Letting owners park on common property | Parking | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Letting owners park on common property
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Wraith
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18/07/2017 - 6:53 am
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In the Strata Plan in Sydney of which I am secretary of the Strata Committee we have a by-law which reads, Vehicles - Any owner or occupier of a lot must not park or stand any motor or other vehicle on common property without the written approval of the owners' corporation."

  • There is a feeling among the owners that this should be made more specific with reference to occupiers and visitors. Would such a clarification require a special resolution?
  • The block contains 8 lots and 8 garages, 6 of which have adequate space in front of the garage doors to park a vehicle. Can you confirm whether granting occupiers approval to park there would be regarded as a case of "exclusive use" for those occupiers even though it would not be denying use to anyone who currently has it?
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JimmyT
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18/07/2017 - 8:17 am
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Wraith said 
The block contains 8 lots and 8 garages, 6 of which have adequate space in front of the garage doors to park a vehicle. Can you confirm whether granting occupiers approval to park there would be regarded as a case of "exclusive use" for those occupiers even though it would not be denying use to anyone who currently has it?
  

The difference between "written permission" and a special use by-law is that the latter would require the written approval of the beneficiary to change (meaning it could be sold as part of the whole package to a new owner) whereas the former could be rescinded at any time by a majority vote of your committee.

But let's not beat about the bush here, this is a land grab that effectively doubles allocated parking space to the clear benefit of the majority even though it isn't to the detriment of the minority (although I would want to see clearly defined turning circles etc).

There is a legal concept of "fraud on the minority" which occurs basically when all the procedural processes stack up but the outcome is unfair on those who were outvoted.

The fairest way to do this would be to "licence" the use of the space outside the garages for a small weekly rental - say $20 a week - which would go into general funds to the partial benefit of those who didn't have the option of getting a free extra parking spot.

Of course, the car owners would benefit from that too, but at least it would redress the balance a little.  

There will be garage owners who say this is just tough luck on the minority of two, which is what I would also say when I was taking the owners corp to NCAT to have any unfair arrangement overturned.

There is another reason for not going down the special resolution road; your local council has allowed a certain number of parking spaces.  By officially increasing them by 75 per cent, you are in breach of your DA and should apply for council permission (which you almost certainly won't get). 

Doing this by anything other than completely transparent and scrupulously fair means leaves you wide open to any disgruntled current or future minority owner to run you through Fair Trading and NCAT - then everyone loses.

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