Irish Times Property Clinic 14th day of April2022.
Publishing Date; Thursday the 14th day of April 2022.
Q I live in complex with some 30 or so apartments. There is an abandoned car in the carpark that is an eyesore. There is moss and rust growing on the car and it hasn’t been moved in over 12 months. Its tax and insurance have expired. The guards said that because it’s private property they cannot get involved. We don’t know if the owner still lives in the complex. How do we go about moving this car legally?
A. If the car is parked in an assigned space, the owner of that space may retain a vehicle at such location regardless of whether it is taxed and insured. It is their discretion to do so as it is their property on their property.
The owners’ management company (OMC) land is private and abandoned vehicles do not fall under the jurisdiction of a county council. The car owner must arrange for the “end-of-life vehicle” to be disposed of with a permitted scrap yard due to the nature of the many hazardous materials in a vehicle after which they will receive a certificate of destruction.
It is not uncommon for a property owner to vacate a property and rent it whilst keeping their car on site and then travel for an extended period either for leisure or remote working. It is also possible the owner may have become incapacitated due to ill health. If Section 8 (3) of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 (name/contact details etc) is not observed by the property owner, the OMC can find it very difficult to revert to them for a resolution. The onus is on the property owner to make their details known to the OMC.
A reasonable solution to an abandoned car stalemate not in an assigned space is to introduce the services of a parking enforcement company. Ample time should be permitted to this introduction allowing members to orientate themselves with the regulations of parking. The OMC when seeking the assistance of a parking enforcement company needs to be cognisant of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 and the Vehicle Clamping and Signage Regulations 2017.
A parking enforcement company will seek a written indemnity from the OMC for any claim against them for undertaking an instruction to display the required signage, tow the vehicle following failure to comply and store the vehicle until such time as the valuation of the vehicle is matched to the accumulated daily charge of storage. Once the vehicle value is matched to the storage costs it can then in theory be destroyed appropriately. The vehicle should be thoroughly inspected, and adequate records of contents made to address any claims for valuable contents at a later date.
Paul Huberman is a chartered property and facilities management surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 14/04/2022