Qld lot owners would like to tidy up car park storage in their underground car parks. How do they do this while still complying with the Body Corporate?
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: Without any approval or consultation, can a resident build a colourbond wall between their car space and neighbouring car space in the basement car park?
- QUESTION: A Committee member is using one of his car park spaces to store dangerous goods relating to his asbestos removal business. Does this affect our insurance? How do we address this issue?
- QUESTION: Is an Owner permitted to store containers of petrol in their car space (on title) within the car park of a strata title building?
- QUESTION: Can I put a box trailer in my second parking bay and used it for car park storage? Will it comply with body corporate and how do I go about getting approval?
- QUESTION: Lot owners store furniture and rubbish in our car park. I want car park storage to stop. Our Body Corporate will not assist. What do I need to do?
- ARTICLE: QLD Car Park Storage: Dangerous items stored in Common Areas
Question: Without any approval or consultation, can a resident build a colourbond wall between their car space and neighbouring car space in the basement car park?
We live in a 52 apartment lot strata building. Without any approval or consultation, can a resident build a colourbond wall between their car space and neighbouring car space in the basement car park?
The car spaces are open and if you have 2 vehicles in your allotted parallel spaces, it is impossible to open your car door without encroaching into neighbouring space. What approval would be required? Would it contravened building approval or create airflow issues?
Answer: Installing a wall on a car park boundary would amount to an improvement to common property and would ordinarily require body corporate approval.
Installing a wall on a car park boundary would amount to an improvement to common property (presumably the car park is exclusive use). This would ordinarily require body corporate approval. The committee may choose to refuse such an improvement, particularly if it created an air flow or building approval issue. These matters are things that the owner would need to confirm and provide evidence that they do not create any issues.
Adjudicators have (rightly or wrongly) held that owners do not have the right to temporarily encroach on other car park spaces for opening a car door (even though practically this regularly takes place).
Question: A Committee member is using one of his car park spaces to store dangerous goods relating to his asbestos removal business. Does this affect our insurance? How do we address this issue?
I am a committee member on a Body Corporate with 8 townhouses.
One of our committee members is using two visitor car parks, one to park his car on a regular basis and the other car park to store an industrial pallet jack capable of lifting substantial loads of industrial waste onto a truck.
He runs an asbestos removal company and we have reason to believe he is storing asbestos material in plastic bags in this body corporate area which is not secure and literally anybody from the street could access this potentially hazardous material.
This is clearly breaching a number of bylaws, statutory laws regarding storage of hazardous material and zoning laws regarding conducting an industrial business in a residential area.
The activity is noisy, dangerous and presents a risk to the body corporate and also neighbouring properties.
We are also deeply concerned about the Body Corporate Public Liability insurance aspect of running an industrial business and storing hazardous materials on Body Corporate property.
Would we be liable if anything happened to the hazardous material?
What happens if someone is injured on Body Corporate property whilst he is operating and working in the body corporate area?
This is a clear abuse of body corporate property which is affecting the lives of the residents wanting to live in peace and not exposed to risk.
This lot owner is generating income at our expense and we have had enough. We need a strategy to prevent him from running an industrial business from a residential area.
Answer: You need to address the enforcement of by-laws and/or a dispute regarding nuisance.
I can’t comment on the insurance liability side of things, you may need to address that with your broker or insurer (although, of course, doing so could in and of itself cause a problem). I wouldn’t advise waiting to find out though, as clearly there are issues now to address.
In terms of what to do, I would suggest it would be enforcement of by-laws and/or a dispute regarding nuisance. The onus is upon the complainant (e.g., committee) to attempt to resolve this themselves first. Assuming you can’t, or that you’ve already tried to do so without success, then your next step is to apply for dispute resolution through the Commissioner’s Office.
Most strata policies will have an exclusion in their public liability policy for the actual or alleged use or presence of asbestos.
The body corporate can be drawn into a claim related to the owners storage of asbestos & even if they are able to defend the claim they will still incur legal costs in the process.
So the body corporate should be concerned if asbestos is being stored by the owner.
Business activity also needs to be disclosed to insurers prior to offering cover and section 188 “Use affecting premium” states:
- This section applies if, because of the way that a lot is used, the premium for reinstatement insurance or the premium for public risk insurance required to be taken out by the body corporate is likely to increase.
- The owner of the lot must give the body corporate details of the use.
If after disclosing the use this impacts premium, the owner can be responsible for the additional costs in accordance with Section 182 (2) (c) The body corporate may adjust the contribution payable by an owner of a lot under subsection (1) in a way that fairly reflects— the proportion of the total risks covered by the policy attributable to activities carried on, or proposed to be carried on, on the owner’s lot.
