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Subject: what should be my first step? apparent rule not being enforced
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PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/17/2018 4:55 AM  
Im new here and new to living in a HOA. My convenants say garages are to be used for parking cars. Not storing junk, refriderators etc. Many renters and owners are not following this. Since Im new to this I figured I'de start by asking what I should do first. thanks a bunch.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


07/17/2018 5:09 AM  
Go to your board meetings. Get involved. Volunteer to be the enforcer...

Former HOA President
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:138


07/17/2018 6:28 AM  
How do you know the rules are not being enforced? Just because a violation is still present doesn't mean efforts haven't been made to resolve it. I am an HOA manager. When I send a violation letter, one of 4 things will happen.

1) the violation is cured
2) the homeowner asks for more time to comply
3) the homeowner completely ignores the letter
4) the homeowner calls me and screams at me and threatens to shoot me if they ever see me in front of their property again.

1 and 3 are the most common, fortunately #4 only happens a few times a year. But please know, if a homeowner refuses to comply, the HOA has limited options. Fines or lawsuits, basically. Fines can be ignored (in my state, you can't file a lien for unpaid fines and must apply any payments received to dues first) and lawsuits are very expensive.

RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/17/2018 7:01 AM  
Paul

Does your CCRs specifically state that garages are used exclusively for parking cars? Does it have a section specifically stating no junk, no refrigerators, etc.? I have read my share of governing documents and have never seen the junk prevision, but, hey, I could be wrong.

A provision parking vehicles in garages has to do generally with a community lacking outside parking spaces.

If you feel they are not enforced, you have a couple of options. One, run for the board and get a majority of board members that are willing to enforce the CCRs they way you want. two, enforce the CCRs on your own and on your own dime. Your CCRs will have that clause in it for you.

You wouldn't want to see my garage, but then I don't have restrictions where I live. You tend to have more crap with more kids and getting older. Just a fact of life.
TimM11


Posts:235


07/17/2018 7:25 AM  
What is the impact of people not following this rule? We technically have this in my HOA too, but the reality is that it's not enforced unless it becomes an issue with parking (residents are only allowed to park in garages or driveways; street parking for guests only). So, if someone has a garage full of stuff but only parks in their driveway, it's very unlikely we'd do anything about it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/17/2018 8:15 AM  
Welcome to the forum, Paul. I think I'd like a little more info about your situation.

With others, is this is a problem concerning street parking?

Or is it you don't like seeing the junk in the garages when their doors are open?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


07/17/2018 3:49 PM  
Ya remember that HOA recently that made it mandatory everyone keep their garages OPEN during the day? That went over like a brick. Guess there was an illegal family (Not in Illegal aliens) living in a garage. The HOA found out and made everyone keep their garage doors open to make sure there was no one else renting out their garage space...

So be careful what you wish for. Many HOA's have this rule but never really enforce it. It's just kind of a violation of personal space and use of the one's home.

Former HOA President
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/17/2018 8:01 PM  
Ill try to answer your questions in the order they appear. first im in california, and efforts have been made, a letter persuading people to park in their garage was taped to the community mail box. And the impact is this. each family has two spaces in their garage and two spaces in their driveway, yet these people prefer to park their cars in front of my house. So the problem is our neighborhood street looks like a car lot. here is what the ccr says: garages may be used for storage purposes so long as such use does not prevent vehicles from being parked in the garage. I've read about no waiver clauses and relinquishment of rights. I havent found out if my hoa has a no waiver clause. I can become a board member next week, but If I become a board member would I lose my right{standing} to sue the board in small claims court? so hopefully you can advise me on my first step, if you have more questions please ask and thanks
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/17/2018 8:12 PM  
I represented an HOA in Small Claims dealing with the exact same thing. You will lose. Sorry. The space in front of your house is NOT your space, it is either public or it is common area. Unless the Association specifically spelled out parking rules, you don't have standing.
HomE
(Washington)

Posts:29


07/17/2018 11:12 PM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/17/2018 4:55 AM
Im new here and new to living in a HOA. My convenants say garages are to be used for parking cars. Not storing junk, refriderators etc. Many renters and owners are not following this. Since Im new to this I figured I'de start by asking what I should do first. thanks a bunch.




Report this to the property manager.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4168


07/18/2018 12:00 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 07/17/2018 8:12 PM
I represented an HOA in Small Claims dealing with the exact same thing. You will lose. Sorry. The space in front of your house is NOT your space, it is either public or it is common area. Unless the Association specifically spelled out parking rules, you don't have standing.


