To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Ask anyone who lives in a strata scheme about illegal parking – it’s a common angst that most owners have experienced at some stage. It can literally drive an owners corporation crazy and cause unnecessary rifts with neighbours.
For committees, the legalities around towing an offending vehicle from common property is almost always a hot topic.
But before you pick up the phone to arrange for an offending vehicle to be removed, you should be aware of the changes to NSW legislation regarding moving a vehicle on common property.
What the updated NSW law says you can do
There is a procedure for an owners corporation regarding moving a vehicle on common property if it is blocking an exit or entrance, or otherwise ‘obstructs’ the use of common property, provided a ‘removal notice’ is placed on or near the motor vehicle.
The ‘removal notice’ must:
- be no less than the size of an A4 piece of paper;
- be placed in a position or be in a material so the content of the notice will not likely be detrimentally affected by weather;
- describe the motor vehicle and state the date and time the notice was issued;
- state the motor vehicle will be removed if it is not moved from the common property or so that it no longer obstructs common property before the date and time specified in the notice (being not earlier than 5 days after the notice was placed on or near the motor vehicle); and
- specify contact details for a member of the strata committee or delegate in relation to the notice.
Essentially, if a ‘removal notice’ is correctly placed and the vehicle is not moved within the period stated in the notice, the owners corporation can have the vehicle moved:
- to another place on common property or to the nearest place to which it may be lawfully moved; or
- so it no longer blocks an exit or entrance or otherwise obstructs the use of common property.
But here’s the clencher… the law gives the owners corporation the power to move the vehicle to another place on common property but not necessarily to a public street or other property, which is exactly where you would want to move it.
If in doubt, always check first with your Community Manager for further information.