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    A friend in a small apartment block in Sydney recently told me a story that shows just how bad things can get when you choose to not only ignore your visitor parking by-laws, but ride (or drive) roughshod over them.

    A resident in this block has two cars but only one parking spot so, it seems, she “managed” this arithmetic problem by the liberal and illegal use of visitor parking, figuring that no one was monitoring it too closely and so she could get away with it.

    This proved to be the case until she took herself overseas for several months, leaving car number one in her official spot but parking the other one in a visitor slot.

    Due some bona fide visitors parking in the other spots (inconsiderate b***s!) she had to use a ‘disabled’ spot.

    But that was OK. She’d instructed her almost grown-up son to move the car every couple of days, so that her by-law breaching activities would remain undetected.

    Except … well, my friend isn’t sure what happened but Sonny-boy never got round to it.  Or maybe he did it a couple of times and then it became too much of a chore.

    Or maybe he was outraged by his mother’s lack of community spirit and/or concern for people with genuine mobility issues and decided to sabotage the effort.  Just joking.  He was slack, is the most likely reason.

    Anyway, the car sat in the disabled visitor spot for days, then weeks, gathering dust not to mention dirty looks.

    So the strata committee, thinking it had been abandoned, put the prescribed ‘move it or lose it’ stickers on the vehicle. These are posters defined by strata regulations, telling the owners they had five days to remove the car or it would be towed.

    Now, here’s where it gets interesting.  Under section 34 of the NSW strata regulations, the owners corp can have a motor vehicle moved to another part of common property or to “the nearest place to which it may be lawfully moved”.

    The tow truck company said, “OK, we’ll move it, but it has to go to our yard for safe keeping.  We are not just moving it out on to the street because it won’t be safe there. Your call.”

    The regs also say, “for that purpose (moving it) the owners corporation is taken to be the owner of the motor vehicle”. So the committee said “fine – take it away.”

    Now, when she comes back from holiday, the lady who thinks the word ‘visitor’ in the phrase ‘visitor parking’ means “free” is going to find her car gone and a bill for its removal and storage.

    Can they do that?  The Tribunal (NCAT) can order that the owner of a car towed under this regulation pays the owners corp reasonable costs incurred in doing so.

    I’m guessing the kind of person who parks for months in a disabled visitor car spot will fight tooth and nail not to pay the tow truck bills.  But there’s one thing we know for sure – one slacker son has a bit of explaining to do.

    AvatarFlame Tree

    Recalcitrant parkers at my place have returned to their car to find a 3 x 5 inch sticker stuck to the drivers side window with my hand written note advising them of their errant ways. The 10 minutes it takes them to remove it usually gets them thinking about future breaches. If you do something similar you must not make it dangerous for them to drive away with impaired visibility, so avoid areas like the windscreen or side mirrors.


    There’s only one difference in the holidaying mum leaving her car in a disabled spot for months and the workers in my apartment block parking all day, every day for months. At least the Strata Committee did something about it. Mine don’t and won’t.


    The Owners Corporation and/or the committee doesn’t get to decide which of their by-laws and which parts of strata law to enforce … at least, not without repercussions.

    Under section 232 (2) of the Act (below), you can take your Owners Corp to NCAT (via mediation at Fair Trading) if they have refused to enforce by-laws or have failed to do so withing two months of being asked.

    Application to Fair Trading for mediation may be enough to prompt them to review their actions (or inaction) when they realise they have a duty to enforce by-laws.  If they don’t want the by-laws in their current form then they should try to change them through the proper channels. Otherwise, they must take action or face NCAT orders to do so.

    232   Orders to settle disputes or rectify complaints
    (2) Failure to exercise a function

    For the purposes of this section, an owners corporation, strata committee or building management committee is taken not to have exercised a function if:
    (a)  it decides not to exercise the function, or
    (b)  application is made to it to exercise the function and it fails for 2 months after the making of the application to exercise the function in accordance with the application or to inform the applicant that it has decided not to exercise the function in accordance with the application.



    I’m cleaning-up a townhouse prior to settlement and don’t go there very often. However, I found a car with Queensland number plates parked in my designated space. I left a polite note on the windscreen. If it’s still there on Monday I’ll email other owners asking whose visitor it is.

    Question: When does letting its tyres down become acceptable?


    @chesswood said:
    Question: When does letting its tyres down become acceptable?  

    It becomes unacceptable when the owner of the car drives off, not realising they have a flat tyre, crashes and either injures or kills someone.

    Apart from questions of criminal damage etc, there are two problems with immobilising or vandalising an illegally parked car 1.  The car can’t move so that defeats the purpose. 2. the “victim” knows where you live.

    The most effective response I have come across so far was a polite note that simply said “This is not your space – don’t park here again.” left on the windscreen, held in place by a house brick. 


    when living in Lane Cove we had 4 visitor spaces that were repeating being used by our neighbours and our tenants even to the point of having one tenant put a car cover on her car and leave car for weeks we left notes polite, strata manager sent a letter, still no movement so we put note with brick saying move this car and do not return or the brick will be inside your car next time…. that did the trick.  

    there was also a tow truck driver who lived across the road who had trouble getting his truck into the space on his property and would park on the street but with parking a premium in Lane Cove, so at all hours he would use our visitor parking – again notes both rude and polite- lipstick on the drivers side window. enter the trusty brick but this time with glued old keys – he had a bright shiny red tow truck, brick – note – keys – well this did the trick,  asking this towie to not park was not an option…. *shiver, yuk*


    We used Jimmy’s MOVE IT OR LOSE IT threat on an illegally parked car. It worked. Thank you, Jimmy


    I have been in a 3 year battle with my owners corporation regarding breaching of the visitors parking bylaws to the point where I took the issue to NCAT at the end of last year and the ruling was that the Tribunal Member did not believe he had jurisdiction to make the owners corporation issue notices to comply.  He also based his decision on the fact that the committee advised him they intended to submit an application to Council to have the development consent changed which would reallocate the visitors parking.  I have lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman and the Office of Fair Trading on the basis that there is no point in pursuing mediation and NCAT if NCAT itself will not support enforcement of by-laws.

