Can our management company clamp a car?
An Owners’ Management Company (OMC) is empowered by Section 23 of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 to draft House Rules for the effective operation and maintenance of the development. At least 21 days notice for a general meeting must be sent out to each member of the OMC along with a copy of the proposed House Rules.
The proposed House Rules will be considered and approved or rejected only by the members of the OMC at a general meeting. Assigned parking in a development is where a unit owner has a specific parking space and they are the only person entitled to park their vehicle in that space. Where a lease prescribes that a parking space does not form part of the common areas, written permission will be required from each parking space owner to allow clamping of a vehicle on their space. If the development has unassigned parking the OMC must have the common areas transferred to their ownership to be able to draft binding House Rules such as clamping in common areas.
If the common areas have not yet been transferred, the permission of the owner of the common areas will need to be sought before proposing the draft House Rules to the OMC at a meeting. Section 13 (1) of the MUDS Act 2011 arguably will afford an OMC without ownership of the common areas, the right to enforce clamping in say emergency access points subject to Section 23 of the said Act. If clamping is approved by the members at a meeting, written copies of the House Rules must be sent to each unit owner and to each unit within the development. Adequate signage must also be erected on site warning persons of the parking policies in place.
For apartment block parking, what are the rules around visitor parking?
A well-run Management Company will ensure that only genuine visitors use the visitor car parking spaces. If they are being used by owners, then that’s a question that you can raise at the Annual General Meeting. They shouldn’t be.
Generally, visitor spaces are marked with a V (for example). All numbered spaces are usually assigned to apartment owners. Normally visitor spaces are scarce, so OMC’s sometimes use clamping companies to prevent abuse. When a guest parks their car, they need to send a text with their registration and a code (details of which are normally printed on signs located near the visitor car parking spaces). The guest then gets a confirmation text back to say that vehicle is permitted to park for the next 24 hours. Each vehicle can park for a maximum of 48 hours each week. If vehicles are not authorised, or if the wrong code is typed, NCPS will clamp when they are doing their rounds, so it is important to check that you get the confirmation text message.