Many people find that spring cleaning leads to the discovery of items that haven’t been used in years, but are still in good working order.
Does this sound familiar? If so, a garage sale may be the solution for decluttering your home, while making money as you go!
When you live in a strata property, holding a garage sale requires careful planning, but when approached correctly it can be very worthwhile. Here are a few points for you to be mindful of when organising a garage sale.
Location, Location, Location
Consider this question first: where do you intend to hold your garage sale?
As a lot owner you could think about hosting the garage sale from your apartment or unit, however this is not recommended. As Rob Polman from egaragesales.com.au states, ‘We’ve had people who’ve tried to hold a sale in their apartment, but we don’t recommend letting people inside because security is an issue’ (domain.com.au).
Therefore, lot owners may think about holding a garage sale on common property, which can include gardens, nature strips, passageways, or driveways. It is important to remember that all lot owners have an equal right to use the common property, and an individual lot owner is not permitted to prevent access for others.
All strata communities have their own rules regarding the use of common property, and these differ from complex to complex. Your knowledgeable strata manager will be able to advise on these rules, and help you understand what you must adhere to when holding a garage sale on common property.
A lot owner must then seek approval from their body corporate or owners corporation before hosting a garage sale. In Victoria, you must get written permission from the owners corporation to use the common property for your own purposes.
It is also important to note that there may be council permits that are required when hosting a garage sale, so it is worth checking with your local council for any permits that may apply.
Where visitors choose to park their cars can be a contentious issue, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the rules for visitor parking. In Victoria, for instance, the model rules for an owners corporation state that a lot owner or occupier must not permit a motor vehicle:
When advertising your garage sale, make sure to mention where guests can park their vehicles. This will give potential buyers the time to plan ahead, and ensure other lot owners are not inconvenienced. After all, your neighbours can be one of the biggest assets to a successful garage sale.
Consider your neighbours
Having close neighbours is one of the benefits of living within a connected strata community, but it is important to be mindful of how noise may affect other residents. Take the time to review your community bylaws and make a plan for limiting noise at your garage sale.
This could include ensuring that the garage sale is held as far away from your neighbour’s properties and windows as possible, or having signage posted that reminds people to keep the noise to a minimum. Don’t be afraid to politely intervene and ask your visitors to keep the noise down if things start getting a little loud.
You can also minimise the impact your garage sale will have on your neighbours by making every effort to ensure the common property is kept tidy, and cleaning away your items quickly once the sale has finished.
Discuss the sale with your neighbours before the big day arrives. You may find that your neighbours are keen to buy some of the items you are selling!
Keeping COVID safe
Monitoring the current COVID restrictions in your state is vital to planning a garage sale. The laws will differ across each state and territory, so be sure to check your relevant government website. For further information about restrictions, check out this useful link:
You should also be aware of the number of people who are allowed to attend your garage sale at one time, and do your best to ensure that there is enough space for everyone to keep a 1.5 metre distance (depending on your relevant state or territory of course!).
Should you need to cancel your garage sale due to COVID restrictions, you might consider hosting a virtual garage sale. Taking clear pictures and writing a concise description about each item is key, and payment can be arranged electronically.
Seeking further advice?
Ace has been engaged in strata title/body corporate management since 1995, and currently manages over 65,000 units. If you wish to discuss any strata community matters further with a knowledgeable Ace Body Corporate Manager, we are here to help. Get in contact with your local manager today.