This question came in from an NSW Lot Owner enquiring about disabled parking in apartments. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following response.
Question: My husband and I jointly own the only commercial lot in a residential building. He is disabled and from time to time parks in the disabled car park. We do not reside here as it is an office. Can we use the space?
We are the only commercial lot in a residential building. There are two visitors carparks and one disabled car park. We do not have a car park in the building.
My husband and I jointly own the commercial lot. He is disabled and from time to time parks in the disabled car park. We do not reside here as it is an office.
Are we therefore residents? What are the rules about disabled parking in apartments? Is he able to park from time to time in the disabled car park? There is no ‘Visitors Only’ sign on the car park spot, just a ‘Disabled’ sign.
Answer: Disabled car spaces are intended for use for disabled visitors.
Disabled car spaces are intended for use for disabled visitors. As your husband is a co-owner, he is not a visitor. Therefore, unfortunately, he shouldn’t be using it.
This post appears in Strata News #267.
Question: I am the owner of an apartment in a large complex and I have a Disabled Parking Permit. Do I have a right to park in the visitor’s car park disable spot?
I am the owner of an apartment in a large complex and I have a Disabled Parking Permit. Do I have a right to park in the visitor’s car park disable spot which is not marked as a visitors parking spot?
Disabled Parking in Apartments
I have 2 parking spots allocated to my apartment. With my disabilities, I’m unable to twist to get out of the car and there’s not enough room to fully open the door when a car is parked in the next spot.
Parking in the visitor disabled parking spot would make things much easier for me.
Answer: The visitor’s car park disabled spot must be used for its bona fide purpose. As you are an owner, you are, by definition not a visitor.
The visitor’s car park disabled spot must be used for its bona fide purpose. As you are an owner, you are by definition not a visitor.
However, the Owners Corporation may be agreeable to your “swapping” your 2 x car spaces with the common property more readily accessible ones. There are a number of ways to achieve this including a common property rights by-law.
A more permanent and reliable method would be to pay for a strata plan of subdivision which would show the conversion/reallocation of car parking spaces (local council and owners corporation’s approvals are required for both scenarios).
Question: Is the Owners Corporation now in breach of the Development application approval for making a special Use by-law that gives away our disabled parking in apartments?
Our Owners Corporation passed a Special Use by-law that allows a lot owner to take over a larger visitor’s car parking space than their previous spot. However, they have given away our disabled parking to the Lot owner and we have no other disabled parking in apartments. Also, on the strata plan it indicates the Lot owner is still the property owner of the original car space ie it is not marked as “V” on the Survey Plan, so in effect, the title has not changed hands.
Is the Owners Corporation now in breach of the Development application approval? We now have no disability parking or ambulance parking.
Answer: The Owners Corporation cannot pass any bylaw that conflicts with the legislation in general, including council regulations.
It appears from the details you have provided that this lot owner now has access to two spaces, the original space on the title and for the sole use of the subject-owner plus the disabled car space which has been granted exclusive use via the special by law to this owner.
We would suggest looking at the DA requirements which will generally specify the conditions of parking and the Owners Corporation cannot pass any by law that conflicts with the legislation in general, including council regulations.
In summary, if the subject car space is required under the DA to be used for the sole purpose as a disabled parking space than the bylaw passed would be in our view a breach of the DA. The Owners Corporation would need to apply for a section 96 to amend the DA conditions and request consent to use the space for other purposes.
This post appears in Strata News #130.
- NSW: Q&A Can Access to Visitor Parking be Restricted?
- NSW: Q&A Owners Corporation Meetings – Times and Frequency
- NSW Case Study: Is your illegal parking notice just an empty threat?
- NSW: 5 Most Useful By-laws: 3. Parking By-Law
- Parking mix up: why is my car space marked for disability parking? [PODCAST]
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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