    My point – don’t bother with NCAT.  Lodge a complaint with your local Council as resident’s parking in visitors car spaces will most likely contravene the development consent which is Council’s responsibility and they will investigate and issue fines.

    None of this is pleasant, but residents who abuse the visitors parking by-laws are common thieves, stealing from the other owners by receiving a benefit which they are not paying.


    We are having worse than this issue in our visitor spaces. We have at least two vehicles parked in visitor spaces that were seriously damaged during an attempt to steal a car. (They broke into one car, and then drove in such a way as to hit a number of concrete support posts as well as 5 other vehicles, they never managed to get out of the garage). The police apprehended the perpetrator, but to date (4+ months) have been unable to contact the owners of the remaining two vehicles.

    What do we need to do to have the cars removed, given that it is unlikely for the owner to ever do anything?

    As an aside, it was discussed at a previous AGM, and I’d like to add to the next AGM to create a by-law for some rules around visitor parking. What do people suggest is a reasonable set of rules?

    My thinking is don’t be too restrictive, we don’t want it to be impossible to police.
    1)  Allow cars to remain for up to 48 hours at a time without leaving.
    2) Allow cars to remain for up to 10 days by application to the building manager.

    It would be too difficult to try and enforce (for example) a 12 hours parking limit. We are pretty open to allow cars to use visitor parking overnight, and even on a regular basis. The main thing we are trying to solve is the 2nd car that is rarely used being left in a space indefinitely, and the abandond vehicle that just never moves.

    Also, would it be reasonable to require the lot number of unit number of a car in a visitor space to be recorded somewhere? Perhaps install chalk boards in front of each space? Or just leave a slip of paper on the dash of the car? This would at least give us a solution to know who to contact if they have parked beyond the permitted time, so we can make a friendly request to move (and ultimately, who to talk to when things progress)?

    Thanks for any comments.

    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey

    What do we need to do to have the cars removed, given that it is unlikely for the owner to ever do anything?

    If you have a managing agent, they should be across this. There is a process for legally disposing of ‘uncollected goods’ left on one’s premises.


    Webman, have a look at the initial post in this thread and then section 34 of the Strata Regulations. Also, you may want to download the Flat Chat “Move it or Lose it” poster which we are pretty sure complies with the Regulations and Act.

    Regarding your proposed by-laws, you must have a lot of mostly unused parking.  That said, I’m all in favour of people creating by-laws that suit the rhythms of life in their scheme.

    Here in inner Sydney, where parking is at a premium, I would restrict it to overnight (7pm to 7am) then two or three hours max at other times (unless written permission had been given).

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by .

    Sounds like you have some very recalcitrant people in your building, but for what it’s worth, this is what has worked for us.

    We have been able to control the parking issue by placing a parking notice on the wall for each of the visitors car spots, limiting in our case the parking to 8 consecutive hours. We place the notice below on the car’s windscreen. We also control the area frequently during the day and at night and take photos. From having a completely parked out 12 spot visitors car space during the first 3 months, we now have at least a few spare spots all the time. We do find that new tenants/residents need to be “trained”, but they comply within a few weeks.

    REGISTRATION NO:              XXX-YYY                                                                                    DATE OF ISSUE: xx/yy/zz

    It has been noted that your car has been parked for an extensive period of time beyond the maximum 8 hour limit in a visitor’s car spot for a considerable number of weeks and is therefore deemed not to be a true visitor.  Note that Residents are NOT allowed to park in a visitors’ spot – your car is registered as belonging to a Resident.

    If you do need to park in excess of an 8 hour period for your visitor, please go to our Website, log in using password abcdefg and complete a booking registration.  Once you have made a booking, it is also required that you print a copy of the Approved Booking Confirmation with the ticketed number and place it on the dashboard of your visitor’s car behind the windscreen.

    As the by-law of this block states:

    ‘An owner or occupier of a lot must not park or stand any motor or other vehicle on common property, or permit a motor vehicle to be parked or stood on common property, or permit a motor vehicle to be parked or stood on common property, except with the prior written approval of the owners corporation or as permitted by a sign authorised by the owners corporation’ and ‘A maximum of eight (8) hours is given for any visitor space being occupied’

    Please also note that:

    ‘An owners corporation may take action to remove motor vehicles left on common property that block an entry or exit or otherwise obstruct the use of common property by placing a removal notice on or near the vehicle for at least 5 days.’

    This vehicle’s registration number has been noted WITH photo and timestamp. If it is not moved in a timely manner, relevant authorities will be notified and a $1,200 fine can be issued by the NSW Tribunal for the first offence and a $2,500 fine for every subsequent offence.

    Owners Corporation         ABC Street, Suburb name

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by .

    That’s great, if it works, but the amounts of the penalties are wrong.  Breach of bylaw penalties can attract a maximum of 10 and 20 penalty units, which equate to $1100 and $2200 dollars,

    It’s a small difference, I know, but you may as well get it right.


    Thanks Jimmy, I’ve updated the info.

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