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  • #58707

    I moved in a townhouse under strata tile in Victoria ( a group of 4 townhouses sharing one drive way as common property) and our house is at the far end of this long driveway . There is no car park on the common property as shown in the plan of subdivision.

    In front of my lot next to the drive way, there is an irregular shaped small concreted area which has been used by my neighbors as a car space. My OC claims even though it has not been marked as a car park in the plan, we should pass a special resolution to classify it as a car space which can be used by all lot owners and their visitors.

    By using it as a car park, however, it obstruct my access to the vegetation area of my property as well as create safety concerns as larger vehicles and vans has been using my front yard to reverse out of the complex, instead of utilizing the irregular area.

    May I ask if the OC is correct in the proposal of special resolution to classify it as car space? Is there any approval needed as I believe car park development has strict rules. What options do I have to take against the proposal?

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  • #58709

    I would think this would require a change of use permit from your local council.  And, apart from anything else, it pretty much guarantees a permanent free parking spot for your neighbour who already parks there.

    I think your owners corporation is being deceitful here, at your cost.  I would put up a counter proposal that the area be clearly marked “no parking” as it may well be that it was intended to be a turning area in the first place.

    And I would make it clear that you believe that effectively giving a free additional parking area to one resident – which is what this would do – is an illegal misuse of common property.

    I would bet that owners has persuaded the other owners to back them becasue it doesn’t make any difference to them.

    But the first thing to do is to call your local council’s planning department.


    OCs permit extra parking on common property quite often.

    When this issue has come up at Tribunals, there have been a few things that affected lot owners have used in their challenge:

    1. There is an Australian Standard, AS 2890.1-2004 Parking Facilities Off-Street Car Parking, that councils usually specify in their planning approval.  That standard includes required maneuvering areas.  It’s unlikely an OC would be able to propose any changes unless that standard is maintained.

    2. Access to lot property can’t be blocked by an OC’s actions.

    Lot owners have successfully stopped OCs due to the above.



    1. There is an Australian Standard, AS 2890.1-2004 Parking Facilities Off-Street Car Parking, that … includes required maneuvering areas. It’s unlikely an OC would be able to propose any changes unless that standard is maintained.

    Sounds like a compelling argument for asking the OC to mark the area as “no parking” rather than handing it to your neighbour as a freebie (because that’s what all the BS about visitor and extra resident parking probably really means).



    There’s one other (faint) possibility.  If you happened to have more than 25 percent of the lot entitlements, you could block the special resolution anyway.


    Thanks everyone who has contributed your ideas. I called the council planning department and they said because the common property is not covered by S173, they can’t reinforce the plan of subdivision/planning permit. They’ve suggested that I make a safety complaint however I doubt that will make a difference.     This OC has allowed the other 3 lot owners to build swimming pool and to do Landscaping on the common property at the rear of their blocks, which my lot doesn’t have. I am just surprised how the OC has been give such authorities to change the use of common property.Unfortunately each lot has equal shares so almost all special resolution benefiting the neighbors can be passed.


    Given the long-term impact of this on your amenity, not to mention the value of your property, I think this may be worth taking to CAV with a view to escalating it to a claim at VCAT.

    And while the council may say that S173 doesn’t apply to common property, it would be a valuable standard to use in an argument against the common property being hived off in this way.

    Also, your scheme would have been given planning permission based on a certain number of parking spaces.  This is a change of use (I think) which may well need planning approval which it might not get. Another call to your council may be in order.

    Someone may have a better idea but in your shoes I would immediately send an application to your OC asking that the space immediately be deemed a permanent no-parking area, based on the need for a safe turning area and your loss of amenity due to rogue and random parking.

    When they refuse (and they will) you can then take it to CAV and VCAT where, one would hope, common sense, fairness and logic will prevail and orders can be issued to that effect.

    Just keep to the forefront of your thoughts that this is a lazy land-grab which benefits one owner and negatively affects only you which is why your neighbours won’t care.  And again, don’t hesitate to tell them that all the talk of visitor parking is nonsense – it’s about giving free parking in a turning area to one owner.

    Here are the links to CAV and VCAT.



    By s.173 do you mean the Agreement that councils sometimes place on the title in VIC?  Some of my stratas have had a s.173 agreement that did affect the use of car parking lots.    But it didn’t affect common property.

    I doubt the council will get involved unless parking is actually reduced in some way.  Or a planning requirement is violated.  I doubt it would be.

    What I have seen work are the required standards and access laws.   It seems councils don’t usually enforce them either.   It needed the OC to be challenged by the affected lot owner at the Tribunal under the strata Act.


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