Parking is easily one of the most contentious issues within strata living, sparking a myriad of queries and complaints. These can range from parking in the visitor parking spaces, parking on common property, parking in other resident’s designated car spaces and leasing out car spaces without suitable approval.
Many people have a double garage and a driveway for extra parking. However, when downsizing or moving into an apartment or townhouse closer to the city, car parks are always a compromise.
In some instances, the body corporate has by-laws that prohibit people from parking outside of their specifically designated areas. Unfortunately, whilst these by-laws are considered the rules of the scheme they are not necessarily recognised by the police or local council. The responsibility of resolving parking disputes falls to the Body Corporate Committee.
It may seem that to tow, clamp or issue fines are obvious solutions for cars that park where they shouldn’t. However, it is not as simple as you might think.
Bodies Corporate unfortunately do not have the same rights when it comes to towing, clamping and issuing fines that local councils have. There are strict rules surrounding it, often ruling them out as options entirely.
Some strata schemes go down the path of engaging a carpark management company. This helps monitor any parking situations that may arise. However, it is important for Committees to remember that when interfering in any way with a car that is parked on common property, the Body Corporate may be liable for damages that may be caused to the car in the process. This is why these types of agreements are often discouraged from a legal perspective.
The law prevents bodies corporate from taking any physical action against illegally parked cars. However, there is talk in the industry that we might see changes coming in the near future that allow bodies corporate more power in these situations.
Until these changes come into effect bodies corporate are to continue with the method of sending correspondence to any owners or occupiers who do not comply with By-laws and are to apply to the Commissioners Office when matters are required.
Another issue that is beginning to arise in strata communities is owners leasing their car space separately to their Lot. This may seem like a trivial idea when the car spaces in most buildings are already facing the impeding issue of too many cars and not enough space. However, a lot of people see it as an easy way to make some quick cash on the side. With new technologies and easy to download rental apps we are seeing this rise rapidly in popularity.
Everyone knows that parking in the CBD is a nightmare no matter where you are living. It is easy to see why these car space rental apps are catching on in inner city communities. However, with these apps comes the issue of the general public having swipe/fob access to the carpark. Sometimes even the building, thus voiding security systems that some Committees have spent thousands of dollars to install.
Our advice is to remember that there will always be problems and conflicts that arise in community living. The best way to overcome them is to show consideration to your neighbours. Remember that your Community Manager is always available to provide assistance with any issues you might be facing. Click here to speak to a Strata expert at SSKB today.