How does your condo association handle parking? Does everyone have an assigned space or is it first-come-first-served? What are the rules about commercial vehicles or visitors?
If you are looking for the most common hot-button issue in any association, look no further than the parking lot. Questions often arise about where parking is prohibited, parking etiquette, abandoned vehicles, and commercial vehicles.
Before we begin examining these parking lot disputes, it is important to note that each state differs in its laws and restrictions regarding parking, especially when the parking area is within a city’s limits. The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), or the ruling documents in an association may include restrictions on types of vehicles that may be parked in the community. It is always wise to get to know these rules before buying into any community. It’s also the best document to consult when in the midst of a parking lot dispute.
What questions, comments, and criticisms are most common when dealing with parking lots? There are quite a few that can become sticky situations. Here are just a few that we have seen over the years.
Depending upon the community, there are different rules that dictate where owners can park their cars. In some communities, owners are assigned specific spots for their cars, and possibly for any visitors, they may have. Other communities have an open lot where owners may park anywhere. And still, others may actually have individual driveways for each unit. So, you can see the regulations would vary greatly.
Disputes may arise that a neighbor may be parked in the wrong spot or even in the wrong lot. In cases like this, which are fairly commonplace, a reminder can usually solve the problem. For multiple infractions, a board member may need to intervene and remind the community members of the regulations.
Parking locations can become a bit hairy when bad weather sets in for the winter or when plowing is being done. Parking spots may be numbered but hard to see due to salt or snow coverage. In these cases, a little patience and flexibility can go a long way to dealing with parking issues.
Most associations also have rules about certain types of vehicles that are not permitted. This could include larger vehicles like an RV, trailer, or camper. It could also include commercial vehicles with signage.
The idea behind regulating what types of vehicles are allowed is really designed to protect the beauty of the neighborhood and maintain a standard appearance for all properties. It is a good idea to consult the governing documents to see if there is an area of the community where these vehicles are permitted if that is your field of business.
To avoid having vehicles parked for extended amounts of time, many communities have rules about parking in a particular spot for longer than a specified amount of time, which could be 24 hours or something similar. The basis for this rule ensures that there are no abandoned vehicles in a lot.
Does your community have parking issues? How do you deal with them? Drop a comment below or check out our Facebook page for other common disputes in associations.