Though there are many great things to love about Sydney, a general lack of parking spaces isn’t one of them. The busier a street is, the more likely that there will be some sort of parking infringement that contravenes either Council law or your strata’s by-laws.
There are many different parking disputes than can occur. A guest of another member from the strata scheme might park in your spot, unaware of your right to it. Alternately, an apartment owner with multiple vehicles might try taking up one of the designated visitor’s spots.
So who is allowed to park in a strata-managed property, and where? And who determines this?
Owners’ parking rights
Generally speaking, owners in a strata scheme are allowed to park in the spaces that are explicitly allocated to them, and not in the parking reserved for visitors or emergencies.
If no space is explicitly allocated to you, a claim for a common property rights by-law can be created with the written consent of each owner.
When it comes to the finer details, each strata property’s parking rules are likely to be slightly different. These rules need to be displayed clearly through readily visible signage so that no by-laws are broken, either intentionally or unintentionally.
If these by-laws are breached, then harsh penalties can apply. According to NSW Fair Trading, after the first breach, a notice to comply may be issued to the offending owner. If the owner then breaches this by-law again, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) can fine them up to $1,100. Breach the by-law a third time within 12 months, and this fine can double once more.
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Working with the local Council
The introduction of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 saw the possibility arise for strata schemes to enter into an agreement with their local Council so that it can provide parking management services. Though they are not obligated to enter this agreement, if they do choose to do so, the Council can grant its parking rangers the power to issue infringement notices in line with the strata’s parking by-laws. In this situation, any parking disputes can be referred directly to the responsible Council or have it dealt with by a local court.
Handling disputes over vehicles blocking access
If there is a vehicle that is blocking an exit or an entrance, or is preventing the use of common property, the owners corporation of a strata scheme is within its rights to move the vehicle provided it has placed a notice in writing near or on the vehicle.
The notice must remain in place for five days, include a description of the offending vehicle, the date and time at which the notice was issued, and the contact details for a member of the owners corporation or the strata management company.
If you have any strata disputes that need solving, it might be worth checking out Jamesons’ document bank for a whole range of strata acts and important forms. And why not see what services we can offer you here!