Use of car space - what are the limits? | Another day in paradise | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Use of car space - what are the limits?
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Toretti
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27/11/2017 - 12:03 pm
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In our building the car spaces are open and people generally keep their additional possessions that need storing in locked metal cupboards or small shallow sheds at the back of their space. However, from time to time a cupboard might get put alongside a car space inside the boundary rather than at the. This is generally OK as most people have more than one space, and are very careful not to inconvenience their neighbour. Unfortunately, this has gone a bit far and someone has erected a shed along the length of their space and close to their boundary line ie right alongside their neighbours car space, and it is said that this is preventing their neighbour from properly opening their car door. As this isn't common property, it probably doesn't involve the OC but doesn't it still engage the general principle of not causing a nuisance or interfering with the ordinary use of your neighbours property? Any thoughts?

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Sir Humphrey
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27/11/2017 - 7:07 pm
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There are Australian Standards on car parking. I can't quote precisely but I did read much of it a few years ago. One principle in carpark design is that a space should be wide enough to open the car doors. If the space has a wall or other tall object adjacent then the space must be wider than if it can be assumed that a few 100mm can be 'borrowed' from an adjacent parking space. Consequently, end spaces against a wall might be a minimum of 2.7m wide to meet the standard whereas the spaces with other spaces to either side might be 2.4m minimum. 

So, putting a cupboard up within one parking space along the boundary could be interfering with reasonable use of the adjacent parking space. 

I also recall a complex diagram showing that, if the spaces were not of constant width, they could be narrower at the nose end so long as they were wide enough around the middle where the doors tend to be. So, a short cupboard, not full length, might be OK along a parking space boundary. 

I would say that if the space is less than 2.7m wide, erecting a vertical barrier along one side would cause that space to no longer comply with the Australian Standards on parking and that would provide objective reason by which to decide that the cupboard placement is causing unreasonable interference. 

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JimmyT
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27/11/2017 - 7:35 pm
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Fundamentally, the shed builder is not using their car space for what it was intended (in the DA of the block) and is also preventing their neighbour fron reasonable access to their space.

The car space may not be common property but the concrete slab on which it sits is, so anything attaching the shed to the floor, walls or ceiling is in breach.

There is no simple cure for selfish stupidity so you should first of all establish protocols for what people can and can't do in their car spaces - then enforce them -  before it all gets out of hand

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Sir Humphrey
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28/11/2017 - 7:50 am
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I agree with JT. Whether the parking spaces are common property or part of the lot, the shed is an unreasonable interference with the neighbour's reasonable use and enjoyment of their space. Most rules/bylaws would have generic rules about not interfering with reasonable use and enjoyment of another's lot or the common property. 

In our OC an explicit condition attached to the allocation of parking spaces is that their primary purpose is for the housing of vehicles. Storage of other stuff is permitted subject to a whole lot of restrictions about safety, not interfering with access and reasonable use, limited quantities so as to not be unsightly etc. The OC has the power to remove stored items if the unit owner does not do so within a certain time of being told to do it in writing. 

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Toretti
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28/11/2017 - 9:56 am
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Thank you for these comments and observations, it is a very useful starting point. The view had been put that this was purely a private matter between the two parties because it involved their own private property only and that the Lot owner (tenant in this case) owns the airspace above the concrete slab - which would make sense to a certain extent.

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Lady Penelope
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30/11/2017 - 8:45 am
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Car parking spaces that are adjacent to walls, fences, and obstructions should be made 0.3m wider than the standard width to account for car door opening.

If your garage spaces have been designed with no additional allocation for obstructions then no obstructions should be permitted. 

Below is an article regarding design considerations for building developments

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.go.....ction4.pdf

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Sir Humphrey
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30/11/2017 - 2:05 pm
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Lady Penelope said
Car parking spaces that are adjacent to walls, fences, and obstructions should be made 0.3m wider than the standard width to account for car door opening...

2.4m is the minimum in the standard. With a wall or similar on one side the minimum becomes 2.7m. If the parking spaces were very generous to start with (say 3m or more), some obstacles might be tolerable. 

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Toretti
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30/11/2017 - 6:33 pm
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Thank you again - I always find your comments and knowledge very helpful.

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