Agree ... Richard hit the nail on the head for California.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:548


07/18/2018 3:37 AM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/17/2018 8:01 PM
Ill try to answer your questions in the order they appear. first im in california, and efforts have been made, a letter persuading people to park in their garage was taped to the community mail box. And the impact is this. each family has two spaces in their garage and two spaces in their driveway, yet these people prefer to park their cars in front of my house. So the problem is our neighborhood street looks like a car lot. here is what the ccr says: garages may be used for storage purposes so long as such use does not prevent vehicles from being parked in the garage. I've read about no waiver clauses and relinquishment of rights. I havent found out if my hoa has a no waiver clause. I can become a board member next week, but If I become a board member would I lose my right{standing} to sue the board in small claims court? so hopefully you can advise me on my first step, if you have more questions please ask and thanks




Does it say anything about street parking for residents or guests?
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 4:30 AM  
I won't be raising a complaint about the common area in front of my house. I figure if everyone parks inside their garage that should go most of the way to removing cars from the street. Other parking rules are mentioned: autos must be parked properly within the project to ensure the following, access to living units by emergency vehicles, adequate parking for visitors, pedestrian and vehicle safety, preserving the aesthetic quality of project. I also noticed that the hoa does have a no waiver clause. Im still not sure if my joining the board would help or hurt my attempt to have this addressed. If there are other questions please ask thanks
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 4:36 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 07/17/2018 8:12 PM
I represented an HOA in Small Claims dealing with the exact same thing. You will lose. Sorry. The space in front of your house is NOT your space, it is either public or it is common area. Unless the Association specifically spelled out parking rules, you don't have standing.



did this hoa state that garages are to be used for parking etc. similiar to what I have quoted from my documents? My complaint is that people are using their garages for storage purposes that does prevent vehicle(s) from being parked in the garage.
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 4:48 AM  
the documents also state that guest may be permitted to park on the street.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:138


07/18/2018 8:01 AM  
Do you live in a gated community? It's virtually impossible for an HOA to enforce rules against street parking unless you have a gated community and the streets are private property.

How do you propose to track down the owners of these vehicles?

How do you propose to enforce these parking rules?

How do you propose to force people to clean out their garages?

What do you think the Board could do that they are currently not doing?

What do you think a lawsuit against your HOA would do to immediately solve the problem of people parking on the street near your house?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/18/2018 8:30 AM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/18/2018 4:36 AM
Posted By RichardP13 on 07/17/2018 8:12 PM
I represented an HOA in Small Claims dealing with the exact same thing. You will lose. Sorry. The space in front of your house is NOT your space, it is either public or it is common area. Unless the Association specifically spelled out parking rules, you don't have standing.



did this hoa state that garages are to be used for parking etc. similiar to what I have quoted from my documents? My complaint is that people are using their garages for storage purposes that does prevent vehicle(s) from being parked in the garage.



You don't have a parking issue IF only one person speaks out. If the Association, not just you, perceive there is a parking issue, then they could consider writing parking rules, then you could legally enforce the garage issue.

Where I used to live, we had a similar issue. We were 317 detached homes with 12 private streets. two thirds of the homes had wider fronts which allowed for more cars to park on the street, while the other third was limited. One street had a lot of renter and thus a lot of cars. we had some homes with 7 registered cars. Parking was a mess. The CCRs gave the association the authority to create parking rules. There were no specifics about garage storage, but we had authority to create the rules for parking on the street. We created a scenario where each unit could park one car on the private street. If you had three cars, two had to be either in the garage or driveway. If you had 4 cars, 3 on your property, one in the street, 5 cars, two in the garage, two in the driveway. More than 5, excess cars had to parking on a street we could designate for parking that didn't have driveways. You had to walk a bit, but we solved a problem. Did everyone like it, NOPE, but it met the legal standards.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/18/2018 1:22 PM  
If you're cited your CC&Rs (covenants) exactly right, Paul, residents must park in their driveways or on the street.

Paul wrote: "Other parking rules are mentioned: autos must be parked properly within the project to ensure the following...adequate parking for visitors... preserving the aesthetic quality of project." Is this in your convents too, Paul, or in some rules??

Either way, it appears your Board isn't enforcing your conveants & rules. Since you're in CA, you may express your dissatisfaction with the repaired violations of your convents and rules at the open forum required by AC for board meetings.

OR, you can write to the board and ask them to place this problem on the next board meeting agenda and discuss a solution. How often does the board meet, Paul? do you have a proerpty mgr. who's supposed to enforce the rules & covenants?

Does your HOA have a Schedule of Fines?? The Board cannot call an owner to a hearing and fine them $x/day for the time their garages don't accommodate their cars if there is no Schedule of Fines. I think this schedule must be sent out to Owners every year with the annual letter about your HOA's budget.

So trying to get the Board to deal with the violations is your first step. If you know of other neighbors troubled by these violations, get them to come to board meeting with you to also speak during open forum.

