation has been changing over the past few years, the latest has been 18 climbing hydrangeas planted along the sidewalk, in front of each and every home.

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colourful loft in MolenbeekThere are changes that come to every neighbourhood as older buildings disappear, making room for  new projects. But it is a sad day with a local atelier being destroyed to make room for a new apartment building. The super-colourful facade design will soon be gone – the demolition will be just four days before it simply is no more.

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Rainbow in patio garden as the grass is watered

©Barry Sandland – In the process of readying the garden for grass, we had a rainbow. Well, all science aside, I will treat this as a Willy Wonka moment and the purge of the old and arrival of the new. Good omens and positive future. Out with the dilapidated and in with a garden that can be used by all the investors – not just one.

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