Workers parking in visitor spots | Parking Peeves | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Workers parking in visitor spots
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Ziggy
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12/07/2018 - 11:25 am
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I live in a residential/commercial blocks of units. For some time now, people who work in the commercial units are parking in the visitors’ spots most days of the week and week after week. Is this legal? 

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JimmyT
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12/07/2018 - 5:04 pm
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No, it’s not legal – they are not visitors.

Get your committee or strata manager to start issuing Notices to Comply to the commercial operators (you might have to establish which cars belong to which workers first).

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Ziggy
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12/07/2018 - 5:22 pm
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Thanks Jimmy. The SC put a notice on a door but that was ripped off within 24 hours. I asked for more notices and got none. I wrote a sign to place under windscreens, using the SC’s words, and was told off.

in the meantime, one of the people who parks here illegally, swore at me today when I pointed out that he couldn’t park in the visiter’s spots. It’s scary stuff!

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JimmyT
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12/07/2018 - 6:11 pm
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I’ve heard of worse – like tradies who fill their garages with their gear and leave notes on the windscreens of legitimate visitors, threatening terrible consequences if they park in THEIR visitor space again.

Write to the committee asking them what their plan is in terms of Notices to Comply and orders at NCAT. 

Notices on doors and cars are just an irritation, NTCs and Orders carry the prospects of fines which, because they are paid back to the Owners Corp are worth pursuing. 

If the SC say they’re doing nothing or just don’t respond within two months, you can start pursuing them under Section 232(2).

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Ziggy
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13/07/2018 - 12:38 pm
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Thanks Jimmy. I got another email from the SC saying I’m the only one who complains. Not so, as a previous owner used to break the windscreen wipers of offending cars. Plus, the SC didn’t live here and, as I’m retired, my guests/tradies come during the day.

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Ziggy
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15/07/2018 - 8:20 pm
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Hi Jimmy, my SC are now wanting me to prove why the people who work in the building are parked illegally. I’ve said that if they that not visitors they are not parking legally. What more can I say? They are just refusing to do anything about it. This has  gone beyond common sense and the duties of the SC.

I emailed the SC saying that if nothing is done I will put a shortened version of the SC newsletter, which tells people not to park illegally, under the windscreens of the offenders. They say I can’t do that. Is that true?

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JimmyT
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17/07/2018 - 3:37 pm
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Ziggy said
I emailed the SC saying that if nothing is done I will put a shortened version of the SC newsletter, which tells people not to park illegally, under the windscreens of the offenders. They say I can’t do that. Is that true?  

Aaaah, the old 1376 “Thou shalt not touch another person’s windscreen wiper” law.

No, it’s not true. But it’s probably not the best tactic either. 

Apply to Fair Trading for a mediation with the strata committee and the business owners (who will probably not turn up) then escalate that to an action at NCAT, under Section 232 (2) of the Act, requiring the Owners Corporation to enforce their by-laws related to visitor parking.

Or just tell them that’s what you’re going to do and see how they respond.

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Boronia
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17/07/2018 - 9:30 pm
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Is there any official definition of a “visitor”? In the absence of any limitations in the By-laws, are there any other implied restrictions on how often/how long non-residents can park in these spaces? What would distinguish these workers to not be “visitors”.

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Sir Humphrey
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18/07/2018 - 9:06 am
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If others assert that it is OK to park in the visitor spaces, perhaps you could start parking there. Any time you anticipate a visitor, you can move your car back to its allocated space just in time for the visitor to arrive. If someone complains, well…

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JimmyT
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18/07/2018 - 11:03 am
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Boronia said
Is there any official definition of a “visitor”? In the absence of any limitations in the By-laws, are there any other implied restrictions on how often/how long non-residents can park in these spaces? What would distinguish these workers to not be “visitors”.  

This is an excellent point.  The first thing I usually advise OCs to do when they have visitor parking problems is to pass a by-law defining what visitor parking is. 

No longer than two hours during the day, and overnight only after 7pm and before 8am is a reasonable restriction, with an allowance for longer periods in special circumstances, provided permission has been given in writing (including emails).

In this case, however, the strata committee seems reluctant to do anything so they may still need a nudge in the form of a threat to take the matter further.

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Boronia
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18/07/2018 - 10:01 pm
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But by-laws can’t be readily enforced on “visitors”?

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JimmyT
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19/07/2018 - 9:40 am
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Boronia said
But by-laws can’t be readily enforced on “visitors”?  

Yes they can, indirectly.  Residents are responsible for ensuring that their visitors behave according to the by-laws of the building.  So, in this case, you go after the commercial unit tenants or owners and force them to stop their employees from using the visitor parking spots.

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excathedra
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19/07/2018 - 11:12 am
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With respect, I think that JimmyT is being unduly restrictive with his criteria for permissible lengths of stay for visitors.  In my submission at the time the NSW Act was being revised, I identified how long is a reasonable time for a visiting car to occupy a designated visitor parking space as an area of uncertainty. Casual guests (e g for a meal) or visiting tradesmen typically stay for a few hours. I think it is reasonable for overnight guests to use the visitors’ area within hotel checkin and checkout times (broadly interpreted), but when does a visitor become a short-term resident — after a second night, or longer? Those responsible for upholding the availability of visitor parking spaces for legitimate users are still waiting for guidance.

Our building is purely residential, and I do sympathise with Ziggy’s situation, sharing the site with a commercial operation.  We share parts of our site with another residential block whose visitor areas are not as convenient as ours.  Occasional abuse of our area by their residents tends to stop once we have identified the offenders and put notes on their windscreens — the embarrassment of being ‘busted’ seems to be quite a deterrent.

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JimmyT
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19/07/2018 - 8:04 pm
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excathedra said
With respect, I think that JimmyT is being unduly restrictive with his criteria for permissible lengths of stay for visitors.  

I should have made it clear that those hours were just an example.  Every owners corporation would set the limits to suit their own circumstances and preference.  I should have put an ‘e.g.’ at the start of the sentence.

That’s one of the beauties of being able to pass your own by-laws … what works for you is more important than arbitrary rules set by bureaucrats who may have never lived in strata.

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