Shared Driveway Responsibilities In A Body Corporate

The driveway to access your parking spot or garage forms part of the common area of your strata community. The Body Corporate is responsible for maintaining and repairing common property – which includes driveways.

It must ensure that there are shared driveway laws in place and that they are enforced to so that the driveway is used properly and safely and remains unobstructed to allow easy access for all residents and their visitors as well as trades and services people from time to time.

Maintaining clear access to all, for the benefit of all, can be challenging if you don’t understand what your rights and responsibilities are, and/or which areas of common property are accessible by you.

Shared Driveway Rights?

Lot owners and residents are entitled to enjoy unrestricted, safe access to their property. Any codes or remote controls needed to access the complex should be readily provided.

Residents should be able to access shared areas and utilise them in accordance with rules and laws set by the body corporate through their scheme’s by-laws. By-laws should be clear and enable all residents to understand their rights and obligation relating to shared driveways (and all common areas).

Strata laws and regulations vary for each state so it’s important to check the legislation regarding the use of common property in the by-laws of your strata complex.

Shared Driveway Responsibilities?

While it can vary from scheme to scheme, in general, owners and residents are prohibited from leaving their vehicle on the common property if it obstructs a shared driveway, pathway, entrance or exit to a lot.

Visitors generally have restrictions on where they can park and usually are only allowed to park in the area on the common property specified for visitors. It is also common for there to be time limits on using visitor parking spaces.

It is important that on-top of being aware of and following your scheme’s shared driveway rules that owners, residents and visitors be extra cautious to account for many others that use the shared driveway including children and the elderly.

Other Common Parking Issues

  • Persons parks in another resident’s spot
  • Persons using parks allocated to visitors on a continual basis
  • More cars being used by residents than there are allocated parking spaces
  • Larger vehicles not being able to fit into the provided space

 

The best way to address these issues is to ensure owners, residents and visitors have a full understanding of their rights and responsibilities, clear by-laws are in place concerning parking regulations and towing protocols and that these by-laws are enforced properly.

General safety tips for shared driveways

  • Stick to the speed limits
  • Check surroundings before moving your vehicle.
  • Only park in your designated parking spot
  • Adhere to the rules regarding visitor’s parking and ensure your visitors do the same.
  • Never block or restrict access to anyone else’s property or carpark area.
  • Do not park on verges or kerbs.

Children Playing

Shared driveways and carparks can sometimes be inviting places for children to play especially when there is limited outdoor space.

With the nature of strata schemes having more cars coming and going in close proximity, children playing on shared driveways and parking lots can create significant safety issues.

While not always necessary or wanted, bodies corporate have the ability to regulate or restrict this this type of behaviour through by-laws.

For example, a by-law might state that children should be supervised when playing in common areas such as driveways or parking lots or restrict activities such as bicycle riding, skateboarding, scootering and ball games.

It is important to ensure that any children in the community are aware of the rules and abide by them.

To Tow or Not to Tow?

A body corporate has the ability to have vehicles towed with an order from the Commissioner’s Office, a process that can take several months.

The body corporate cannot tow the car of an occupier without going through the formal by-law breach process.

To do any of that, it requires the body corporate to have a by-law providing for towing. If there’s no by-law then there’s zero option for the body corporate to legally tow through an adjudicator’s order.

If you do tow a vehicle without an adjudicator’s order you run the risk of being liable for what happens to it during its impounding.

While bodies corporate should be wary of incorrectly issue warnings that vehicles will be quickly towed, having said all that, it’s perfectly fine (and good practice) to send communications to all owners and occupiers about parking and ask they comply with parking obligations.

Getting your by-laws

To understand the by-laws for your specific complex you can contact your Body Corporate Manager who will be able to provide you with the appropriate rules and regulations for your common property.

They are also there to help you with any ongoing concerns or issues you may have with these rules being enforced at your place of residence.

How Can We Help You?

Call us on 07 3435 5300 and one of our friendly consultants will help