Shared Driveways in Strata Properties: Rights & Rules

Shared Driveways in Strata Properties: Rights & Rules

May 23rd, 2023

Sharing driveways with other residents is a great way to save money when living in a strata community, but it’s essential to understand the rights and responsibilities that come with using them. If you live in a strata-managed community, you’ll likely have access to a shared driveway and a parking space or garage. Shared driveways in Australia can be either public or private. Regardless of which they are, driveway sharing comes with a set of rules that residents must follow – particularly when it comes to strata properties.

This article will dive into the shared driveway rules in Australia and explain what they are, how they work, and the rights and rules associated with using them.

What Are Shared Driveways?

A shared driveway is a driveway that residents of strata properties use to access their property. If you live in a strata property and own a car that you park there, you’ll use the driveway to access your parking spot or garage. However, as strata buildings are shared communities, you’ll share the driveway with the other residents in your community. Depending on the visitor parking regulations, you’ll also share the driveway with guests, and trades and services people, if required.

As a resident of a strata property, you are entitled to unrestricted, safe access to your parking spot and property. If any codes or remotes are needed to enter the property, residents should be provided with them. All residents who use the shared driveway have rights and responsibilities that are integral to keeping the property amicable, orderly, and accessible for themselves and others.

How Do Shared Driveways Work?

Strata communities and buildings are divided into lots, whether it’s a high-rise apartment building, a townhouse, or a community of villas. If you own a property in a strata community, you’ll own your home and potentially a parking space. Ownership comes with rules and responsibilities, so it’s essential to understand how shared driveways work and learn the shared driveway rules in Australia.

To get to your parking space, whether it’s an open lot or garage, you’ll follow a driveway. Shared driveways are essentially a right of way or carriageway. Having a shared driveway doesn’t necessarily mean that the ownership of the driveway is shared but rather that all eligible residents use the driveway for the sole purpose of accessing, entering, and leaving their own properties.

what are shared driveways?

Shared Driveway Rules in Australia

Each strata property will come with its own unique set of rules and guidelines set out by management to be adhered to by residents. However, for strata properties in Australia, it’s highly recommended that you follow the following tips and guidelines to avoid disputes, accidents, and fines:

  • Stick to the speed limit in the driveway and around the complex.
  • Before moving your vehicle, check your surroundings.
  • Don’t use other residents’ parking spots — only use your designated lot.
  • Don’t park on kerbs or verges — only use designated parking areas.
  • Never block or restrict access to other residents’ property or car area.
  • Children should be supervised when playing in common areas like driveways and parking lots.

In addition to following these general tips, be sure to check the rules set out by your building’s strata management, and always be considerate and courteous of others using the shared driveway. Strata Acts and Regulations may change and vary between different states in Australia, so if you’re unsure about your rights and rules, check the legislation about common properties as detailed in the by-laws available from your strata management company.

The benefits of shared driveways

Driveway sharing in Australia is a necessary element of strata living that can improve residents’ quality of life and convenience. Shared driveways come with the following benefits:

  • Regulation and order in strata communities.
  • Saved money on construction and maintenance costs.
  • Increased safety and security.
  • A sense of community.

Driveway sharing can be beneficial for all parties in strata communities as long as the rules and regulations are adhered to, and everyone upholds their responsibilities when using the shared driveway.

Disputes Over Shared Driveways

Shared driveways can, unfortunately, be a source of conflict between residents. Different residents may have different expectations about how the driveway should be used. Disputes may arise from these possible scenarios:

  • Some residents may want to park their cars in the driveway.
  • Residents may use parking spots allocated to visitors.
  • Residents may use more cars than there are parking spots.
  • Residents may park in other residents’ spots.
  • Vehicles too large for parking spots may obstruct passage.

If the resulting dispute cannot be resolved peacefully or satisfactorily, it may be necessary to impose fines or take legal action, which can be costly and time-consuming for those involved. That’s why it’s essential to have clear rules and regulations in place — and for all residents to adhere to them. If a dispute over shared driveways in a strata property occurs, resolving it quickly and amicably is important. Conflicts can be avoided by ensuring everyone — owners, residents, and visitors — understands their rights and responsibilities through clear by-laws and signs around the property.

benefits of shared driveways

How Strata Management Companies Can Help with Shared Driveways

Strata management companies and body corporate representatives can help to resolve disputes over shared driveways. They can also provide advice and guidelines on shared driveway rules so that all residents can access their properties and parking spaces safely and without any problems. Strata management is also responsible for repairing and maintaining shared driveways and common areas.

The body corporate may be able to have vehicles towed if they are found in violation of strata by-laws and rules; however, this process can take a long time, and they may not be able to tow a resident’s vehicle without following a formal process. That’s why it’s essential that all residents are made aware of the by-laws associated with driveway sharing in Australia — specific to the state or territory and the strata community.

Body corporate managers can provide residents with the relevant rules about the strata property, so if you need help understanding the by-laws of your complex, contact your strata management representative.

Managing Your Strata Property’s Shared Driveway

Understanding and adhering to the by-laws, rules, and regulations associated with shared driveways in strata communities is always important. It’s essential always to remain respectful of other residents who use shared driveways and work together with everyone involved to keep the driveway clean and safe for everyone in the community. If you’re unsure of what you can and can’t do in shared driveways, it’s always best to check with your strata manager or body corporate.

If you are part of a body corporate and have a strata property or community with a shared driveway in South Australia, consider engaging Strata Data to for seamless strata management in SA. We can help you keep your property’s shared areas in good condition, ensure strata compliance with all legal requirements and by-laws, and resolve any disputes over driveway sharing that may arise.