Q: We are a residential block of 42 flats with our own private car park for around 20 cars. There has always been a “Disabled” parking space which was used by one of the original residents, who now has sadly passed away.
A question raised at our committee meeting yesterday was: “Do we have to have a designated disabled parking space?”
With parking being so limited for residents and parking being on a first come first served basis, do we have to allow the space for a designated disabled parking space? One of the committee members thought we may have to have one by law as we have more than 20 dwellings within the block. As the space would be seldom used it seem unfair to have so much of the space taken up and not used when there is such a shortage or parking for the whole block.
FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies:
I respond from a practical point of view, not a legal one. In simple terms there is no legal duty to provide a disabled bay unless your lease requires it, and from what I have read in your lease the parking spaces are allocated and available on a first come first serve basis with no restrictions on usage.
My advice would be it be unwise to allocate this as a disabled bay as you may well have more than one leaseholder with a disability and therefore could cause an unnecessary conflict. If, however, you decide you do want to reserve this bay for a disabled bay then you may well want to seek further advice from our lawyers about varying the lease to ensure that this is legally possible.
From what I interpret from your lease, your management company is responsible for maintaining a very limited number of spaces compared to the number of flats on the development, which is failing to meet the demand from the flat owners.
Your management company may want to as part of your duties use the services of a parking management company to manage this demand in a fair way by use of permits or other restrictions such as length of time for parking.
If you were to propose something like this again I suggest asking our lawyers to review your options under the terms of your lease.