Strata Parking – The Goalposts Have Moved
The most complained about issue in strata living is Parking. Most strata buildings have one car space per Lot and only a hand full of Visitors Car spaces. However, most residents have two cars which results with some of them using the Visitors spaces.
In some circumstances residents from other properties have been known to park in a Visitors car space.
Certain buildings that are close to railway stations or bus interchanges seem to have a large number of “Visitors” only arriving on weekdays, and all leave just after 6:00 pm each day.
Until the instigation of the new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 there was very little that could be done to prevent these serial parking offenders.
The Visitors Car spaces are “common property” and are not for the use of residents, they are strictly for the use of visitors. They are NOT additional Parking spaces.
The provision of a visitor’s car parking area was a condition of the Development Consent, therefore any parking by a non-Visitor or resident is not permitted and they cannot make use of them.
So what has changed?
The new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 has empowered the Owners Corporation with more teeth, it can now react to Residents and Non-Residents who breach the parking by-laws of the building.
For residents who park vehicles in breach of By-Laws will not only have a Breach of By-Law notice issued but the penalties for breaching by-laws have increased to $1,100. For repeat offenders within the same calendar year, penalties can be as much as $2,200 for each breach.
Previously Owners Corporation where frustrated because if they sort an order from NCAT it not only cost the owners corporation money but any fines imposed by NCAT went to the NSW State Government. Now however the default position under the new Act is that the penalties are payable to the Owners Corporation, meaning that Owners Corporation are more likely to pursue someone.
The Owners Corporation can also elect to enter an agreement with their local Council whereby the Council agree to providing parking management services. This means that the Council will have its Parking Officers inspect and manage parking at the property and issue parking infringement notices.
The new Act even goes further – vehicle left on common property or if it blocks an exit or entrance or otherwise obstructs the use of common property can now be removed if they do not comply with a Notice to remove the vehicle.
While the Owners Corporation can move the offending vehicle to the nearest place to which it may be lawfully moved it can also obtain an Order from NCAT that the owner, pay to the owner’s corporation the reasonable costs incurred by the owner’s corporation in moving the motor vehicle.
Owners Corporations have by-laws prohibiting parking on the common property without written approval and restricting visitors parking. Enforcing these by-laws through NCAT and or having Council rangers policing your parking areas is a game changer.