There were also other steps to take before you ever should consider small claims court. Please visit davis-stirling.com re: the steps needed to fine Owners in violations of the rules, and other related topics: mediation &b arbitration, for instance. This site is compiled by an CA HOA law firm and is very valuable
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 1:28 PM  
this is not a gated community, but it is a private road. I don't understand why the HOA would state what they do about garages, and not be able to enforce said rule????? this makes zero sense. Im not interested in making street parking an issue, if people empty their garages they won't have a reason to park outside.
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 1:38 PM  
Kerry those parking rules are also in our ccrs. thanks for the tips, does anyone happen to know if I become a board member would I lose my right to seek legal action? thanks
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 1:43 PM  
and yes the hoa does have schedule of fines
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:138


07/18/2018 1:52 PM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/18/2018 1:28 PM
this is not a gated community, but it is a private road. I don't understand why the HOA would state what they do about garages, and not be able to enforce said rule????? this makes zero sense. Im not interested in making street parking an issue, if people empty their garages they won't have a reason to park outside.





If the HOA owns the road, they might be able to tow cars. An HOA can't tow from a public street, that's why I asked.


Any HOA rule is a challenge to enforce, unless the Association is willing to and can afford to spend lots of money on legal fees.

It sounds so easy to say "the board should enforce the rule". But it's actually very difficult to force people to do something they do not want to do.

Let's say the Board begins vigorously enforcing this rule. First - how do you know the garages are full? Just because cars are parked outside? Is someone going to go door to door and ask owners to show their garages to the Board? What if they refuse? Is a Board going to wait in the street to catch a glimpse when it's open?

But let's say yes, the Board is able to see that the garage is full of stuff and they send a violation letter, but the homeowner refuses to comply. Then what? Does your HOA have a fining policy? Let's say that they do, and they start levying fines. But the owner still refuses to comply or pay the fines. Then what?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/18/2018 3:48 PM  
Paul has already written that his HOA has a Schedule of Fines.

And assuming that the Board or Mgmt. Co. (MC) keeps a list of residents' cars, it's fairly easy to know if residents aren't parking in their garages or driveways.

If the cars aren't placed in the driveway or garage, per the covenants, the fines begin after due process. If the Fine Schedule permits, the fines can be doubled if the violation isn't cured in a certain period of time. If the car owners refuse to comply, Paul's CC&Rs can removed common area privileges and voting rights, etc. We find these methods to be very effective in our HOA.

We still. imo, don't know enough about Paul's HOA, if it has an MC, the responsiveness of the Board, how often it meets, etc. part of this is because Paul is new there.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/18/2018 7:17 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/18/2018 3:48 PM
Paul has already written that his HOA has a Schedule of Fines.

And assuming that the Board or Mgmt. Co. (MC) keeps a list of residents' cars, it's fairly easy to know if residents aren't parking in their garages or driveways.

If the cars aren't placed in the driveway or garage, per the covenants, the fines begin after due process. If the Fine Schedule permits, the fines can be doubled if the violation isn't cured in a certain period of time. If the car owners refuse to comply, Paul's CC&Rs can removed common area privileges and voting rights, etc. We find these methods to be very effective in our HOA.

We still. imo, don't know enough about Paul's HOA, if it has an MC, the responsiveness of the Board, how often it meets, etc. part of this is because Paul is new there.



Do you know what the schedule of fines is used for? Do they actually have a Parking Policy or Parking Rules. Just because the CCRs state garages are to be used for the storage mean absolutely nothing, UNLESS there is some actionable penalty for not doing so.

I have handled many associations over the years and while we do collect information on vehicles, its not mandatory. Never had the man power to do such. You may, but then you have a onsite manager, with assistants(s), and your parking is within a confined area.

Parking issues, from my experience, arise in the evening time, when people get off work and all cars are generally back on the property. Who is going to patrol the streets to determine who is a resident and who might be a guest. You need stickers or placard for that.

Because of posting rules we don't allow HOA names, thereby not being to find some of the information on our own.
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2018 8:12 PM  
Ok thanks everyone, Ill bring this up at the next meeting and go from there.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4168


07/18/2018 9:20 PM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/18/2018 1:28 PM
this is not a gated community, but it is a private road. I don't understand why the HOA would state what they do about garages, and not be able to enforce said rule????? this makes zero sense. Im not interested in making street parking an issue, if people empty their garages they won't have a reason to park outside.


If you are a “Private Road” which the HOA maintains and not the local government ... then the HOA can regulate “Private Property” which could include the roads. Do your HOA assessments cover maintaining the private road???
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/19/2018 4:00 AM  
I know they have been talking about fixing some bumps in the road.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:548


07/19/2018 4:37 AM  
JMO I think it's going too far to force people to park in their garages. If they want to use their own driveway, I would not view that as a problem.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/19/2018 8:09 AM  
Looks like the can use their driveways, Jennifer.

