This ACT article is about breaching strata rules. What is a Rule Infringement Notice?
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: Our strata rules state that vehicles “may be towed or otherwise removed”. Is this enforceable and if so, under what conditions?
- QUESTION: Our tenant is parking on common property. They have been asked to move the car or they will be fined. Will we, as the lot owners, be responsible for the fine?
Question: Our strata rules state that vehicles “may be towed or otherwise removed”. Is this enforceable and if so, under what conditions?
I live in a unit complex in the ACT. Our strata rules state “Vehicles parked without permission in spaces allocated to other Units may be towed or otherwise removed”. Is this enforceable and if so, under what conditions?
Answer: In short, a rule to tow away cars can only bind owners and occupiers but not visitors. Therefore, you can only tow cars owned by owners and occupiers if there is a proper rule in place enabling this.
This post appears in Strata News #438.
Question: Our tenant is parking on common property. They have been asked to move the car or they will be fined. Will we, as the lot owners, be responsible for the fine?
We own an apartment in a multistory complex in Canberra. The letting is managed by a local real estate agent.
Our apartment has two car spaces assigned to it. The car parking for the building is underground with two sub-levels.
It has been brought to my attention that the tenant is parking a third car somewhere near the assigned two car spots. The strata management company has asked him nicely and also via letters to please move the third car from where it is. The strata are going to issue a fine apparently. I’m not sure where the car is parked but more than likely it’s underground in a common area.
The tenant has said that he “knows his rights” and is refusing to move the third car. The tenant is a property developer/agent of some kind. I’m not sure if the tenant has an insight into such things or he could just be stalling.
If a fine is issued, I’ve been informed that it goes to our property agent and appears on our account. I assume that the tenant’s payments would pay for the fine. Is this the normal process?
If the issue ends up going to ACAT tribunal, do we as the owners have to pay financially for any legal fees if we win? Or if legal costs are awarded to the tenant, are they paid by the strata? Can I as an owner instruct the strata to not pursue the issue with the tenant?
Answer: The Owners Corporation would need to issue what is called a Rule Infringement Notice on your tenant.
- Has the Owners Corporation resolved an amendment to their Rules addressing the matter of parking?
The additional parking would usually be for visitors to the units and not overflow for residents. This may have been part of the approval for the complex.
- The tenant does not have a right to park there if the spots have been allocated for visitor parking.
- The Owners Corporation would need to issue what is called a “Rule Infringement Notice” (RIN) on your tenant. If the manager does not have the tenant’s details then they may issue it on the landlord. A recent tribunal ruling indicates that the landlord cannot be responsible for the actions of their tenant. Technically it is not the landlord breaching the rule. However, the tenant cannot breach the conditions of his lease and or Owners Corporation rules.
- The landlord may have to issue a notice to the tenant as well under the Residential Tenancies Act.
- If the “Rule Infringement Notice” is issued on the tenant and he does not comply, the Owners Corporation will need another meeting with a resolution for the Owners Corporation to apply for an order through ACAT and can request that a fine be imposed. They would have to have conciliation in the first instance.
- The lot owner does not have a right to instruct the Manager against the instruction of the Executive Committee or Owners Corporation.
- The owner/landlord should really be insisting with their tenant to comply. And ask the tenant perhaps why he thinks he has “certain rights” to park there.
This post appears in Strata News #346.
Have a question about Rule Infringement Notices or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, take a look here.