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Subject: Parking Rules
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JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/14/2021 6:26 PM  
Hi,

Parking Rules - I am sure this subject comes up a lot. I am the condo President of a small condo with 10 units. Everyone has two assigned spaces, four units have two spaces in the garage and six units have one space in the garage and one space outside. I am mainly concerned with the outside spaces, which include 6 owner spaces and one visitor space.

Everyone pretty much follows the parking rules and parks in their own space except one unit that is being rented to four adults. They also take four parking spaces including their two assigned spaces, the only visitor space and one owner space that is not assigned to them. The owner has not yet complained. However, I am not crazy about these two cars permanently adopting the only visitor spot on the property and the another owner spot that doesn't belong to them. Bad behavior just breeds more bad behavior.

What can I do to prevent them from parking in the visitor space? And can I prevent them from parking in another owners space without a complaint from that owner?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4296


05/14/2021 7:10 PM  
It may be they have some sort of agreement with the other owner regarding that space, so unless he/she complains, stay out of it. Even then, the residents should try to work it out among themselves - it's faster and the board should only get involved if these people try to monopolize other spaces.

Which is why you might be able to address the visitor spot. If that spot is first come, first served there may not be much you can do, unless you change the rules to state no vehicle can remain there longer than X hours. And that could create a problem - what if the visitor is a contractor hired by the association to do something?

Is there street parking available? If so, you may need to send these people a letter stating the visitor spot is reserved for - visitors, so if they can figure out a way to share the two assigned spaces they do have, they'll just have to park on the street.

One more thing - is there any common area that might be converted into more parking spots - even three might help, and you can still establish the same rule regarding limiting the time any vehicle can stay there. My cousin's condo has a rule that all the cars have to move within 12 hours, so it's expected that you would leave every day (or evening) and then come back and park if a spot is available. If you stay all day and you're not in your garage or assigned space, you have a problem.

If these people blow you off, you'll have to look at fines, which is another drama in itself. So is towing. So...why not poll the owners to see if they think there's a parking issue and if so, what are they most concerned about and offer suggestions on how to resolve it? It may you're the only one who's bugged by this, in which case it may be best to wait until there is a problem.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


05/15/2021 12:07 PM  
Jim

Your BOD is going to have to come up with a set of Rules and Regulations (R&Rs) concerning parking. R&Rs that include fines and towing and publish it to all owners. Fines should escalate for recurring offenses no matter the time frame between violations.

While towing is a last/drastic action, it is something that has to be said.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/15/2021 4:29 PM  
Your Board really does need to create some rules, procedure for hearings, which might be in some sort of CN state statutes? And fines.

We have some Visitor Parking spaces and residents may not park in them at all. If they did, we'd probably go the hearing route first and fine them. We'd explain in the letter inviting them to hearing that the fine will double at each future offense. If they persist in breaking the rules, yes, sure, have them towed and continue with fines. You'd need to follow all the rules about towing in your municipality, e.g., signage, etc.

If your CC&Rs Bylaws permit your HOA to remove privileges, you also could withhold VP spa. private. for a month or so.

Wit sheila, is there street parking? Or is street parking nearby?

I also wonder if your Visitor space gets much use. I assume it's first come, first served? I can't think of a good way to limit how it long it's used by visitor. I'd say it depends on how much it's used. I'd poll your Owners about that one.

If the owner of the space that these guys use does not object to them parking there, there is nothing the HOA can do. If she does object and your have a proper towing procedure, she, as the space owner, would call for the tow.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1469


05/16/2021 6:48 AM  
Like everyone else said, your boars is going to have to establish some parking rules for owner spots and visitor spots. Perhaps limit the number of cars each unit can park on property, and require a validation sticker or decal for the window. Limit the number of visitor spots each unit can use and limit the amount of time each unit can use visitor parking. You can look into app based parking reservation programs where you post a QR code in common areas for people to scan and they can print out a parking pass. You can set limits on how many times people get passes etc. You will also need to update your violation and fining policy and include threats to tow and impound vehicles that violate the policy.
JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/16/2021 11:23 AM  
Thanks everyone for replying.

I was trying to arrive at a solution that would be less onerous on the rest of the community and to use the expression - not let one bad apple ruin the bunch. I am just worried that a more complicated rule based approach would not work well at our condo.

The scofflaw in this case is a renter and their strategy is to bully other owners that want to avoid confrontation. Unfortunately - this is how they operate - they try to wear you down until they get their way. And when they get their way they are just emboldened and inevitably cause more problems - at least this is what I've observed so far. So I am hesitant to let this go.

