08 Apr How to deal with parking problems in sectional title schemes
A shortage of parking bays in a complex is bound to create management problems. Usually, there are more vehicles than there is parking space available on the grounds of the complex. Despite this, some residents ignore the shortage and add to the irritation factor of all concerned by using visitors’ bays and parking on common property.
Using visitor bays
Depending on the zoning scheme in which the complex is located, residents may be prohibited from using visitor bay in their complex. The body corporate needs to establish the parking restrictions for their scheme before allowing residents to use visitor bays for long periods of time.
Common property parking
The prescribed conduct rules – as contained in the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act of 2011 – clearly states that no vehicle may be parked on common property unless in the case of an emergency. The written consent of the trustees is required.
Schemes that have common property parking bays may rent these bays to residents. A resolution of the members is required that will allow the trustees to rent parking bays. The trustees may decide on the fairest way to allocate the common property parking bays. Parking rental pools are very popular in schemes where parking is at a premium but it requires continuous management by the trustees and managing agent.
The body corporate may consider creating additional parking bays on the common property. This is deemed an improvement to the common property and requires a resolution of the members to approve the creation of the bays.
Penalising parking transgressors
Schemes that have parking problems can only impose fines on transgressors if the scheme rules have been amended to provide for this. Even in the case where rules have been amended to allow for this, trustees must ensure that due process is followed before debiting a member`s levy account with a fine.
The removal of illegally parked vehicles from common property areas is always a problem. Trustees would typically use a towing contractor but must be advised that the rules should make provision for this kind of action.
While an immediate solution to parking problems may not be possible, it remains the trustees’ responsibility to manage the common property. This may include the creation of additional parking bays to alleviate the problem but as it involves amending the rules of the scheme, it is not a short-term solution. Having said that, the efforts of the trustees to alleviate parking problems in their complex will be well worth their while as it will long outlast the continuous irritation and inconvenience caused.
Practical and coherent ideas to amend rules of a scheme and inclusive feedback meetings with residents will allow for a far more harmonious living environment.