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More Tri-Cities parking stall woes surface in new condos, lawyer offers advice

Put your parking space needs into your presales contract to avoid getting stuck with a bad parking stall, says Vancouver lawyer, after Port Moody condo buyers complain about being stuck with 'unusable' parking stall.
Small parking stall in Port Moody condo
This tiny parking stall assigned to the owners of a new Port Moody condo is too small to use, they say.

There may be a solution for buyers of presale condos who want to avoid being stuck with a useless parking stall.

Write your needs directly into your contact, suggests a Vancouver lawyer.

Kenneth Pazder of Pazder Law Corporation told the Tri-City News it's possible to prevent a parking problem later by early intervention.

He was responding to the concerns of a Port Coquitlam couple who purchased a presale condo in Port Moody, only to find they had been given an 'unusable' parking stall.

The stall, located in The Grande at Suter Brook Village in Port Moody, was too narrow, according to city bylaws.

As reported in the Tri-City News, the couple ended up purchasing an electric vehicle parking stall, the only standard-sized space offered, but had to shell out an additional $7,500.

"We always advise clients making offers on presales to put in terms related to the parking stalls," stated Pazder.

Put parking space into presales contract

For example, if the purchaser was to receive two stalls the offer would say:

"Notwithstanding any term in the contract of purchase and sale or the Disclosure Statement as amended, upon completion the purchaser will have the exclusive use of two full sized, side by side, unobstructed parking stalls by way of long-term lease (which is how most parking stalls are now assigned)."

Pazder said, without that type of clause in the offer, the purchaser "takes the risk of getting a mini stall or one obstructed by a vent or other structure. 

"Most realtors who don't routinely deal with presale purchases are unaware of the problem until it happens to one of their clients," he further stated.

It appears it's not unusual for purchasers of presale condos to get assigned a parking spot that is not suitable for their car.

Frank Devine had a similar story with a recent presale in Port Coquitlam, which he recounted to the Tri-City News.

"When we viewed our home for a walk through, we were not permitted to view our parking stall," Devine said.

"We didn’t think twice about this at the time, but when we picked up the keys to move in and viewed our assigned parking stall, we were disappointed to see we had a 'small car stall' that fails to meet Port Coquitlam bylaws."

Big price for condo, small parking space

The assigned stall is beside a pole, and 10 cm narrower than what the bylaw allows. 

In some cases, the larger stalls are being kept to entice new buyers into the building while those who have already purchased are left with the smaller spaces

"To add insult to injury, the developer is planning to sell regular sized stalls that are currently being used for workers. We have asked him to swap our too small stall for a regular one, and he has refused," Devine said.

In a photo provided, Devine's average-sized Mazda SUV has very little clearance in his space, which is next to a pole.

"We feel developers should have to disclose the size of the stall prior to purchase," Devine wrote..

"Surely, a small car stall is not worth as much as a regular sized one. And surely, when you spend a fortune on a condo with a parking stall, you are entitled to something that will fit a standard car."