This article is written based on the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 – if the property is not part of this module (for example an accommodation or commercial module) similar provisions may apply under those modules.
This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Shandit Pty Ltd T/as Strata Insurance Solutions strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances. Shandit Pty Ltd T/As Strata Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 404246) of Insurance Advisernet Australia AFSL No 240549, ABN 15 003 886 687.
This post appears in the November 2020 edition of The QLD Strata Magazine.
Question: Is an Owner permitted to store containers of petrol in their car space (on title) within the car park of a strata title building?
Is an Owner permitted to store containers of petrol in their car space (on title) within the car park of a strata title building? There is no By-law specific to storage of containers of petrol on Common Property, or anywhere within the car park.
Answer: To the best of our knowledge a home owner can store up to 120 litres of one of fuel on their property, but it cannot be under the main roof of the building.
To the best of our knowledge a home owner can store up to 120 litres of one of the most dangerous fuel such as unleaded petrol on their property, but it cannot be under the main roof of the building.
So if the petrol is being stored in a car park under a building that would mean it is being stored under the main roof of the building and therefore it is breaking the law in relation to fuel storage.
This post appears in Strata News #418.
Question: Can I put a box trailer in my second parking bay and used it for car park storage? Will it comply with body corporate and how do I go about getting approval?
I have two parking bays in my complex.
I want to put a storage lockup in my second parking spot for car park storage but the committee said the type of shed I want to install doesn’t comply with the body corporate rules.
Can I put a box trailer in my second parking bay and used that for car park storage? How do I go about getting approval?
Answer: It is a question of whether the committee is acting reasonably in refusing permission.
I am going to proceed on the basis that the parking bay is an exclusive use space.
The starting point is whether the by-laws deal with the type of things that can be installed for car park storage along with whatever anyone else has got installed.
Then it is a question of whether the committee is acting reasonably in refusing that permission. The question about the box trailer is the same. This really is one of fact and degree.
This post appears in Strata News #218.
Question: Lot owners store furniture and rubbish in our car park. I want car park storage to stop. Our Body Corporate will not assist. What do I need to do?
I live/own an apartment in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.
The security underground carpark has a lot of things stored in carpark spaces: Furniture, Tyres, Cupboards etc….
I’ve contacted Management and the Body Corporate on many occasions to have this stuff removed but with no result.
The Body Corporate told me it was too long a process to have the items removed from the car park area.
What can I do to make this happen?
Answer: Check the by-laws to see if what is being stored is breaching any by-laws.
First, you need to check the by-laws to see if what is being stored is breaching any by-laws.
If it is, then there is a form 1 that can be sent to the committee: Notice to body corporate of a contravention of a body corporate by-law. That will then:
- Force the committee to take by-law enforcement action; or
- If the committee doesn’t take by-law enforcement action – allow the owner to make an application in the commissioner’s office seeking that the by-laws are complied with.
This post appears in Strata News #197.
Article: QLD Car Park Storage: Dangerous items stored in Common Areas
This article discusses the importance of good car park storage guidelines.
There is an increasing trend of people storing items within the reach of children in common areas such as car parks. We have sited over 4 cases where this has occurred within the last month. Due to this, we thought it was pretty important to let managers and residents know about important safety concerns around car park storage.
The picture highlights a few things.
- Hazardous liquids stored in a spot accessible to young children to swallow
- Restriction of access to the fire extinguisher
- Identification and minimisation of hazards
- Duty of care with management of risks.
Hazardous chemicals are substances, mixtures and articles that can pose a significant risk to health and safety if not managed correctly. They may have health hazards, physical hazards or both. Examples of chemicals that can immediately injure people or damage property include flammable liquids as pictured.
- Safe Work Australia: Hazardous Chemicals FactSheet
- Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008
- Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
Keeping equipment free from obstruction
Person not to obstruct an evacuation route
- A person must not—
- place a thing— building if the thing would be likely to unduly restrict, hinder or delay a person to access equipment
There is supposed to be a 2 meter free access to fire equipment and exits.
The Building Fire Safety Management Tool, from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is a good checklist for owners and managers to understand what the requirements are under the fire regulations.
Solutions in the storing of items and equipment could be the in the form of lockable storage shelves/cabinets, or an over bonnet storage locker as shown below.
This post appears in Strata News #158.
Have a question or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- QLD: Q&A Fire Regulations – Keeping Common Areas Free From Obstruction
- QLD: Q&As regarding fire door compliance
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