Yes, Paul, Richard's elaboration is that the schedule of fines does need to state fines for that violation.

Determining the cars' owners probably is not difficult for Paul in his area and if others find this violation limits their visitors from parking in front of their homes, they probably can identify them too.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:548


07/19/2018 8:17 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/19/2018 8:09 AM
Looks like the can use their driveways, Jennifer.

Yes, Paul, Richard's elaboration is that the schedule of fines does need to state fines for that violation.

Determining the cars' owners probably is not difficult for Paul in his area and if others find this violation limits their visitors from parking in front of their homes, they probably can identify them too.




OK, well Paul is stuck on them using their garages.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:548


07/19/2018 8:18 AM  
Posted By PaulB14 on 07/18/2018 1:28 PM
this is not a gated community, but it is a private road. I don't understand why the HOA would state what they do about garages, and not be able to enforce said rule????? this makes zero sense. Im not interested in making street parking an issue, if people empty their garages they won't have a reason to park outside.




...
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/19/2018 9:40 AM  
Paul wrote: " each family has two spaces in their garage and two spaces in their driveway, yet these people prefer to park their cars in front of my house."

It's the rule that residents' cars must not use spaces normally meant for visitors.

Since there are any steps t you can take, Paul, before you consider some sort of legal means, why not get on the Board? But first you might want to see the current composition, try to determine if you can work with them, etc. What size is the Board?
PaulB14
(California)

Posts:11


07/19/2018 2:58 PM  
4 or 5 people
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/19/2018 3:31 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/19/2018 9:40 AM
Paul wrote: " each family has two spaces in their garage and two spaces in their driveway, yet these people prefer to park their cars in front of my house."



Unless there is a specific rule that says they can't, they will and can.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


07/19/2018 4:12 PM  
Paul wrote: "here is what the ccr says: garages may be used for storage purposes so long as such use does not prevent vehicles from being parked in the garage."

Paul also wrote:" Other parking rules are mentioned: autos must be parked properly within the project to ensure the following, access to living units by emergency vehicles, adequate parking for visitors, pedestrian and vehicle safety, preserving the aesthetic quality of project."

And, he wrote: "the documents also state that guest may be permitted to park on the street."

I can't tell what else Richard wants, Paul. Maybe he wants the exact quotation. And maybe he wants the wording of the fining schedule about this covenant and the parking rules.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


07/19/2018 4:30 PM  
Actually, I don't need anything. I don't have the problem with people parking in front of my house.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16201


07/21/2018 8:12 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/17/2018 6:28 AM
How do you know the rules are not being enforced? Just because a violation is still present doesn't mean efforts haven't been made to resolve it. I am an HOA manager. When I send a violation letter, one of 4 things will happen.

1) the violation is cured
2) the homeowner asks for more time to comply
3) the homeowner completely ignores the letter
4) the homeowner calls me and screams at me and threatens to shoot me if they ever see me in front of their property again.

1 and 3 are the most common, fortunately #4 only happens a few times a year. But please know, if a homeowner refuses to comply, the HOA has limited options. Fines or lawsuits, basically. Fines can be ignored (in my state, you can't file a lien for unpaid fines and must apply any payments received to dues first) and lawsuits are very expensive.





If more Boards and members understood this, it would make things much easier for those who have to enforce.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8133


07/21/2018 6:22 PM  
Barbara's post are real life posts. Kind of like so OK you are right but what can be done? In SC we can lien for unpaid fines but not foreclose for such thus not the ultimate punishment.
DavidJ17
(Florida)

Posts:29


02/27/2019 4:00 AM  
Richard mentioned something that wasn't really talked about. Unless I interpreted it wrong.
"You tend to have more crap with more kids".... How many people with kids have moved into a Condo or HOA with parking limitations? You bring 3 kids with you. They turn 16-17. They all get their own car. Where can they park?
DavidJ17
(Florida)

Posts:29


02/27/2019 4:00 AM  
Richard mentioned something that wasn't really talked about. Unless I interpreted it wrong.
"You tend to have more crap with more kids".... How many people with kids have moved into a Condo or HOA with parking limitations? You bring 3 kids with you. They turn 16-17. They all get their own car. Where can they park?
DavidJ17
(Florida)

Posts:29


03/12/2019 7:05 PM  
How long ago was your Condo built? Mine was built 30 years ago, and it's almost impossible to keep the same bylaws today as there were 30 years ago. Things are different today. 30 years ago, our bylaws said the speed limit was 5mph.
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