I have a parking-related query that I am hoping to get an answer to.
Myself and my girlfriend are currently renting an apartment in a big new development – it’s still being built – in west Dublin.
Our apartment comes with one designated space. Parking here is on the road, not in an underground garage or behind an electronic gate.
One of our cars is usually in our designated space, which is not an issue. The problem we are currently having is in relation to parking our second car. We have been parking in what appeared to be an unallocated parking space – people parking in designated spaces that do not belong to them is a massive issue here, so we do not do that. This weekend we received a notice on our windshield – saying that our vehicle "has been reported as parking in a visitor space on a regular basis and not visiting the development".
However, there is no signage in place to indicate that the parking space in question is allocated to visitors only.
I have checked my lease agreement, the information on the management company’s own website and given these are, as per my understanding, public roads, the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997 Act, and from what I can see we have broken no rules by parking in a visitor spot.
I have submitted these queries to the management company myself but have, as of yet, not received a reply.
So, does the management company where I live have the right to ask me to move my car from a visitor spot having failed to provide me with any information that doing so was not allowed?
Aisling Keenan writes: Section 1 of the Multi Unit Developments Act 2011 states that the common areas of the development means all those parts of a multi-unit development such as "all access roads, footpaths, kerbs, paved, planted and landscaped areas, and boundary walls".
If the roadway and car-parking spaces in this development are owned by the management company, then the management company does have the right to ask you to move your car from a visitor spot. Given that the management company has sent such a notice in relation to the parking of vehicles on the roadway in the development, this indicates that the roadway in the development is owned by the management company. It is not a public road, it is a private road in the ownership of the management company and therefore, the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997 do not apply. It is the rules of the management company and the terms of the lease agreements which will govern the car-parking spaces and the roadway.
The management company should be in a position to clarify which car-parking spaces are assigned for visitors and which are assigned to individual apartments. Given the contention that can arise in developments relating to car parking it is important that there is utmost clarity on these matters and this will help to reduce such contention. A lot of problems can come from the assumptions that owners and residents make when it comes to car-parking spaces, such as assuming that a space is unallocated. Having spaces clearly marked can help to avoid this. The management company must ensure that the spaces are marked and this includes the marking of the visitors’ spaces. If an owner or resident in a development is constantly using the visitors’ space, then the space is not available to visitors and this contravenes the proper use of the space.
Ultimately, if you have a car-parking space assigned to your apartment and you have two cars, then this is a problem that you will have to find a solution to. It is not the responsibility of the management company to provide this solution for you. Sometimes, management companies can assist and facilitate owners and residents when it is possible to do so but there is no obligation on the management company to do so. It really is up to the owner or resident with the additional car to come up with a solution which complies with the rules of the management company.
Aisling Keenan, property managing agent and consultant, is an associate member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie.