VIC Threat of Wheel Clamping in Allocated Parking Space

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Claire thommo

Member
25 September 2014
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I rent an apartment and car space in a multi-story building in Melbourne. Because of ongoing misuse of visitor parking 'the board' (Body Corporate) have decided to restrict visitor parking to 2 hours and give out fines/clamp wheels. This will be managed by a private parking company. While this is annoying and inconvenient I am guessing they can do what they like with common areas. Although am wondering if clamping wheels is legal?

In addition to this they have made us apply for and pay for a parking permit to park in our car spaces within the gated car parking area. Apparently because people are entering the gated area and parking in spaces other than theirs. Occasionally I require other cars to park in my space (when car pooling somewhere in my car) and I am now being told that because this car will not have a permit to park there it may be clamped.

I am wondering if they are allowed to do this, given I rent the space. I don't rent it for a specific vehicle and should be allowed to park whatever car I like there without threats of fines or wheel clamping.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Toqual

Well-Known Member
10 July 2014
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Despite 'the board' owning the apartment block land, they have no legal authority to clamp a vehicle which they do not own. In addition, if you have been assigned a specific car parking spot, any car is permitted to park there with your consent. I suggest you begin a petition if you're having these issues as I am sure you are not the only one victim.
 

Toqual

Well-Known Member
10 July 2014
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In addition, they can't 'fine' you. Alternatively, they can 'demand money' and if they do, you are not at all obliged to pay however they could take you to court for the debt.
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
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Melbourne, Victoria
No, wheel clamping is not legal. This is considered a trespass on property and you can seek damages for any damage/harm caused as well as the costs for removing the clamp.
 
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
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Melbourne, Victoria
Further, if you "rent" the car space, what does it say about usage in your lease agreement? Do you have exclusive possession during this period? Or is this a mere licence? In any event, they cannot go ahead and change the terms of your rental agreement unilaterally unless there is a provision in the agreement.
 
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Toqual

Well-Known Member
10 July 2014
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@Sarah J just to confirm, is towing unlawful as well?
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
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Melbourne, Victoria
Yes, it is illegal to clamp or tow a vehicle belong to another person what that person's permission. If it is a parking lot, for example, and a condition of entry is that the owner gives permission to the parking lot manager to tow the vehicle if they have misused the parking lot, breached its other rules or failed pay to fees, then this is considered as permission given that the manager will be able to tow. However, in most day-to-day situations, where someone parks in your driveway, no, you cannot tow their car away and should report the illegal park to the police or council.
 
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Toqual

Well-Known Member
10 July 2014
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However it is not illegal parking as it is on private property. @Sarah J
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
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Melbourne, Victoria
In this case, Claire has a lease or license to use the carpark, therefore, although it is private property, she has a right to enter it and use it according to the terms of the lease or license.

In general, parking on private property is illegal. Putting a wheel clamp on someone else's car or towing it away without the owner's permission is also illegal. Both constitute trespass to property. In some cases, where the driver of the vehicle has agreed to being clamped or towed because there was a contract term upon entry and they agreed to it by entering, then clamping or towing may be okay under contract law and defence to tort law (they agreed). In many cases, the court will not uphold this implied permission. Without actual or implied permission (which the court will uphold), dealing with someone else's car without their permission, even if they have parked illegally on your private property, is illegal. Two wrongs do not make a right.

In this case, call the police.
 

PatrickB

Member
15 June 2015
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I have a question from the opposite point of view i.e. the private property owner. I have a commercial premise and rent out a car parking space. If somebody else parks in that parking space and I can't clamp wheels or levy a fine, what rights do I have to protect my own private property against people parking without my permission? Thanks in advance.