Member call no. 31: When owners are prevented from storing items in their garage space

In this call, I help Vivian make sense of a by-law that prevents owners storing anything other than motor vehicles in their car spaces. Is such a by-law too harsh? Does it matter that some spaces are fully enclosed and the contents cannot be seen? We discuss Vivan’s options for changing or invalidating this by-law, including what she should do if her owners corporation starts issuing fines for breach…

Links and resources mentioned:

6 Responses

  1. One point: I note that clause 2 specifies it applies “…without prior written approval of the owners corporation,”

    So how about Vivian applies for written approval? Perhaps noting her space is enclosed, and being specific about what’s being stored (nothing dangerous, flammable, offensive, attractive to vermin etc). If she gets it, it can set a precedent. If she doesn’t, she can take action in the Tribunal.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Sydney Chair, yep – I picked that up eventually (point 30.42 in the video). Vivian said she felt she did not think it was necessary to get approval to keep items inside her own lot, not impacting anyone else. Fair enough.

  2. PS: And be super-friendly in the application. “Dear neighbours, I note the new ‘Visitor parking’ by-law passed at the last meeting. Per clause 2, I’d like to apply for permission to store [specific items] in my enclosed car space. If there’s any further information you need, or reasonable conditions you’d like me to comply with, please let me know.”

  3. Thanks, this webinar was very helpful. The suggestion to seek written permission seems like a great way to address the storage concerns for reasonable cases via a quick and less bureaucratic approach.
    One quick question: Would such a written permission from the OC require only ‘majority vote’ (>50%) at an EGM/AGM? It does not seem to require a special resolution if no bylaw is changed?

    1. Hi EC Member Sydney, in my view, the strata committee could actually give the permission. Our legislation provides that a decision of the strata committee is a decision of the owners corporation (with exceptions for things like by-laws and other specific decisions that must go before a general meeting).
      As long as the requirement is simply for ‘written permission/approval’ only and there’s no express requirement for a general meeting or a special resolution, the SC can give the permission.

      Amanda.

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