Sign up for exclusives

As we know in bodies corporate, the three P’s of constant pain are Pets, Parking and Parties.

Whilst legislation to allow a Committee to tow a vehicle (in certain circumstances) has received asset – it is yet to become enforceable law – leaving many Committees in a holding pattern over what to do with recalcitrant occupiers.

One Committee recently tested the waters and received a favour outcome in the form of an Adjudicator’s declaration that the decision to tow a grey BMW left on the common property would not be unreasonable.

The important facts of the case are as follows:

  • The vehicle was left in a visitor car parking space from about December 2022;
  • The scheme’s caretaker put a sign on the vehicle seeking its removal and the sign sat there for 3 weeks – vehicle was not disturbed;
  • The caretaker rang local police to check whether the vehicle was of interest to the police and was advised it was not;
  • In February 2023 the Committee wrote to all owners and had notes stuck under the doors of each unit at the scheme to flush out the vehicle’s owner – no response and the vehicle remained in its parking spot;
  • In May 2023 the Committee noted the vehicle had been damaged;
  • In May 2023 the vehicle’s registration was checked and found to have lapsed;
  • The Committee lodged its application for a declaration to allow it to tow the vehicle in May of 2023 and the decision was handed down in November 2023;

Relevantly – the adjudicator’s rather qualified order was as follows:

“It would not be unreasonable for the Body Corporate or its Committee to resolve to engage a suitably licenced towing contractor to remove the grey BMW sedan with registration plate 263 AVL from common property”

And the adjudicator was at pains to point out it was incumbent for the Committee to seek legal advice and that the body corporate may be liable should the vehicle be damaged in the course of being towed.

The complete case can be found here: