You may have heard that Willoughby Council now has agreements to issue parking fines on some of its local strata properties, and that the City of Sydney is open to proposals from interested strata schemes. What’s all this business about councils and strata parking, though? It’s about keeping your visitor parking spaces for yourself and your guests, rather than some inconsiderate city worker.
What’s the problem with parking?
In busy built-up city areas, some find it all too tempting to park in the visitor’s car park of a nearby strata property and make their way to work for the day. There may even be an issue with owners owning multiple vehicles and using a visitor spot to store one of them. These frustrating strata parking problems see legitimate visitors and residents unable to find a parking spot and strata owners feeling incredibly fed up.
The new solution in NSW
As of the introduction of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, strata schemes within the state now have the option of entering into a negotiation with their local council to arrange the monitoring and fining of those parking on common property without approval. Councils are not obligated to enter into a parking agreement if they choose not to, but if they do their parking rangers would be able to issue infringement notices of up to $550 per infringement as per the strata scheme’s parking conditions. Any disputes regarding parking infringements are to be made directly with the relevant council.
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What can be controlled?
Every strata property’s parking situation is likely to be different, so its unique parking restrictions will need to be clearly laid out in the strata parking by-laws and displayed using signage on the property. These conditions might include time limitations, hours of operation, disabled use and access, emergency access, and access to secured areas.
What needs to be considered before entering into a parking agreement with a local council?
Your owners corporation will need to make sure that all reasonable efforts have been made to restrict unauthorised parking access on common property, such as fencing, signs and gates. You should also be aware than upon entering into one of these agreements any penalties can be applied across the board – that is, if you are an owner or tenant you will not be exempt if you breach the parking conditions.
There is a cost in entering into an agreement with a local council, and revenue provided by the penalties will go to the council rather than the strata scheme. The council gets the benefit of extra funds in their budget, and strata owners get a better chance of being able to use their parking spots as intended. We call that a win-win situation.
For full details on the strata parking laws in NSW, you can read through Fair Trading’s strata and community parking fact sheet.