Mystery of the missing car

A wedding dress, a missing car and a paper trail leading back to an overzealous strata manager feature in this week’s saga.

It all started when Dallan gave his daughter a car which she parked in a driveway leading to her unit block’s parking spaces.  “Many cars park there seemingly legally as signage indicates that there is no parking past a certain point,” Dallan told the Flat Chat Forum.

To cut a long and complicated story short, Dallan’s daughter noticed the car was missing,   the ‘theft’ was reported to police but then another owner produced some emails that revealed the car had been towed at the request of the building’s strata managers.

Out on the street, the emails allege, a Council Officer removed the licence plates – although council have denied this – and Police then said the car was abandoned and told the strata manager it could be scrapped.

“In the car at the time were several high priced items including a wedding dress,” says Dallan, although at least the strata manager rescued that.

“No notices of any kind were placed on the car,” he says, wondering what he can do now.

Owners corps or their agents aren’t legally allowed to remove cars dumped on common property.  And while it’s very, very naughty, it’s not unknown for cars to be towed out on to the street where they have to be dealt with by the local council or police.

Just to make sure, licence plates are often removed to hasten the car being deemed ‘abandoned’.

None of which helps Dallan who wants to know what he can do next.  I’m guessing he won’t get far with Fair Trading or the CTTT as they won’t award damages. And I doubt if the police would pursue a case of theft or criminal damage.

So the best bet may be to talk to lawyers who’ll tell you if you can make a claim at a district court against the Owners Corporation for damage and loss of property.

You can read the sorry saga in its entirety – and a stack of readers’ responses – HERE in the Forum.

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