Ask LH: Are Carport Entrances Classed As Public Driveways?

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Dear Lifehacker, I live in the Ipswich area of Queensland and am wondering if a driveway for a multi block of units is classed as a public driveway? The units each have a carport but there is only one driveway which is obviously shared by all residents. I am asking because a policeman has tried to tell me that as the units have a carport the driveway then becomes a public one. Is this right? Thanks, Margaret

Dear Margaret,

The driveway to a block of units is simply an egress/ingress point for motorists. Whether public or private, nobody should be using the driveway as a parking space. As we have explained in the past, it is illegal to block a driveway in a way that prevents or hampers access to the connecting property. This rule applies even when you are the property owner.

In Queensland, motorists are prohibited from parking in driveways except in the following circumstances:

  • you drive a bus and are dropping off or picking up passengers
  • you are dropping off or picking up passengers within 2 minutes of stopping
  • you do not leave the vehicle unattended

In other words, if non-residents (or annoying neighbours) are using the driveway to park their car, you are entitled to notify your local council. A few fines from parking inspectors and/or towed cars should see the problem clear up in no time.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    I can add to this (as someone who creates a lot of these in the South East Corner of Queensland)

    Townhouse Complexes (and by extension Apartment Buildings or any other complex that includes a Body Corporate) have internal roads (driveways) that are owned by the Body Corporate, and by extension, the people who own/live there.

    The Powers of the Police should stop at the property boundary, if they want to enforce "Road Rules" under the TORMA. The same goes for Council for the portion of the driveway that provides access from a constructed road to a property, including to Common Property which is usually the case for internal roads in Townhouse Complexes.

    The internal driveway then comes under the By-Laws of the Body Corporate. These are attached to the land by way of a Community Management Statement (CMS), or Building Management Statement (BMS) for Apartments, in which Council have signed off to allow these documents to be registered with the Titles Office.

    For the developments that I produce, in the CMS there is a few lines that are effectively "Rules" in relation to the use of the internal road way. These rules are usually about speed limits, advise that no owner (without Body Corporate Approval) cannot park or allow a vehicle to stand on Common Property, advise the owner that parking is only in designated areas, etc.

    Should someone obstruct the driveway (without Body Corporate Approval), the Body Corporate can have the vehicle removed.

    This should be typical of other developments and complexes out there, but each complex may have different rules and your results may vary.

    I am more curious over the context "Why was the police officer telling you this?"
    Was it out of the blue? Was their a trigger? An incident? A complaint?

    At the end of the day, common senses and don't upset your fellow tennants.
    That never ends well. Especially don't leave your vehicle unattended.

    There have been a lot of issues with people leaving their vehicles parked or unattended in "non-parking" areas on private/body corporate property and a neighbour backing into the vehicle (especially pushbikes and motorbikes). Insurance claims are a nightmare due to property and legal battles make good neighbours go feral faster than you can say "Sorry I didn't see it there"

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