02/03/2019 at 2:24 pm #36082
I am a renter. Our block has no parking nor space for parking. Adjacent to our property is an access road which the council tells is a “split road” In other words it’s a public road. It was reently beautified by the council and a perfect car parking space was created at the end of the road, near our our building. A few people park there including me and another resident from my building. It’s a space that doesn’t impede anybody. Further down the street is a No Stopping sign which until recently was obscured by trees. I and another resident from our property park overnight in that space a couple of times a week. I am feeling quite a degree of intimidation from some owners in the building. I have had unsigned notes left under the wipers, my tyre let down, an owner approach me at my door and berate me and a letter in my letter box from another owner. I don’t know whether the other resident is berated similarly. There has even been two letters from the Strata Mgr who has been misled about the fact the parking is on public land not common property. To me its bizarre. I don’t want to engage with these people about it but I am now feeling intimidated by them and considering moving out although I don’t want to as I live in an almost perfect apartment. I am deliberately avoiding telling you why I park there because I think it shouldn’t matter to the Strata.
I’d like your opinion on whether this could be regarded as harassment and whether you think there is anything I could do, other than not parking there, to stop this nonsense. I’d just like your opinions.
02/03/2019 at 2:41 pm #36087
If you are confident that the strata plan clearly shows that the place you are parking in is not part of the common property, then I would write a brief response that says just that. I’d copy in the executive committee too since they might be fired up to fight a battle that they don’t realise is outside their area of responsibility.
Assuming you are correct, I suspect that the strata manager is being lazy and has not consulted the strata plan. A strata manager should consult the strata plan as their first port of call on any question like this but sometimes they don’t. Eg. Our OC had a serious issue linger unresolved for years because a former strata manager had advised an executive committee that an area was not common property when it was.
As for anonymous notes, not much you can do. If you believe you are parking legally on a public road you could report the letting down of tyres etc to the police. If you are not parking legally, then you probably don’t want to draw attention to that. Nonetheless, it is not the responsibility of the Owners Corporation to police parking that is not on its common property, though the OC or any individual could make a complaint that could lead to more frequent inspection of the area and parking fines. If the area looks like it was intended for parking, you could write to the local council and ask them to put in signage that would make it clear that it is a legal place to park.
02/03/2019 at 2:42 pm #36088
Thanks Sir H. What I thought. You are correct – I don’t want to be paying a $110 fine for parking but it is surely my choice. It’s not the parking so much, it’s the actions of the SC members. Can they continue to berate me in person and by notes for something they have no remit over. I even received a note asking me to stop parking “illegally” so that someone else could park in the same part “illegally”. I am a private person and I am beginning to feel very bad about living here. I make sure my door is closed now (I used to keep it open). I feel attacked. Is that right? Can the SC make me feel that way with impunity?
02/03/2019 at 3:13 pm #36090
“…It’s not the parking so much, it’s the actions of the SC members. Can they continue to berate me in person and by notes for something they have no remit over…”
The only reason I can think of for an SC member to address you on this matter in their capacity as an SC member (rather than as a private citizen) would be if parking in this location outside the OC property somehow impeded access to the OC property or interfered in some other way with the use and enjoyment of the common property by residents.
In the absence of some justification along those lines, then, if they were in the ACT, they might be in breach of the Code of Conduct for executive committees. The general principles are reasonable to expect of a committee anywhere, even if they are not set out in statute. These include:
“An executive member must not—
(a) cause a nuisance on the land; and
(b) otherwise behave in a way that unreasonably affects a person’s lawful use or enjoyment of a unit or the common property.”
“An executive member must not engage in unconscionable conduct in exercising the member’s functions as an executive member.
1 improperly using the executive member’s position on the executive committee to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage personally or for someone else
2 exerting undue influence on, or using unfair tactics against, the owner of a unit in the units plan”
In the ACT’s default Rules, ‘owner of a unit’ is defined broadly to include tenants.
I suggest you could remain silent on the matter of the legality of parking and simply send a reply copied to both the SC and managing agent pointing out that the location where you sometimes park is not part of the common property and they should therefore desist from harassing you over a matter that is outside their area of responsibility. I would leave it very short and to the point.
02/03/2019 at 3:00 pm #36089
It sounds to me that the combination of the “perfect parking space” and the “no stopping” sign indicate that this might be a turning area. If so, no one should be parking there.
However, that is no excuse for personal abuse or vandalism and that’s something you should report to police and ask them to have a word with your strata manager and/or committee chair.
03/03/2019 at 7:59 am #36095
I’d call the local council and get them to prove that the road is there’s or not, and where the signed area starts and finishes. They are not always right but if you could have them meet you on-sight to show you and then seek this in writing you will know more than you do now by an independent, qualified voice. Brisbane City Council have done just that for me as a straightforward response. Doing it on the phone will save you time. If you are right you can get your SC to then contact the same council officer and that should settle it, or if you are in fact wrong you can make your own changes. Either way taking control of it tends to empower you and helps bring it to a speedier conclusion. Good luck!
03/03/2019 at 8:45 am #36099
Thanks for your replies Sir Humphrey and Flame. I have done both those things. The council advises its public road and I have advised the Strata Management. It’s not possible to use it as a turning area. I’ll take it from here.
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