To those amongst us with a few years under the belt of living in our apartment development “The Car Park” becomes a daily conversation item. Just as we may discuss the value of our home or apartment, “The Car Park” can come to dominate our otherwise blissful lifestyle. And to be honest it’s not a nice feeling arriving home, driving up the car park ramps and finding your space taken. You paid for that damn space, right!
Why dominate your thoughts? I would say that if you are reading this you know why. Unfortunately there are those amongst us, or our guests that love a free car park, especially in the inner city where it is becoming more expensive to park and highly tuned parking officers have an uncanny ability to fine you if you push the limits. I think most of us could write a novel on our parking woes. This is why we, you and the Phantom Free Parker are in a struggle over your car space. We, being Owners Corporation and Facility Managers.
To make matters more interesting a minefield has been created when you attempt to reclaim your occupied car space from the Phantom Free Parker. Your car space is on private property which means in basic terms, your problem. And it is nice when you find a luxury car in your car park with a note on it from the owner, who happens to be overseas for the next 3 months and doesn’t live or rent in your apartment complex – I kid you not. This is only one of many horror stories the author has experienced over many years in Owners Corporation Management.
Amongst the amusing stories is one where owners and tenants of apartments can also apply for a single Parking Permit from Council for their local Council area should they wish to avail themselves of a Permit Zone car park outside of their apartment development. If you have two cars this may be a good idea. One parked inside the building and one outside. The abuse of this is very simple. You buy your permit for $20.00 from Council for a year and sell it for say $100 to $200 to a local office worker or friend and they then squat on one of the very few car spaces in the local streets. In my experience one car sat in the street for 3 months outside an apartment complex in a prime location. The tyres went flat. The bird life changed the appearance of the car from red to white and I think it may have even affected the external presentation of the property. The rego. expired, and police arrived and removed the number plates and then immediately a student living in Richmond attended wanting information as to why his cars number plates had been removed. In short he had to hand the permit over, but no penalty. This occurred in Southbank and permit parking spots appear on the decline.
To date we have found the pop up and lock parking barriers fitted to individual car spaces the best way to combat the Phantom. In recent times automated pop up barriers operating of a remote have become popular. Many developments which are active in policing their car parks have some degree of success, but I and colleagues experiences indicate that if you haven’t had a problem too date, you eventually will. The Phantom doesn’t sleep it appears.
We are not here offering legal advice, but please see the attached forum link for information re the issues involved on this issue. The more recent posts deal with more of the general issues encountered re attempts at enforcement.