PICA Group’s tips for parking and strata laws, here’s what you can and can’t do per state:
In New South Wales
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and section 650A of The Local Government Act 1993, allows for owners corporations to enter an agreement with their local council for parking management services. This means that the strata committee can approach their local council to patrol and issue parking fines for unauthorised parking in the strata scheme’s parking area.
Towing a car
Section 125 of the Strata Schemes Management Act provides the strata committee with powers to remove a vehicle obstructing common property, however the process requires issuing a removal notice and waiting five days before acting. This is primarily for long term problems such as when a vehicle has been abandoned.
Schedule 4 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 states that an occupier must not park a vehicle in non-designated areas unless they have received approval of the body corporate. All owners, residents and their guests need to comply with the by-laws for their strata property.
If the occupier is not willing to co-operate, then it is best to take the formal route and issue a BCCM Form 1 notice to notify the body corporate of the by-law breach.
Clause 4.3 of Schedule 1 of the Owners Corporation Act 2016 allows for the owners corporation to make rules regarding vehicles and parking on common property.
The owners corporation can issue a by-law breach if parking rules are not adhered to. Only VCAT has the power to issue fines to those who continue to breach rules and may impose a penalty of up to $250 if a person has continued to breach a rule.
Six ways to manage common problems with parking in strata
No matter what state you live in, proactive measures are the best solution. To help maintain harmony with your neighbours, here are six ways to deal with some of the most common parking problems in strata managed properties:
- Parking signs – ensure parking rules are obvious
Signage plays an important role in ensuring everyone is aware of parking rules and allocated visitor parking. It’s a good idea to include the maximum period for which a vehicle may be parked on all notices.
- Visitor parking – provide options
If you’re having guests over, show them where the designated visitors parking area is or make other parking arrangements beforehand.
- Illegally parked cars – direct communication is key
When someone has parked in another owner’s car space or on common property against parking rules, they are in breach of by-laws or rules and the matter can be taken to the committee. They should first contact the occupier asking them to move their vehicle and if it continues, they can serve a Notice to Comply.
- By-laws or building rules – clarity is king
In most states, the committee may change the by-laws for parking if it is supported by a special resolution of the owners corporation. If your by-laws or rules are not clear enough about parking, a strata committee member can raise a motion to create or modify a by-law which can be voted on at a general meeting or postal ballot of the owners corporation.
- Parking fines – take further action
In the event of a first-time violation, the strata committee may decide to issue a verbal warning but if parking by-laws or the building rules continues to be breached, the committee may decide to take further action such as applying to the state’s governing body or tribunal for the imposition of a civil penalty for breaching the by-law.
- Towing a vehicle – If a parked vehicle is obstructing exits
The owners corporation can be held liable for any damage done to a vehicle. In NSW however, Regulation 34 of Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016, allows a committee to move a vehicle provided 5 days’ notice has been given and the correct notification procedure has been followed.
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.