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Car park management

Why visitor parking is leading fights in apartments and townhouses

When a resident parked her mother’s car there for a few hours during a visit, they returned to find it covered in notes in the most foul and abusive language threatening serious consequences if they parked in it again. “my space”.

It’s not as unusual as you might think. Many townhouse residents use their garages for storage or even playrooms and park their cars wherever they can.

Then there are the landlords who don’t see why people who don’t live in or own the building should be able to park their cars in the block when they can’t.

Notices of violation of the statutes don’t have much effect when the rogue parker doesn’t care. It can take months for the complaint, and then the sanction for non-compliance, to pass through our clogged court systems. A fine of a few hundred dollars for three or four months of parking is a very good deal.

Besides the inconvenience and sheer selfishness, the conflict and frustration when genuine visitors find nowhere to park can be extremely disruptive in communities.

Resident owners are often too scared of a personal confrontation with parking lot bullies – or even worse, having their car “locked” – when there’s a chance they’ll be named in committee minutes. strata (another form of bullying) if they complain.

Why would investors care? Because your tenants are deprived of an installation that they paid for and your neighbors are scamming you, perhaps?

To be fair, it’s nice to have a “spare” parking lot. Building management may well leave room for dropping off groceries near elevators or night visitors. But that depends on the fact that most visitor parking is free most of the time.

Strata committee options for dealing with persistent disbelievers are limited in most states. In New South Wales and Victoria, you cannot tow or block illegally parked vehicles unless they obstruct safe access or have been clearly abandoned.

Queensland has its own compliance system and the vehicles can be towed if all the possibilities provided for by the law of legal persons have been exhausted.

Elsewhere, visitor parking is common property, so your building can write its own rules and definitions of what a “visitor” is, including limits on how long visitor cars are parked there and when they have to leave if they park at night.

Your owners can set these standards based on the needs of your specific building. Your committee should ask them what they want – one size definitely doesn’t fit all.

So be flexible but don’t be afraid to hammer down residents who actually steal common property for their own benefit.

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John Smith

The author John Smith