Removing an abandoned vehicle on your strata common property
In New South Wales, an owners corporation may be able to remove and dispose of a vehicle left on common property if they reasonably believe the vehicle has genuinely been abandoned. However, the owners corporation needs to follow steps laid out in the Uncollected Goods Act 1995, section 31.
Steps to remove abandoned vehicles in strata
- Obtain a certificate from the Commissioner of Police, stating the vehicle is not recorded as stolen at least 28 days before the vehicle is to be moved or sold. When applying for the certificate, you will need to specify a number of details about the vehicle, including the make, model, type, colour, registration number (if any), chassis number (if any) and engine number (if any)
- Obtain a written search result from the Personal Property Securities Register, which states the vehicle is not recorded as stolen
- Provide notice regarding disposal, and then dispose of the vehicle as appropriate if unclaimed by the end of the notice period. The rules around this vary depending on the value of the vehicle:
|Value of vehicle||Type of notice||Notice period||Disposal method|
|Less than $1,000||Verbal or written||14 days||Any appropriate manner|
|Between $1,000 and $20,000||Written||28 days||Public auction or private sale (for fair value)|
If the vehicle is worth over $20,000, the committee will need to apply for a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal order, which will determine the type of notice required, the length of the notice period and the appropriate disposal method.
Funds collected from the sale of the vehicle need to be given to the Chief Commissioner of Revenue in New South Wales, if they cannot be given to the owner of the vehicle.
You can find out more about this process by clicking here.
PICA Group’s top tips for better parking management
- Prevention of parking issues is key. Erect notices and signage to highlight parking rules and mark appropriate spaces where parking is allowed and the maximum period for which a vehicle may be parked
- Include parking guidelines in the by-laws or building rules so owners and residents are also clear about the rules regarding visitor parking in common areas.
- Remove or dispose of the vehicle without obtaining the necessary documentation
- Dispose of the vehicle before the notice period has passed
- Move the vehicle to an unsafe or unreasonable location
- Damage the vehicle while moving it to another location – you will need to cover the costs of any damage made in the process of moving.
Council enforcement of strata parking
Under section 650A of the Act, a fee-for-service agreement with your local council can be entered into for parking management services. This means council rangers can erect parking signage in strata parking areas, patrol the area to ensure the parking signage is complied with and issue parking infringement notices if it is not. Under this arrangement, the council would handle disputes that may arise from parking violations. A parking agreement must be approved by special resolution at a general meeting.
Removing obstructing vehicles in Queensland and Victoria
Queensland’s legislation and Victoria’s legislation currently don’t have much published information on removing vehicles obstructing common property. There also seems to be is no certainty for a committee as to their rights to tow vehicles from common property and pass on the towing expenses to the owner of the offending vehicle. We recommend approaching the matter cautiously and seeking legal advice before taking action to remove a vehicle from common property both in Victoria and Queensland.
If you’d like to find out more on managing parking problems in your strata property, download your free Community Living guide on by-laws. Or for a consultation to review your by-laws by our Kemps Petersons Legal team, click here.