Who owns and controls the car parking in my apartment complex?

Property Clinic: A variety of structures govern the management of car parking facilities

Contention can arise in developments when the number of parking spaces is less than the number of vehicles owned by property owners.

Contention can arise in developments when the number of parking spaces is less than the number of vehicles owned by property owners.

 

My question is simply this: are apartment complex car parks part of common areas and under the control of the owners’ management company (OMC)?

Paul Huberman writes: There are a variety of structures for OMCs and parking facilities. Many solely residential OMCs have their own parking spaces within their common areas keeping matters simple. Some high-density developments have a mix of residential and commercial units, and these developments tend to have a separate company for the car park which is often underground.

This set-up can be slightly more complex as there are normally shared expenses that need to be apportioned between the companies. One company might pay the insurance, for example, on the whole development while the other company would reimburse the cost of the appropriate contribution. These structures tend to have head leases stating the arrangements and control with companies under them, one for the residential, one for the commercial units etc.

A member of an OMC owning a space would either pay for the car park maintenance in their annual service charges directly to their OMC or directly to a company incorporating the parking spaces. The title documents for your property will indicate the specific space on a map if there is assigned parking. If there is unassigned parking the lease will indicate how many vehicles each property owner may avail of, this is effectively a system of first come, first served.

Contention can arise in developments when the number of parking spaces is less than the number of present vehicles owned by property owners, commercial customers parking in residential spaces, abandoned vehicles, faulty access control and the repair and maintenance of same and the liable party for costs among many others. Serious issues can arise if emergency vehicles are restricted from accessing an area of a development due to ignorance around parking practices.

Improvement in parking etiquette may be necessary if abuses persist, and if measures are required, the parking controller may avail of a commercial company for enforcement of regulations. Systems have improved since the Vehicle Clamping and Signage Regulations 2017 (Regulations) came into effect on October 1st, 2017. These new rules follow on from the enactment of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 (Act) on June 1st, 2017.

  • Paul Huberman is a chartered property and facilities manager and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland scsi.ie
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