Car Space – The Final Frontier

The prospective buyer was delighted with the penthouse apartment. The views were fantastic, the fit-out was superb and even the multi-million-dollar price tag was OK.

Almost as an afterthought, he asked the estate agent if he could have a look at his “tandem” parking space – that’s a double-length space for parking two cars, not a spot to park his tandem.

And that’s where the sale fell through. Both his neighbours had parked their mega 4WDs legitimately just within the lines of their parking spots. But the space between was so narrow that he’d have to exit his own super-sized gas guzzler via the rear tailgate if he parked there too. No deal!

It’s an issue that older apartment blocks and even newer ones put up by parsimonious developers are having to address. The fact that cars are getting bigger is rarely if ever taken into account in the push to get as many car spots as the local planning committee will allow into the smallest space possible.

For example, Australia’s most popular car, the Holden Commodore is 1794 mm wide and the most-bought 4WD, the Ford Territory, is 1898mm wide – and it’s not even one of the biggest.

But that’s more than a 5 percent increase over a standard family saloon and much more if you go for one of the real biggies like the Landcruiser Amazon for which you’ll need to find 1940 mm, plus mirrors and room to open the doors.

In reality, the increase in parking space required is about 10 percent and that means only nine spaces where 10 used to be (in the unlikely even that developers do the right thing by their customers).

All of which brings me to the apartment owner who built a storage cage round their parking space (meaning their neighbours can’t open their car doors). Both sides were supposed to be up in front of the CTTT this week for a full adjudication.

Believe it or not, a couple of rogue Flatchatters are hanging out to hear the verdict so they can build cages around their car spaces too, and to Hell with their neighbours.

However, one side has asked for yet another adjournment so there won’t be any decision until next year. I guess the old saying that justice delayed is justice denied, like so many other common sense principles, doesn’t apply in strata law.

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