Parking spaces – the walls come down


Can an owner put a cage around their car park to create a secure storage space? This old chestnut has popped up again on the Flat Chat Forum, years after we first heard about an owner who was denied permission to build a cage around her parking spot, but went ahead and did it anyway.

She argued that the car park was part of her lot so she could do as she liked with it. The Owners Corp argued that her cage intruded on common property because it was fixed to the floor, ceiling and wall.

In any case the cage was obstructing reasonable access to other owners’ cars. Her neighbour claimed he couldn’t open his doors properly and had to get out of his car and push it into place.

The owners corp took the cage lady to the Tribunal (then the CTTT) which, in its typical libertarian, anti-owners corp way, decreed that opening your car door over any part of another car parking space was trespass, and found in her favour.

Common sense prevailed at an appeal, and another and a court case or two and finally, a couple of years later, the cage lady came home to find the cage dismantled and lying in a heap in the middle of her parking space, with a bill attached for the cost of dismantling it.

Today, there are still two key issues with car park cages.  The first is potentially restricting access to your neighbours’ cars – they have to be able to open their doors – and the other is change of use.

Car spaces are not supposed to be general storage areas and there may be valid concerns related to unsightliness, fire safety and the effectiveness of sprinklers.

As for access, it can only be a matter of time before an owners corp restricts the size of vehicles.  You feel for the owners of a family car squeezed between two of those giant crew cab pick-up trucks that are so popular these days.  Strata parking was never intended to accommodate these big boys toys.

But why do you feel you need a cage? Is it a security issue? If so, wouldn’t it be better to upgrade the security for everyone?

If you want to use it for storage, where will your car go?  Visitors parking?  I don’t think so!

There’s a lot more on this HERE on the forum.


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