Lot owners from NSW are wondering about strata visitor car parking and how long a visitor can stay in visitor parking. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following responses.
Question: A lot owner has a very regular visitor who has been given a security pass to our garage and his car is regularly in our single strata visitor car parking spot. He has become quite territorial about the space. How do we handle this?
Strata visitor car parking angst, a common source of resident disquiet!
One of our lot owner’s has a regular visitor who more often than not stays overnight.
As a consequent, the visitor has been given a security pass to our common property basement garage and his car is regularly in our townhouse complex’s single visitor parking spot.
Over many months this particular visitor has assumed virtual ownership of the visitor parking, and now even challenges other bonafide visitors to explain what they are doing occupying the place where he likes to park!
His rude and arrogant stance has upset a number of residents, plus he has responded aggressively to any lot owner who has questioned his right to extended stays in our visitor-parking bay (regularly as long as three consecutive days and two nights).
What adds insult to injury is that the lot owner he is visiting has a double garage on title and only occupies half of it with her single small hatchback. There is adequate unused parking accommodation within the unit owner’s own garaging.
What can our owners corporation do to persuade the lot owner (who shares a similar disposition to her unpleasant visitor), to make her vacant garage space available to her regular visitor, and to encourage her visitor to relinquish his erroneous hold on our strata visitor car parking bay?
Answer: The owners corporation’s strategy should be to enter into a parking agreement with local council to enforce parking restrictions at the scheme.
While this is not a quick fix for your issue, the owners corporation’s strategy should be to enter into a parking agreement with local council to enforce parking restrictions at the scheme. The agreement must be approved by special resolution of the owners corporation and Council erects signage and patrols the common property to ensure compliance. Council charges for this service and may issue fines of $550 for parking infringements.
NSW Office of Local Government has a useful factsheet for strata parking agreements.
This post appears in Strata News #220.
Question: One of our residents has a very regular visitor who is there most weeknights and sometimes all weekend. When policing strata visitor car parking, when does a regular visitor become a resident?
When policing strata visitor car parking, at what point does a regular visitor become a de facto resident?
One of our lot holder’s has a regular visitor who stays overnight at least 4 nights each and every week at our small Sydney strata complex. As a visitor, their car regularly occupies one of our two visitor parking spots overnight, and often all day and night at weekends.
Many residents believe that their continued use of our limited strata visitor car parking facilities is not in the spirit of fair access to common property. How long can a visitor stay in visitor parking?
In addition, this “non-resident visitor” has been furnished with a remote access (RF) key to our buildings secure underground car parking area (common property), a privilege considered by many as only for lot owners. On occasion, the lot owner being visited leaves the property accompanied by his or her visitor in the lot owner’s vehicle, leaving our visitor parking occupied by someone who is not even in the building, allowing their allotted garage space to sit empty.
Are there any legitimate grounds for the owners corporation to serve notice to limit the amount of parking time that any one lot owner can allocate to an individual visitor? Is this a matter best addressed in the by-laws?
Answer: The best manner in which to control use of the strata visitor car parking spaces is via a carefully drafted by-law.
While there is no hard and fast rule for when visitors become residents, matters to be considered are:
- Whether or not the visitor maintains a lease elsewhere (irrespective of frequency of “visits” to your scheme);
- Whether the visitor pays or contributes to rent
- Whether personal effects/furniture/pets have also moved in
- Whether mail is directed to your scheme
As you correctly point out, the best manner in which to control use of the strata visitor car parking spaces is via a carefully drafted by-law, which could impose restrictions on the number of hours of continuous or aggregated permissible parking eg no more than seven (7) hours at a time and not overnight for more than one (1) night without the written authorisation of the strata committee (just an example) and that it is for bona fide visitors only (to be determined in the Owners Corporation’s sole discretion). The Owners Corporation could keep a register of breaches, monitor and record use of the visitor spaces.
A popular alternative is the installation of a lockable bollard on the visitor car spaces which is managed by the on-site manager or member of the strata committee who is resident at the scheme. Under the new legislation, care should be taken to ensure the by-law is not harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.
Section 125 of the new legislation deals with removal of motor vehicles which, among other things, obstruct the use of the common property (as in your common property visitor car space), however, the vehicle needs to be parked there for 5 days before removal action can be taken.
We have encountered by-laws which threaten to wheel clamp and tow offending motor vehicles, however, we have not yet seen these tested in the Courts. We have also seen Owners Corporations which charge a fee for use of visitor car spaces.
This post appears in Strata News #185.
- NSW: Q&A Can the Owners Corporation lease out visitor parking spaces?
- NSW: Can parking offenders be towed from common property?
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.