5 Ways to Resolve Strata Parking Issues

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Parking issues are part and parcel of strata living and management challenges.  These challenges may include the lack or misuse of parking spaces. 

The owners corporation could rely on its parking rules.  However, a rule is only useful if it is valid.  In other words, if a rule is found to be invalid, it is cannot be enforced.

There are recent media news that cover the NSW Supreme Court Appeal decision in Cooper v The Owners – Strata Plan No 58068 [2020] NSWCA 250 (Pet Case).  The Pet Case was a battle between the owners corporation and an owner, from the Tribunal to the Court Appeal where the owner ultimately succeeded in getting a declaration that the owners corporation’s rule to ban pets is invalid.

The Owners Corporations Act 2006 gives the owners corporation power to make rules (s138(1)).  However, that power is limited and categorized in Schedule 1 of the Act.  Particularly, Schedule states that the owners corporation could make rules on matters relating to “vehicles and parking on common property”.

So, the owners corporation has the power to make rules on parking.  That power does not permit the owners corporation to make just any kind of rule on parking and it should avoid any issues that could repeat the findings in the Pet Case, that a parking rule is not valid and not capable of enforcement. 
For a parking rule to be capable of enforcement, the owners corporation must make sure that the rule contains the following 5 components of parking rules

  1. aims to legally resolve current common property parking issues;
  2. relates to common parking spaces and common property use;
  3. does not select or isolate any resident or lot owner;
  4. must apply to all residents and owners;
  5. must be specific.

If creating or enforcing rules is not effective, here are the 5 commercial or practical ways that the owners corporation could resolve parking issues-

  1. install signages on common property (specifically state what can or cannot be done on the particular common parking space);
  2. install cctv cameras that record people’s behaviour on common property (monitors for evidence people’s behaviour whilst on common property);
  3. install fob system at the entrance of parking area so that only permitted parties could enter the parking area;
  4. write to all residents and owners encouraging them to install bollards in their private parking space to avoid unauthorized parties parking in their space;
  5. enter into an agreement with a towing company who will fully indemnify the owners corporation when vehicles are towed from the common parking area or an agreement with the local council to enforce private parking agreements (agreements will vary depending on Council operation).

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Rochelle Castro of RC & Co Lawyers if you require assistance on resolving parking issues – rochelle.castro@rccolawyers.com or 1300 072 626.

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