Which prevails – the OC rules or a licence over common property?

It is unusual for an Owners Corporation matter to make its way to the Court of Appeal but that is exactly what happened in Avranik Pty Ltd v Lloyd and ors [2013] VSCA 244. The case concerned the interpretation of a rule of the owners corporation and a licence granted pursuant to it for the use of a car parking space. The court held that the special rule providing for the allocation of car spaces by licence prevailed over the wording of the licence.

Although the specific nature of the wording of the relevant rule and the licences means the case has limited general application, the court provided a useful summary of the principles for interpreting the rules of the owners corporation and licence agreements.

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