Our new rental prohibits parking commercial vans. What can we do?
Property Clinic: Your questions answered
Even in an ordinary housing estate there can be objections to commercial vehicles.
I recently moved into rented property in a new development complex. On our second day when getting ready to head to work, my husband, who is a landscape gardener, discovered his van was clamped. We assumed it was an oversight of some kind by the Property Management Company and possibly they hadn’t received notification that we were new tenants.
We brought it to their attention and discovered that there is an existing rule for the development that forbids commercial vehicles to be parked. Our landlord never informed us of this fact nor is it covered in our signed lease, and the property managers aren’t willing to negotiate. Surely, my husband has the right to park his van where he lives.
This kind of development complex comes across as quite bizarre and prejudiced. What are our options and possibilities of approaching?
Unfortunately, your query is unclear on two salient points. Did you advise your agent/ landlord that you intended to park a commercial vehicle in the complex at the beginning of your tenancy? And what is the size of the vehicle? This is crucial in trying to understand the dilemma you find yourself in. If you did advise your agent/ landlord of same, then you are entitled to some recourse, ie that they find you alternative parking, etc.
It is important to understand that the house rules are devised by the Owners’ Management Company which comprises all the owners in the complex. They in turn appoint directors who invariably appoint agents. The agents are then responsible for devising appropriate rules and regulations to enable the complex to run in a smooth, efficient and peaceful manner.
It is quite possible that your landlord or agent were not aware of the rules and perhaps they did not furnish you with a copy. However, even if that was the case, I think it was beholden on you to actually declare that your husband had a commercial vehicle and ask whether this was acceptable or not.
This type of issue is not confined to multi-unit development complexes. Indeed, even in an ordinary housing estate there can be objections to commercial vehicles. On several occasions in my years of practice I have encountered this difficulty where the local authority was called in by the residents’ association to deal with this issue.
Regrettably, it is my interpretation that your husband does not have the right to park his commercial vehicle for the reasons outlined above and I recommend you ask your agent/ landlord to release you from your contract thus enabling you to find alternative accommodation where you can park a commercial vehicle.
Kersten Mehl is a chartered residential agency surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie