Can You Have a Garage Sale on Strata Property?

Can You Have a Garage Sale on Strata Property?

July 24th, 2023

When your home is cluttered, you’re struggling for space, and you just want to do a big clear out – there’s nothing better than a good garage sale. It’s a sustainable and fun way to offload some of your unwanted items to a happy home and make some money in the process.

However, it’s not that simple for people living in Strata communities. While everyone would love to have their own private gardens, more than 30% of Australians live in strata properties with shared gardens and outdoor spaces. While residents can enjoy these spaces as their own, bylaws and rules limit what is possible. In some strata communities there are no issues hosting a garage sale, but in others it is frowned upon by residents or even illegal under the strata bylaws. A lack of clarity leaves residents in strata communities with a lot of uncertainty.

So, we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand if it is possible to host a garage sale on your property, where you are allowed to set up, and some best practices to follow if you’re living in a strata property in Australia.

Can You Have a Garage Sale on a Strata Property?

Can you have a garage sale on strata property?

On a national or state-wide basis (including here in South Australia), there is no overarching law governing whether you can or can’t have a garage sale on a strata property – it’s more nuanced and complex than that.

The Strata Titles Act of SA does provide overarching guidelines to strata properties, providing a roadmap on what is allowed and what is not. However, each strata community in Australia has their own unique set of articles or bylaws that ultimately will determine what is permissible.

Generally, residents within strata communities are allowed to use and enjoy the common property and spaces – as long as they are not causing any nuisance to other community members or damaging the property. So, from this, we could deduce that yes, if you can have a garage sale without disrupting others (or damaging the property) – it is possible to have a garage sale in a strata community in Australia.

Yet, before you do anything on common property (including a garage sale), you must fully understand the strata rules and bylaws within your property and seek approval from the Body Corporate or Strata Management Company.

The Role of the Body Corporate

The Body Corporate serves as the decision-making body in a strata scheme. It is up to this group to maintain a cohesive and harmonious living environment and resident satisfaction across the board. This committee will ultimately be responsible for whether you can have a garage sale or not.

So, if you are considering hosting a garage sale – you will need to seek approval from the Body Corporate, who will evaluate your proposal based on the strata bylaws. This body will assess your submission to determine if it will cause any disruption to other residents and to ensure it doesn’t compromise the communal living environment.

The Body Corporate will have the final say – so if you have their backing and understanding, you should have no issues with your garage sale. Let’s delve deeper into how you can make that happen.

The Strata by Laws

The strata articles or bylaws are a set of governing regulations within a strata scheme that influences so much of communal living – including the possibility of hosting a garage sale.

The bylaws will vary across different strata communities – but they will always provide individual owners with guidelines on how to use common property, their responsibilities as residents, and what is and is not allowed.

Therefore, strata articles or bylaws will be fundamental in your bid to host a garage sale in a strata community. Before anything, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with these documents – which might directly tell you if you can have a garage sale or not. If nothing in the articles or bylaws prevents you from hosting a garage sale, it’s time to approach the Body Corporate for approval.


How to Approach the Body Corporate to Seek Approval

Approaching body corporate to seek approval for a garage sale

As we mentioned, the Body Corporate will have the final say. So, when you’re seeking approval for a garage sale – you need to approach it respectfully and understand what’s required from you and them.

First things first – put in the preparation to study up on the articles or bylaws and what the guidelines are in the property, as it might save everyone some time! There may be information within the articles or bylaws about common spaces and hosting events, and you might even get information on garage sales.

Once you have studied the articles or bylaws, approach the Body Corporate, and initiate an open and honest dialogue. Be transparent about your intentions, timelines, and the details of your plans for the day. Reassure the committee that there will be no disturbance to other residents and clarify how you will achieve this.

Living in common spaces requires collaboration. Be prepared to adjust based on the committees’ feedback, be open in communicating with them, and agree to compromise where needed.

Best Practices for Holding a Garage Sale on a Strata Property

It’s a delicate balance trying to host a garage sale on a strata property without causing some disruption or at least raising some eyebrows among residents. However, executing it properly and acting with respect can be a win-win for everyone.

How to Set Up a Garage Sale in Strata Property

Once you have gotten the necessary approval from the Body Corporate, it’s time to start selling. Next, make sure you give other residents ample notice – people like to be aware of what is happening in the property, and it also helps you to make some sales!

When setting up the event, ensure it is well organised and minimise the space you use up. The last thing you want to do is cause any disruption or obstruct any common areas. Also, limit the time you spend selling to what is necessary and respect noise levels to avoid causing any disturbance. After the event, clean up promptly and leave the common area precisely as it was before.

Where to Set up a Garage Sale in a Strata Property

Deciding where to set up your garage sale in a strata property is crucial, and you must consider the impact your sale will have on fellow residents when making the final call. The ideal location will depend on your property’s strata articles or bylaws and what common spaces are available. Typically, strata properties will include several great communal spaces, including:

  • Large, open public spaces
  • Communal gardens
  • Wide passageways and spacious driveways

Every strata community also has several areas where a garage sale is prohibited. Typically, these areas include:

  • Spaces that block an entrance or pathway
  • Sites that pose a danger to other residents
  • Fire exits
  • Other residents’ private property or gardens
  • Any well-maintained gardens that would be damaged in the process
  • Anywhere that is impeding residents’ privacy

Understanding Your Liabilities 

Finally, ensure you are fully aware of your liabilities before the big day. Any damage to lawns, gardens, or infrastructure will be on you, and this type of situation will likely lead to repair costs for you and potentially a strain on relationships between residents within the community.

Always remember that a strata community is just that – a community. It thrives on mutual trust, courtesy, and respect for shared spaces. By following our advice above, you shouldn’t face any major issues or roadblocks, and you’ll be selling your wanted items before you know it.


Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of strata living can be complex, particularly when organising an event like a garage sale. If you’re considering hosting your first garage sale, ensure you understand the strata articles or bylaws, get the necessary approval, and treat the communal spaces and your fellow residents with respect. If you do all of this – you shouldn’t encounter any issues. While modern strata living is unique in many ways, it doesn’t mean you have to let go of traditional activities like garage sales – it simply requires more planning, collaboration, and communication.

At Strata Data, we are one of Adelaide and South Australia’s leading strata management companies, supporting over 1,300 corporations and 12,000 owners. As strata professionals, we simplify your strata living to maintain an efficient, harmonious, and enjoyable environment for all residents. If you live in a strata community in SA and you’re looking to leverage the expertise of a professional Body Corporate Manager to navigate the complexities of strata living, our team at Strata Data are here to help.