One of the most common misunderstandings that we see in the condo industry is parking. Most people have an idea of if a specific unit comes with parking or not, but the different distinctions of parking can mess people up a bit.
We have heard of many buyers that were surprised to find out that the parking stall they thought they had with their unit was actually changed when they moved in. Let's go over the four main types of parking.
1. Common Property Parking
This is by far the most common type of parking we see out in the field. Common Property means that the Strata Corporation owns it. As opposed to Limited Common Property (below), the strata can delegate the parking stalls as they see fit. In buildings that do not have enough parking for every unit, this can matter greatly. In buildings that have different types of parking stalls (for example, some covered, some open), you may not get the preferred stall if there is a waitlist. Basically, the parking stall that is with the unit when you buy is NOT guaranteed to be the stall you get (if you even get one at all) when you move in.
2. Limited Common Property
The second most common type of parking is Limited Common Property (LCP). This is also common property, meaning the Strata Corporation owns it, but the parking stall is designated for the exclusive use of a strata lot. That means that if the unit you are looking to buy has a LCP parking stall, the stall that is listed will be the stall you receive when you buy. The main difference between LCP parking and the stall being part of your strata lot (below) is that the strata still owns and has a duty to maintain your parking stall when it is LCP.
Note: This type of parking is also open to changes in the strata plan, but that's beyond the scope of this article.
3. Part of Strata Lot
When parking is part of your strata lot, the parking stall is your property (as opposed to the property of the Strata Corporation in the examples above). That means that the stall can never be taken away from you by someone else. This is by far the most secure means of parking. It is also your responsibility to maintain the stall as it is no longer part of the strata corporation. This type of parking is not as common as (1) and (2) in Victoria.
4. Developer Lease
This form of parking has increased in popularity over the past 10 years. Basically, the developer leases out all the parking stalls individually when the building is built. Each unit (if it comes with parking) gets a sub-lease on a parking stall. By creating these "leases," it gives the owner flexibility on whether or not to sell their parking stall. With the other forms of parking, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to sell your parking stall to another owner in the building. With these leases, it's as simple as signing the lease over to another unit.
Most times, when a property sells, the lease automatically transfers over to the next owner. But there are usually no restrictions on the owner selling the parking stall separate from the unit. If the property you are interested in has leases parking, you are going to want to see the lease BEFORE removing conditions, and will likely want to add in some language on the contract to ensure you are getting the stall.
There are a few other types of parking, but these are the main ones we see around Victoria on a daily basis. Working with a condo specialist can help save you time, money, and heartache down the road, so please don't hesitate to call us if you are looking to buy!
Mike and Kaley