Irish Times Property Clinic 17th day of February 2022.
Publishing Date; Thursday the 17th day of February 2022.
Q I own an apartment with two designated underground parking spaces and would like to sell one. I have checked this, and it is possible to sell one and retain the other with the apartment. I have contacted a couple of local estate agents to advise that I would be happy to sell one to an existing owner or new purchaser, as most apartments have only a single space allocated. This has not generated any enquiries.
I think that parking spaces must be owned by apartment owners only, but am not certain of this. My apartment is in south Dublin and slightly away from main travel corridors, shops etc, so the space would really only be of interest to an apartment owner. Are there any specialist companies who may deal in such sales?
A. A standard head lease for a residential owners’ management company (OMC) would state that car park spaces are for private motor vehicles only. It will be difficult for the OMC to enforce breaches of this condition, both in terms of the lease and planning permission.
Let’s say the space is sold. If a commercial vehicle is then parked in it, the owner of that vehicle would not be bound by the terms of the lease prohibiting this, as they would not be a member of the OMC.
The insurance broker for the development would need to be informed that third parties will be on site, and the nature of the public liability for the residential development will need to accommodate a third party accessing the development for the purposes of parking in a space held in private ownership outside the lease structure of the OMC. This would also be the case for the block policy, in the event that the vehicle caused damage such as fire or smoke.
There could be some resistance from members of the OMC to this arrangement which could lead to higher premiums. In addition, any delays, or failures to pay the annual insurance on the part of the new space owner – as well as actions to address such shortcomings – could result in further costs. The matter of recovering service charges associated with a parking space held by a third party will also prove difficult.
Communication to parties who are not members of your OMC could prove to be onerous for the agent or the self-managed board of directors. Such complications would arise around practical issues for access control measures such as fob replacements or telephone number updates. It is likely that an OMC would not be obliged to sell a car park fob to an individual who is not a member, or to advise them of changes to the access control.
An alternative solution might be to sell the space to the OMC, and that option could be discussed at an agm. It may wish to use the space as a visitor space or apply to convert the space for a change of use to a secure bike facility or as a waste facility area for recently launched services such as compost bins, etc.
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: 17/02/2022