Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Visitor parking bays in sectional title schemes

paddocks_visitor_parking

By Carryn Melissa Durham

In this Carryn’s Corner article I would like to address the contentious topic of visitor parking bays in sectional title schemes.

It’s no secret that parking creates many problems in sectional title schemes. This is especially the case in older schemes that were built in a time where not many people owned cars. Nowadays families have at least two cars. The limited availability of parking bays in sectional title schemes has put great pressure on visitors’ parking bays.

There is nothing in the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (“the Act”) or prescribed rules that specifically deals with visitor parking bays or that defines what visitors parking bays actually means. Prescribed Conduct Rule (“PCR”) 3(1) states that no owner or occupier shall park or stand any vehicle upon the common property, or permit or allow any vehicle to be parked or stood upon the common property, without the consent of the trustees in writing. This prohibition does not apply to any visitors’ parking bays. Visitor parking bays is not a condition that is dealt with in any of the scheme documentation because it forms part of the relevant town planning ordinance. Therefore the requirements for visitors parking is a local municipality town planning issue.

For example, the City of Cape Town zoning scheme regulations states that: “Visitor parking bays shall be clearly demarcated, readily visible and accessible to visitors and preferably grouped together.”

Furthermore the City of Cape Town zoning scheme regulations set out the required number of visitors’ parking bays – one visitors’ parking bay per four units.

In terms of section 37(1)(n) of the Act, the body corporate must “ensure compliance with any law relating to the common property or to any improvement of land comprised in the common property”. This means that the trustees must, on behalf of the body corporate, ensure that this regulation is adhered to. While in practice the visitor parking bays may be used by residents, the trustees are not entitled to give any resident permission to park in such a bay or let these parking bays out in terms of a lease agreement. Furthermore the trustees cannot give exclusive use rights to any owner over a visitors parking bay.

In practice, the local municipality does not usually react to contraventions of the town planning scheme except of the basis of complaints. In my experience, I have visited the building survey and town planning department in Cape Town and could not obtain a clear answer on the application of the zoning scheme regulations.

So what can be done to deal with the use of visitors’ parking bays then?

If the scheme does not have sufficient off-street parking to serve the needs of the residents and there are unallocated parking bays on the common property, the trustees should take and record in the minutes of their meetings a parking policy that set out the rights and obligations of residents in their use of these bays. Notice of this resolution should be posted on a notice board on the common property or otherwise communicated to all residents. Furthermore owners may in terms of section 39(1) of the Act give trustees directions as to how they should control parking on the common property. Some schemes have rules on how many nights per month a visitor may stay over. Some issue a limited number of overnight parking tokens to residents for the use of their visitors.

Where schemes do not have sufficient parking bays I suggest that, if there is unused open space, the trustees initiate the creation of additional parking bays. It will be a non-luxurious improvement to common property, and the process set out in PMR 33(2) for a non-luxurious improvement will need to be followed.

If you have experienced any problems with visitor parking bays in your scheme please contact me at consulting@paddocks.co.za.

Image source: myparkingsign.com

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14 comments on “Visitor parking bays in sectional title schemes

  1. Hettie Van Zyl
    October 13, 2016

    In a complex with 99 cottages (2 bedroom) which are rented by tenants, we have 99 shaded parking bays (a project recently finalized). The shaded parking bays, being part of the lease, is paid for by the tenant. As tenants we would like each cottage to be allocated a specific parking bay since it has not been allocated. Parking is on a first-come-first-served basis and it is creating problems since tenants are fighting. Would it be possible for the parking bays to be allocated (say bay 1 to cottage 1) without restrictions from regulations or laws regarding specified distances between the cottage and the parking bay? The parking bays are alongside the driveway in die middle of the complex from entrance to back with cottages built in rows of 5 at each side. Allocation of these bays will therefore have to start from front to back since cottages are numbered from 1 – 99 from front to back.

    • Paddocks
      November 1, 2016

      Hi Hettie,

      Thank you for your comment. Please email us on consulting@paddocks.co.za with regards to your matter, and we can provide you with a no-obligation quote, so that we can assist you.

      Kind regards,
      Paddocks

  2. Willy
    September 24, 2016

    Hi, I have an apartment in Campsbay. The trustees have recently removed a part of the garden and converted it to visitors parking area without notifying all owners. It appears that they wanted some of the existing parking for themselves. They also replaced the existing parking with much more expensive paving bricks. Our parking was tarmac, which needed maintenance. Question: 1) May they do thus without a unanimous vote? 2) Would this be luxurious improvement?
    Thanking you in advance for your reply
    Willy

    • Paddocks
      September 26, 2016

      Hi Willy,

      Thank you for your comment. Please email us on consulting@paddocks.co.za with regards to your matter, and we can provide you with a no-obligation quote, so that we can assist you.

      Kind regards,
      Paddocks

  3. Derrick Jayson
    July 19, 2016

    Nice Sharing! Its a greatest information about insurance blog and it is very usefully for parking info. I am gain information from this blog.

  4. Alice Richards
    February 19, 2016

    I would be very interested in your reply to Robert’s problem with tenant parking as above. Please consider publishing so that we can all learn from it. Thank you

    • Paddocks
      February 19, 2016

      Hi Alice,

      Robert’s question is too complex, so we are unable to answer it here.

      Regards,
      Paddocks

      • Alice Richards
        February 19, 2016

        I actually meant covering topic it in an published article.

  5. Alice Richards
    February 15, 2016

    Hi Carryn,
    In a BC complex of 18 in KZN we have a lot of rented units. We have a problem with parking – there is mostly only one garage linked to a unit and not sufficient provision made by the developer for parking of extra vehicles per unit as well as visitors parking. The open areas marked for parking is unallocated. The owners of units have placed in the leases that there is parking for two vehicles per units and now want the Trustees to allocate specific parking bays to those units. That stipulation in the leases should not have been done and what course of action can the Trustees take or rule ? It so happens that the unit owner is also a Trustee.

    • Paddocks
      February 19, 2016

      Hi Alice,

      There are a number of ways for parking bays to be allocated to unit owners, and thereby be placed for use by the tenants. For example the conduct rules could contain a parking plan, the parking bays could be rented out; or the parking bays could be made subject to exclusive use. If supply cannot meet demand the trustees might need to consider creating new parking bays if there is space (a lawn area for example).

      Thanks,
      Paddocks

  6. Robert
    January 27, 2016

    Hi
    I have a tenant who has 5 cars on site and 10 people in a two bedroom unit, three of which sleep in a caravan in the garage. He is violating many rules and now I have sent him letters in this regard and he says we are victimizing- and invading his privacy.Sent many letters without any response, even the owner does not care.He parks his cars just were he wants , even under others carports.looks like tenants have more rights than owners. How do i manage this guy?

    • Paddocks
      January 28, 2016

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment. This is quite a complex matter and suggest contacting us on consulting@paddocks.co.za or 021 686 3950, for an obligation-free quote.

      Regards,
      Paddocks

  7. Ann
    January 27, 2016

    I am chairperson of a small block of 9 flats in Fresnaye. It was built in 1936 when vehicles were the size of dinky cars. There are only 7 parking bays with no room for any more, leaving 2 flats without secure parking. Under the CCC Zoning Scheme Reg and in order to comply with Section 37(1)(n) are we now supposed to “convert” 1 or 2 of these exclusive use parking bays into visitors bays?

    • Paddocks
      January 28, 2016

      Hi Ann,

      We cannot confirm exactly what City Council will require. However, it seems impractical that the owners/tenants would have to park outside so that bays can be left open for potential visitors.

      Regards,
      Paddocks

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