A lot owner from QLD would like to stop one resident from abusing the visitor parking in apartments. Todd Garsden and Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: We have applied to park our third car in an unused, unmarked (visitor ?) parking on common property. Can the body corporate reasonably refuse our request and what is a fair timeframe for approval?
I moved into my 3 bedroom Villa late last year with my daughter and granddaughter. We are a 3 car family.
All residents have a garage space and permission for another car to be parked outside their garage. We have a carpark near our units that can accommodate 8 cars which is very rarely used. There is no signage to say whether it is a visitor car park or for residents.
I recently received a phone call and a warning letter NOT to continue parking there and advising that the complex only accommodates residents with 2 cars and my car would be towed at my expense if I did not adhere. They advised that this particular carpark was an overflow parking area for those residents that were unable to park their second vehicle in front of their garages because of obstruction.
I was told that our third car would have to be parked on the street. This would create safety issues for my Grandaughter. It appears that 2 residents have been given permission to park in this overflow space. There are 4 trailers that are parked close by on common property but not in any marked or designated parking area, at all but seem to have permission!
I have appealed to the Body Corporate in writing asking for permission to be given for 1 car to be parked in the parking lot.
We have done our very best to adhere to their orders and have been parking on the street although the said carpark remains empty.
The Body Corp acknowledged they have received my letter/email and that I was not to park in the car park until the Committee had made a decision, and I was not to reply to the acknowledgment email. In other words, just sit and wait.
This was a month ago and I have still had no reply.
It appears that common sense has gone out the window and someone on the committee is being very unreasonable.
Answer: It depends on the purpose of the visit.
To determine whether you can park in that overflow area you would need to see what the by-laws say and whether there are any council restrictions requiring particular parks to be reserved for visitor parking.
If there aren’t council restrictions on parking there, the by-laws may allow you to do so with committee approval (which seems to be what the committee is considering).
The committee needs to consider that request in a reasonable time and come to a reasonable decision. A month or so is probably enough time to come to a decision unless there is a scheduled upcoming committee meeting in the not too distant future or the committee is looking into the council restriction issue. It might be worth emailing the committee and asking for a timeframe to receive a response.
This post appears in Strata News #254.
Question: As a non-resident lot owner, the committee has asked me to stop using the visitor parking in my apartment block. Am I a lot owner or a visitor?
I am a non-resident owner in a small building in Queensland. My unit is let out. I visit the property regularly and park in visitor parking. We have a bylaw which states that:
An owner or occupier of a lot shall not park a motor vehicle upon areas set aside for visitor car parking.
Is this bylaw legal and enforceable?
The committee has requested I no longer use visitor parking as I am an owner.
Answer: It depends on the purpose of the visit.
I think it depends on the purpose of the visit.
If it is to stay at the unit then the owner would also be an occupier – so they should not be parking in visitor parking.
If they are visiting the unit for a committee meeting or inspection of the unit then that is what the visitor parking is reserved for.
This post appears in Strata News #238.
Question: As part of my Secretary duties can I approach the tenants who are illegally using the visitor parking in our apartments and advise them of the rules?
I am the Body Corporate Secretary and have been told not to talk to the tenants of a certain unit about their illegal car parking.
We have a company who looks after our complex as a whole, but asking them to do something isn’t easy and on the whole, their correspondence to all 10 units in the complex is apparently ignored as tenants still use the visitors parking in our apartments or park on the lawn against Body Corporate regulations.
As part of my Secretary duties can I approach the tenants and advise them of the rules? Hoping you can assist.
Answer: 100% you can (and you should).
100% you can (and you should).
People sometimes don’t even know there are rules, and if you do it in a non-confrontational and informative manner you may well get the outcome.
This post appears in Strata News #215.
Question: One lot owner abuses our visitor parking in apartments by allowing their friends to park in the space all weekend or overnight. What right do we have to police this?
What can be done to stop one of the units using the 4 hour VISITOR PARK for her friends to park in for the whole weekend, or overnight?
This lot owner is abusive and thinks she can dictate whatever she wants.
She even has the tradesmen park in the VISITOR PARK. She treats the visitor parking in apartments as if it is her own personal parking space. She has a double carport already!
Answer: If the friends are visitors (which it sounds like they are), then that is what the visitor parks are for.
If the friends are visitors (which it sounds like they are), then that is what the visitor parks are for. On top of that, I don’t think a body corporate can impose a four hour restriction unless it is part of some Council approval or there is some other dire need for it (like being abused on a commercial scheme context). Tradesmen are also visitors.
As a lot owner, you have the same rights if you have visitors as well.
This post appears in Strata News #195.
Question: I am just looking at how I go about reporting, or even whether I am able to do so, residents in my building using visitor parking in apartments almost every night. Two of our guest parking bays continuously taken by residents of units.
I am just looking at how I go about reporting, or even whether I am able to do so, residents (owner occupied and tenants) using visitor parking in apartments almost every night.
I am in Broadbeach. We have 5 underground guest parking bays, and two of them are continuously taken by residents of units. One resident even has two parking bays designated to them, yet uses one of their bays for storage and one for their first car, so the second car is continuously parked in the guest bay.
At times I have had family come to visit from Brisbane only to have them park a block over due to all five guests parks being used, yet two of them are resident’s cars and the same cars each time.
Who do I address my concerns about visitor parking in apartments to? There is even a sign above the guest bays stating parking by residents is in breach of bylaws.
I feel a strong warning could suffice from the appropriate committee, and possibly sent to every unit as to not single anyone out. Only to then follow up with possible prosecution if they continue to break the rules.
Answer: If someone is living in the scheme full time as an occupant they should not be using the visitor car parks.
The first rule of visitor parking is that it is for visitors. If someone is living in the scheme full time as an occupant (whether as an owner or tenant) then they should not be using the visitor car parks. Assuming that the body corporate has a lawful by-law in place to this effect then the committee MUST enforce it.
Committees do not have the choice about whether enforcing by-laws. They have a statutory obligation to do so. This would apply to the occupier parking in the visitor car park and potentially the storage in the exclusive use park (depending on the exclusive use by-law).
The occupant should request that the committee enforce the by-laws and lay out the evidence of the breaches. To be fair to the committee – they may not know this is going on. This can be gently in a letter but there is also a more formal process under the Act under which the occupant issues a form to the committee which they must act on.
If the committee ignores that then the occupant can take action themselves, but they must try the committee path first.
This post appears in Strata News #181.
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