Parking Assignments

Each strata corporation has a different way of assigning parking spaces. How that is done depends on the type of strata plan and where those parking spaces are. Generally, a parking space can be common property, limited common property, or part of the strata lot (typically a garage attached to the strata lot).

In cases where the parking is common property, the Strata Property Act permits the strata council to allocate those spaces to owners on an annual basis. This can become complicated when the owner developer of the strata plan entered into long term licenses for specific stalls assignments. The enforceability of those licenses may require specific legal advice from a lawyer in that circumstance.

While common property parking spaces can be allocated by council on an annual basis, and LCP parking stalls cannot, some stratas have been using a different parking plan than the LCP designations on the strata plan. I have seen stratas argue that there was a licensing agreement between the owner developer and the original purchaser that is binding on all subsequent purchasers (even though this 'agreement' wasn't registered in the Land Title Office, nor was the strata plan amended).

Sometimes, the strata council refuses to get involved and insists that this is a dispute between the individual owners. However, most strata bylaws require owners to park in their assigned spaces and, if an owner complains to the strata council, the strata council is obligated to take steps to enforce its bylaws and stop the owners from parking in the wrong spots. However, how does a strata council know what to enforce when the LCP designations do not match what they thought were the correct parking stalls?

This question was recently answered in thecase of Simpson v The Owners, Strata Plan VAS 2876, 2017 BCCRT 43, the strata had told an owner that they had stall 13 as their LCP parking space. The strata plan showed that the owner actually had stall 20 as LCP. The strata, when shown the strata plan, refused to acknowledge the LCP designation because:

  1. the owner had been told when purchasing the strata lot that they could only use stall 13; and
  2. the other owner had been told by their seller that they had use of stall 20.

The CRT agreed with the owner. The CRT noted that the only way to amend the owner developer designations of LCP in the strata plan was by unanimous vote. No unanimous vote was ever completed.

As a result, the CRT ordered that:

  1. the owner was entitled to use LCP stall 20;
  2. no other person is entitled to use LCP stall 20 and are prohibited from using it; and
  3. the strata must issue a corrected Form B to the owners showing LCP stall 20.
It is possible that there are certain arrangements that will require owners to follow a different plan than the LCP designations. If you have questions regarding any arrangements that may affect your parking assignments, you should obtain legal advice. 

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