Car parking disputes- Adjudicators order.

Car parking is quite possibly one of the single, most hotly debated topics in strata. This contentious issue often presents many challenges to both residents and visitors alike.

The five most common complaints are: 

1.)   Someone has parked in your privately owned car park.

2.)   Someone has parked in your allocated common property car park

3.)   Someone has parked too frequently in a visitor car park

4.)   Someone has parked in a place that is not a designated car park

5.)   Someone has parked over the allocated time for visitor car parking

Just last week, a dispute between an owner occupier and his body corporate was heard, and an order was handed down by the Queensland Commissioner.

 The case arose when the occupier of one lot claimed that the occupiers of another lot, within the same complex, were using allocated visitor car parking spots for their own benefit. It was argued that this was in contravention of the community’s by-laws.

The apartments were part of a beach-front holiday complex, comprising of 12 lots with each lot allocated only one car space each. Additionally, there are six extra spaces designated for visitors. With owners using the visitor spaces for their multiple vehicles, it stopped legitimate visitors from having anywhere to park. Being in a prime beach position, on weekends and public holidays, there was also little to no street parking available.

The applicant argued that the occupants using one or two vehicles in the visitor car spaces were in breach of by-laws, the council’s planning requirements and were causing nuisance and inconvenience to other residents.

So what was the order and how was this determined?

The application was dismissed on the following grounds: Commissioners decision

-It was agreed that the visitor parking was used unlawfully from time to time.

– It was considered to be more appropriate to make an order to the body corporate to take such positive and reasonable steps to ensure the by-laws of the scheme are known to and complied with by all owners and occupiers of the scheme.

-The body corporate must bear in mind that it is not able to grant occupiers permission to park in visitor car spaces.

– The body corporate may like to approach the local authority to see whether the number of designated visitor spaces can be varied in some way, for example, for dual usage, or general purpose.

-It was suggested that a submission could be made to the council to end this.

-This was to be considered as a suggestion only as the commissioner held no jurisdiction in this area.

Do you have any problems with parking in strata? Click here to ask an industry expert a question.


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Recent Comments


m eccleston On July 31, 2013 | Reply

What an asolute copout What purpose does the adjudicator serve?

Steve Healy On October 6, 2016 | Reply

I’m buying a unit off the plan. My unit comes with two car parks.
I have been offered an additional two car spaces by the builder to do with as I wish.
I am the only owner/occupier.
What problems will I encounter if I rent them out? To tenants or commuters? The property is close to a train station.

    SSKB On October 10, 2016 | Reply

    Thank you for your question Steve. To give you the most accurate information, may we know which state the property is in, as rules may vary from state to state.

Joy taylor On August 27, 2017 | Reply

I have a man who parks in the visitor park next to my apartment, he is a resident and already has car parks. I left a note on his vehicle asking him not to park there and reminding him it is a visitors park, with a sign saying so. This man backs his vehicle into the park, it has exhaust fumes that fill my unit, giving me a headache. I asked him if he is going to park there coul he not back in. All was ok for 3 weeks. He has parked there again tonight, what should I do. This man also chased another residents cat and abused her. I’m recovering from surgery and am often not well.

    SSKB On August 30, 2017 | Reply

    Hello Joy,
    It would appear that this gentleman may be breaching the by-laws/rules. The best thing to do would be to contact your body corporate/owners corporation committee and advise them of the situation, so they can enforce the by-laws/rules.

Margaret On September 10, 2017 | Reply

I live in a complex that only has one car park for each unit and has 6 car parks for visitors but not sign posted. Can I park my car in one of these as they are all never taken up. I don’t want to park on the streets because of vandalism
What are my legal rights ?

    SSKB On September 12, 2017 | Reply

    Hello Margaret,
    If the By Laws within the CMS and survey plans identify them as Visitor Car Parking, occupiers cannot park their cars in the visitor car parks, they are for visitors only.
    You are breaching the By Laws if you park your car in the visitors car park and you risk the Body Corporate issuing you with a breach notice.

Garry On January 24, 2018 | Reply

hi , my parents own a unit, one of 7 …. they are elderly 80/83 ..i stay occasionally 2 days a week …however the 2 visitors car parks the building provides , are always used by the unit owners despite them having secure underground double bay parking . What rights do I have as a visitor & are the owners legally allowed to do this .
As the area is shortly to be made 3 hour parking on the road frontage between 9 to 5 pm visitors will be restricted in visiting residents

    SSKB On February 5, 2018 | Reply

    Good morning Garry,
    We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the Community Management Statement (CMS) for the building. Your parents should have a copy when they purchased the unit. A copy can also be obtained from the strata management company or the QLD Department of Natural Resources. Specifically, you are looking for the Body Corporate By-Laws therein. It is likely that the By-Laws will include reference to the rights and obligations associated with use of the visitor bays. Once you have this information, you will be able to discuss solutions with the Body Corporate Manager and/or Building Manager.

Susan On June 13, 2018 | Reply

Hi, I am being taken to mediation for selling my unit with two numbered car spaces as a two car unit when it had only one on the cms. My question is in regards to body corporate not policing or enforcing this original parking plan for 9 years until it was pulled out of archives when repainting the building. For 9 years and three owners this car space had been numbered to unit 14 and no complaints, or issues were raised. Now the current owner is upset he only has one car space. Determining who is at fault is hard when some say the Plan of Usage (eg the numbering of the lots) at some stage became the new plan that everybody followed for 9 years. What duty does the body corporate have in upholding the plan, and if they fail to do so for nearly a decade are they in any way liable?

    SSKB On June 20, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Susan,
    The document which allocates an exclusive use area such as a car space is the Community Management Statement (CMS) or if the car space is on title, the registered SP Plan. Non enforcement of the By-laws as contained within the CMS, is an issue for the Owners and Committee of the day. Regardless of who did or did not police By-laws, every purchaser of any Lot in a Body Corporate would undertake a search of the Body Corporate records which would clearly state the areas allocated to a particular Lot (exclusive use or on Title as a Lot). Any line marking or numbering is only as good as the contractor who painted them and the instructions provided to the contractor. The CMS is the key document.

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