Car stacker is a term used in this document to describe a machine for the storage of motor vehicles. Their purpose is to provide more spaces for the storage of vehicles than conventional parking methods would provide.
The style of the stackers varies greatly but in most cases will resemble an elevator style of structure for a car. The machine enables 2 or more cars to be parked in the area of a single car space by raising or lowering one vehicle so subsequent vehicles may be parked above or below it.
Consideration must be given by the surveyor and developer when a strata scheme contains a car stacker. The plan should clearly indicate whether the machinery forms part of a particular lot or is common property. If it is common property consideration should be given to creating common property rights by-laws indicating which lots may use it and maintenance responsibilities.
There may be many factors to consider as to the status given to a car stacker:
- A stacker may wholly for the use of one lot to park two or more cars. In this case it would be logical that the machinery and the space it occupies is identified as part of the lot.
- A stacker may be for the use of two lots to park one car each. In this case the option could be to make the space occupied by the stacker common property and create common property rights by-laws in favour of the appropriate lots. Alternatively the area could be defined as two lots, one above the other and create appropriate easements to allow each lots use of the relevant part of the other lot.
It should be noted that a car stacker is not considered to be a permanent structure and lots should not be defined by reference to a car stacker.
The variables for the inclusion of car stackers in a strata scheme are unlimited. The above are just examples of the most basic situations. The main issues to be considered is giving the lot owners the right to park their cars legally and indicating if the machinery is common property or part of a lot. This should resolve any doubts regarding maintenance. Advice may be sought from the NSW LRS if there are any doubts regarding this subject.