Parking stalls are designated either as part of a strata lot or as common property. Parking stalls designated as common property generally fall under the control of the strata corporation. As a result, an owner's apparent right to use a parking stall designated as common property may not be transferable to future buyers.
A parking stall designated as part of a strata lot, or as limited common property, will entitle a buyer of that strata lot to exclusive use of the stall. Where a parking stall is not so designated, a buyer may not have the right to use the stall, despite the seller's use.
The recent decision of Blackall v. Jarrold et al. concerned a dispute over parking. In Blackall, the buyers of a strata unit sued the sellers for negligently misrepresenting the number of parking stalls included in the sale. The Property Disclosure Statement stated that "parking stalls 598 and 601 are included in the purchase price along with storage locker 291, all of which will be assigned by the buyer on completion date." Both the buyers and the sellers believed that the parking stalls were designated as limited common property (LCP), and thus for the sellers' exclusive use.
In fact, only one of the stalls was designated LCP. While the original purchasers of the strata lot had paid the developer $5,350 for the use of the second parking stall at the time of their purchase, neither they nor the developer took steps to amend the strata plan. Thus the second parking stall, as common property, remained under the control of the strata corporation.
The buyers' claim against the sellers was dismissed. The court found the buyers had a clear opportunity to discover the parking stalls' status before removing subject conditions.
If you are buying a strata property make sure to review the strata plan and filed amendments, the common property record and any other related strata documents to verify parking stall designation.
This article written by Jennifer Clee B.A., LL.B.
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