Whether it’s people parking in spaces that belong to someone else, blocking entrances or incorrectly using visitors’ car parks, parking disputes are one of the most common problems for Owners Corporations. However, the legal requirements surrounding this topic are not clear for many tenants. We outline some key issues in this article.
The Model Rules for Owners Corporations make general provisions for expected levels of behaviour at a property and address administrative issues related to the use of the common property. Rule 4.1 addresses vehicles and parking in the common property:
“An owner or occupier of a lot must not, unless in the case of an emergency, park or leave a motor vehicle or other vehicle or permit a motor vehicle or other vehicle—
(a) to be parked or left in parking spaces situated on common property and allocated for other lots; or
(b) on the common property so as to obstruct a driveway, pathway, entrance or exit to a lot; or
(c) in any place other than a parking area situated on common property specified for that purpose by the owners corporation.”
Unless the Owners Corporation has specific rules covering this area, then the Model Rules apply.
Other than the provisions mentioned in the Model Rules, it is up to each Owners Corporation to set, approve and register specific bylaws for every building.
These can include issues such as speed allowances, parking of heavy vehicles (particularly for moving purposes), use of car parks for purposes other than car parking, etc. Importantly, rules cannot conflict with established laws such as:
- Residential Tenancies Act 1997
- Disposal of Uncollected Goods Act 1961
- Part 7A, Road Safety Act 1986
Any rule drafted by an Owners Corporation needs to be approved at a General Meeting. Once this happens, a special resolution is passed and a copy of the rules is lodged with Land Use Victoria, to be recorded on the plan of subdivision. All owners and residents must be informed of the change in rules.
Binks & Associates Managing Director, Ben Commerford, believes “while issues like dealing with non-compliant cladding, water leaks and building defects are the hot and topical issues of our time, people parking in their neighbours car spaces or abusing the use of visitor car parking spaces is one of the most common problems in Owners Corporations / community living on a global basis.
“Attributes and strategies focused on collaboration, community spirit, working together, living mindfully and being respectful of other peoples property, all go a long way toward helping resolve this difficult issue.”
If you have any doubts about parking rules in your building, be sure to contact your Owners Corporation manager to get all the information you need. As with all aspects of living in a strata development, when it comes to parking it is all about being aware of the rules in place and being considerate to your neighbours.