How can I use a visitor parking space that is on common property next to the side gate of my strata townhouse? – Daniel, NSW

I live in a NSW townhouse of a 14 unit complex. My townhouse has a side access and side access gate. There is a visitor parking slot in front of this gate which happens to be common property. Is there a law that states that a visitor cannot lawfully Park there as it is the only (fire) access to house and the back in case the front door is inaccessible? If so, where can I find the particular law and how can I enforce it in strata to have exclusive use of this parking space?

– Daniel, NSW


While parking on common property that is also a fire exit for the building, you should be compliant with your state laws and regulations regarding fire safety in buildings. The Environment Planning and Assessment Act 2017 outlines how strata properties must treat a fire egress. So, fire exits must be kept clear at all times for potential emergencies.

In your case, if you or your visitors wish to continue to park in the visitor parking space on a more frequent or permanent basis, you can discuss with your committee and apply to get a planning consent as an in-between. If there is a planning consent of your strata property that specifies it is a visitor car space, you may not be able to go against it. So you should first go through the planning consent for your strata property.

Next, you should familiarise yourself with your strata by-laws and discuss your options with your strata committee if you wish to get exclusive rights to park in a common property. By-laws state that if a visitor or owner parks on common property or blocks a fire exit, the owners corporation can move the vehicle to another parking location. They can do so by providing prior notice and placing a legible, prominent signage on the car where it won’t be missed by the car driver / owner.

You may want to go through the NSW Fair Trading on strata property parking. We also have an article on 6 ways to deal with common parking problems in your strata property that you may find helpful.