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New Strata Laws: Procedure for Removing a Motor Vehicle Parked on Common Property Explained

It is anticipated that the new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and its corresponding regulation, the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (“the Act”), will commence in late 2016 (“the Regulation”).

As part of these changes a new regulation 34 made under section 125 of the Act sets out the procedure an Owners Corporation can take to have a motor vehicle left on common property which blocks an exit or entrance or otherwise obstructs the use of common property moved:

  • to another place on common property or to the nearest place to which it may be lawfully moved; or

  • so that it no longer blocks an exit or entrance or otherwise obstructs the use of common property.

Although it is glaringly obvious that a car would be classified as a motor vehicle under the Regulation, what about a motorbike, motorised scooter, truck, caravan, trailer, boat and jet ski? The starting point is clause 34(5) of the Regulation which adopts the definition of “motor vehicle” within the Impounding Act 1993.

The Impounding Act 1993 defines “motor vehicle” as follows:

motor vehicle means:

(a) a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013 and includes a caravan or trailer, and

(b) the remains of such a vehicle, and

(c) any article (including parts and accessories) that is secured to or in such a vehicle at the time it is impounded.”

The Dictionary to the Road Transport Act 2013:

  • defines “motor vehicle” as:

“a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle.”

  • defines “vehicleas:

(a) any description of vehicle on wheels (including a light rail vehicle) but not including any other vehicle used on a railway or tramway, or

(b) any description of tracked vehicle (such as a bulldozer), or any description of vehicle that moves on revolving runners inside endless tracks, that is not used exclusively on a railway or tramway, or

(c) any other description of vehicle prescribed by the statutory rules.”

In view of the above definitions, a “motor vehicle” includes the following under regulation 34(5) of the Regulation:

  • car

  • motorbike

  • motorised scooter

  • truck

  • caravan

  • trailer

In order for the Owners Corporation to be able to lawfully move the motor vehicle in the manner set out above, the Owners Corporation must satisfy the following elements:

1. The Owners Corporation must place a removal notice on or near the motor vehicle.

2. The requirements of the removal notice must not complied with within the period specified in the removal notice.

3. A removal notice must:

  • not be less than the size of an A4 piece of paper, and

  • be placed in a position or be in a material so that the contents of the notice are not likely to be detrimentally affected by weather, and

  • describe the motor vehicle and state the date and time the notice was issued, and

  • state that 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 48 hours after the notice was placed on or near the motor vehicle), and

  • specify contact details for a member of the strata committee in relation to the notice.

This article has been prepared by specialist strata lawyer Michael Pobi of Pobi Lawyers. The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.