If your strata property is situated in a high traffic area where parking is at a premium such as Mosman, North Sydney or the Sydney CBD, you’ll be all too familiar with the problems that can arise with your shared carpark. Quite often, city workers and visitors will be tempted into parking in a strata carpark that they have no permission to park in. It’s a highly frustrating problem if you arrive home to find that your parking space is occupied. Fortunately, the 2016 NSW strata law reforms have introduced a new way of dealing with the situation.
What are the options for controlling problem parkers?
There are a number of methods that your owners corporation may vote to put in place to tackle the issue of unwanted parkers. These include putting up clear signage about time limits and restrictions, and introducing key card systems or lockable bollards. Many strata schemes will already have by-laws in place that can result in NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal penalties for breaching the parking rules. These can range from an initial notice to a penalty of up to $2,000 if the by-laws are breached three times within 12 months.
As of November 2016, there is also a new option to control problem parkers.
What are the 2016 changes to strata parking enforcement in NSW?
Within the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, strata schemes may now elect to enter into an agreement with a local council to set and enforce a strata parking area. The council must agree to an arrangement including a paid fee, and the owners corporation must vote this arrangement in as a by-law within its individual rules. If the arrangement goes ahead, that council’s parking rangers may be able to fine drivers up to $550 if they park incorrectly in a strata parking area.
Another major change is that owners corporations now have a greater ability to remove vehicles that block the entry, exit or use of common strata property. Before taking action they will need to provide a specified 5-day notice of their intention to move the vehicle, and can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to recoup costs involved in moving that vehicle.
Are these parking controls automatically put in place with the new laws?
No, they are not. Your strata scheme’s individual strata by-laws will depend on what your owners corporation decides to vote or not vote in. If you believe your strata scheme should include a specific parking by-law, you can prepare a motion to be made at your next General Meeting.
For more information you can read through the NSW Fair Trading page on strata parking. For specific parking guidelines check your own strata scheme’s by-laws, or ask your strata manager for available options.