Are Car Stackers a Good Idea For Owners Corporations?

‘Are car stackers a good idea for owners corporations’, might be a question that a lot of new apartment owners and prospective apartment buyers may find themselves asking. Car stackers are sometimes utilised when space is limited as car stackers allow for vehicles to be stored on top of one another. Property developers may also elect to use car stackers as they have to comply with minimum parking requirements set by the council and it’s a lot cheaper than adding another basement level.

So, as you ask the question again, ‘Are car stackers a good idea for owners corporations?’ Car stackers and ‘car parking systems’ are certainly becoming more prevalent in new residential and commercial buildings, especially for new body corporate management buildings. Whether you’re planning to be an owner-occupier or investor it’s a good idea to consider the implications of having car stackers.

In this article, here are our thoughts to see if car stackers are a good idea for owners corporations:

  1. Annual Servicing Costs of Car Stackers
  2. Difficulties with Fair Allocation of Servicing Costs
  3. Training and Induction of Users and Guests
  4. Breakdown, Faults, and Parts
  5. What Happens When the Power is Out

car stackers

1. Annual Servicing Costs of Car Stackers

Car stackers in a building are much like having lifts in that with the machinery comes the regular servicing visits required by a technician. Depending on the car stacker unit and the number of vehicles that it houses, the servicing costs can range from thousands of dollars right up to tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Difficulties with Fair Allocation of Servicing Costs

It is the land surveyor who set-ups the plan of subdivision for a new owners corporation as well as allocating the lot liabilities – sometimes they don’t get it right when it comes to car stackers.

We had a client in Brunswick whereby all the lot owners (i.e. the owners corporation) was responsible for the servicing costs of the car stacker even though not all owners used it or accessed to it.

This became an issue for the owners who didn’t have a car space or had a car space not in the car stacker unit. Their owners corporation manager (appointed by the developer) was out of their depth on this issue as they were predominantly a residential real estate agency.

The Committee, after going through our strata consulting services and changing owners corporation management companies, were able to derive a suitable solution in conjunction with their new manager to remedy the issue.

3. Training and Induction of Users and Guests

New owner-occupiers, tenants, and short-stay guests have to be properly trained and inducted. Without training, the users of the car stacker unit can actually be the ones who create the issues. It’s actually quite surprising the number of stories we’ve heard about the car stacker units being damaged by someone new to the building, whether someone accidentally drives into the unit, or otherwise does something (potentially preventable) to break the thing.

4. Breakdown, Faults, and Parts

Like any piece of machinery, car stackers can break down, and sometimes, given they’re still not a ‘mass market’ item in Australia, parts can take a long time to obtain.

The other issue that has been common is that a lot of the manufacturers are overseas companies that don’t yet have a strong local presence.

5. What Happens When the Power is Out

The other common issue that we’ve heard from owners in residential and commercial owners corporation is the issue of trying to retrieve your vehicle when the power is out. Owners have the option of paying an electrician a few hundred dollars to come out and retrieve the vehicle.

To learn if Car Stackers are a Good Idea for Owner Corporations in Victoria? Visit Strata Management Consultants today. They are Melbourne strata specialists in not only advising and guiding Committees on how to change strata managers but have also carefully vetted every management company we work with. Find out more about the value of having a Strata Consultant working for you here, or feel free to contact us at 1300-917-848  or via email at office@strataconsultants.com.au.
 
 

The contents of this article or website are only intended to provide a general overview of the topics discussed. The author of this article makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information and the information is not intended to constitute investment, legal or professional advice. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content. This article does not contain references to any specific company, organisation or individual, unless expressly specified.
Posted
April 28, 2023
Contributed by
David Lin
Director at Strata Management Consultants ™
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