New Guidelines for Towing Illegally Parked Vehicles on Strata Property in Queensland

These guidelines are designed to assist strata property owners in Queensland in understanding the proper process for towing a vehicle that is parked in violation of strata by-laws.

The recent updates to Queensland strata laws now empower owners and occupiers to tow vehicles directly, bypassing the need for initial enforcement through a contravention notice and the adjudicators office.

Previous Towing Legislation and Process

Previously, if a vehicle was parked in violation of strata by-laws, the body corporate would typically issue a contravention notice to the owner or occupier of the vehicle. This notice would serve as a warning, informing the recipient of the violation and providing an opportunity to rectify the issue within a specified timeframe.

If the parking violation persisted despite the issuance of a contravention notice, the strata committee or body corporate could escalate the matter by seeking enforcement through the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.

This process involved submitting a complaint to the Commissioner’s Office, which would then investigate the matter and potentially issue fines or other penalties to the vehicle owner or occupier.

Towing of illegally parked vehicles was typically considered a last resort after all other enforcement measures had been exhausted. If the parking violation continued despite the issuance of a contravention notice and enforcement through the Commissioner’s Office, the strata committee or body corporate could then engage a licensed towing company to remove the vehicle from the property.

Overall, the old process for towing illegally parked vehicles on strata property in Queensland involved multiple steps of warning, enforcement, and potential escalation before resorting to towing as a final solution and could be an extremely long-winded process which led to calls for reform.

New Towing Legislation

On November 14, 2023, the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 successfully passed, marking a pivotal moment for regulatory changes.

Among the prominent changes is the provision that authorises the towing of an owner or occupier’s car if it is parked in violation of the by-law, bypassing the need for initial enforcement through a contravention notice and having to go down the Commissioner’s Office route.

The critical aspect to address revolves around ensuring the lawful drafting of a by-law to effectively govern car parking by owners and occupiers.

Additionally, the proper identification of vehicle owners as owners or occupiers is paramount. To address this concern, implementing a by-law mandating owners and occupiers to notify the body corporate of their vehicles becomes crucial.

Lastly, adherence to towing legislation remains imperative, emphasising aspects such as obtaining implied consent from the owner or occupier through measures like displaying adequate signage.

What is the new process for Towing Illegally Parked Vehicles in QLD?

Drafting By-Laws:

  • Ensure that the by-laws governing car parking on the strata property are lawfully drafted and effectively communicate the rules and regulations regarding parking.
  • Seek legal advice to draft clear and enforceable by-laws that outline the consequences of parking violations, including the authorisation for towing.

 

Identification of Vehicle Owners:

  • Implement a by-law mandating owners and occupiers to notify the body corporate of their vehicles.
  • Maintain an updated registry of vehicles owned or regularly used by owners and occupiers on the strata property.

 

Towing Process:

  • Before towing any vehicle, ensure that it is parked in clear violation of the by-laws.
  • Display adequate signage throughout the property, informing owners and occupiers of the parking regulations and the consequences of violations.
  • When towing a vehicle, ensure compliance with Queensland towing legislation, including obtaining implied consent from the owner or occupier through clearly visible signage.
  • Engage licensed towing companies to carry out the towing process, adhering to all legal requirements and regulations.
  • Document the towing process thoroughly, including photographs of the illegally parked vehicle, signage, and any relevant communication with the vehicle owner or occupier.

 

Communication and Transparency:

  • Communicate the parking regulations and towing procedures effectively to all owners and occupiers through written notices, meetings, and digital platforms.
  • Maintain transparency throughout the towing process, providing clear reasons for towing and allowing owners and occupiers the opportunity to address any concerns or disputes.

 

Record-Keeping:

  • Keep detailed records of all parking violations, towing incidents, and communications with owners and occupiers.
  • Maintain documentation of by-law enforcement efforts, including notices issued and steps taken to resolve parking violations before resorting to towing.

 

Compliance with Strata Laws:

  • Regularly review and update by-laws related to parking to ensure compliance with Queensland strata laws and regulations.
  • Seek legal advice when making changes to by-laws or enforcing parking regulations to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

 

Adhering to the proper process for towing illegally parked vehicles on strata property is essential to maintain order and ensure compliance with Queensland strata laws. By following these guidelines, strata property owners can effectively manage parking issues and uphold the rights and responsibilities of owners and occupiers within the property.

 

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