After reviewing the bylaws, I found that parking spaces are considered Limited Common Elements - which I understand to mean are common areas or community property with rights allocated to (in this case) a specific unit owner. Since they are common areas, the board/association retains rulemaking authority over the parking spaces. With this in mind - does it seem viable to create a rule that would require any resident to get advanced approval from another unit holder or resident to park in their space. This would be less burdensome for everyone and gives the resident with the rights to the assigned space the option to refuse someone else from using their space or at least be compensated fairly for its use. Any thoughts on this approach would be greatly appreciated.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


05/16/2021 11:28 AM  
Jim said:

....does it seem viable to create a rule that would require any resident to get advanced approval from another unit holder or resident to park in their space.....

All well and good but how do you punish/fine/tow one that disregards this?
AugustinD


Posts:1937


05/16/2021 11:49 AM  
Posted By JimC24 on 05/16/2021 11:23 AM
The scofflaw in this case is a renter and their strategy is to bully other owners that want to avoid confrontation. Unfortunately - this is how they operate - they try to wear you down until they get their way. And when they get their way they are just emboldened and inevitably cause more problems - at least this is what I've observed so far. So I am hesitant to let this go.
Seriously: Good for you.
After reviewing the bylaws, I found that parking spaces are considered Limited Common Elements - which I understand to mean are common areas or community property with rights allocated to (in this case) a specific unit owner. Since they are common areas, the board/association retains rulemaking authority over the parking spaces. With this in mind - does it seem viable to create a rule that would require any resident to get advanced approval from another unit holder or resident to park in their space. This would be less burdensome for everyone and gives the resident with the rights to the assigned space the option to refuse someone else from using their space or at least be compensated fairly for its use. Any thoughts on this approach would be greatly appreciated.
Such a rule seems superfluous. As long as it's clear which LCE parking space belongs to which unit, any unit occupant who finds her or his unit's parking space taken by someone from another unit should be encouraged to file a complaint. The board should then enforce the bylaws/covenants and send a notice of violation to the offending unit.

You all might consider issuing parking stickers to residents, so that management can maybe more readily identify when someone is parked in the wrong parking space.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/16/2021 12:36 PM  
The way you describe these tenants, they would bully a space owner to "let" them park there. If these tenants do actually break rules, go after the owner right away.

But wait, Are you saying your have no rules or hearing & fining processes?

With just 10 units, do you have a property mgr.? You probably know whose cars belong to which units, yes?

JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/16/2021 1:24 PM  
We have a property management company but they are not very helpful with regards to parking issues. With a 10 unit condo - not high end - we can't afford to pay that much and you just have to accept that you get what you pay for. I think they would help if it was more straightforward, but the feedback I received is that their efforts to control parking on other properties they managed were not very successful. They couldn't even provide me with a towing company - I found one myself by driving around to neighboring condos.

Rules can be hard to implement - there is a very specific procedure to follow and we may need a certain number of votes. Unfortunately it's hard to get people to actually vote on anything. Fortunately, thanks to the State of Connecticut we are able to get our budget passed. They have a statute that requires more than 50% no votes to vote down a proposal. I don't think anyone realizes this - and I am glad they don't - because we were able to pass a number of budgets and assessment to fund much needed repairs. But I think the voting on rules may actually require people to vote YES. I am trying to find an approach that puts all the burden on the violator to get approval by the owner that has a right to the space.

In a condo where there is more owner involvement, the rule based approach probably works well, but that's not my condo.

It's a small condo, everyone knows who's car is who's - and it is clear that the residents of this one unit are parking in spaces that are assigned to other owners. They even got to the point where they are flaunting it - because they want to make a point that they are getting away with it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/16/2021 1:42 PM  
In most state, Boards make make rules without owner votes IF your higher level governing documents say so, i.e., your covenants (Usually) and/or Bylaws (maybe).

Covenants often say things like: The Assn may make rules & regs. about the limited use common area parking spaces and the common area visitor parking space. Or the phrase may be broader: the Assn. may make rules about the common areas.

Our rules tate, for instance, that only one car and a persona shopping car may be in a parking space. Another is Owners must keep their parking spaces cleans and free from fluids. If fluid is reset in a space, and the worse refuses to vena it after notification, the HOA may have it cleaned and the owner is shared an "enforcement assessment," i.e. fine, to reimburse the HOA.

So you need to learn if your CC&Rs (aka declaration, deed restrictions, covenants) permit the board to make rules without owners vote and if CN permits, HOAs to make rules without owners' votes.

A very common mistake seen here is posters mixing up Bylaws with Rules & regs.

JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/16/2021 1:49 PM  
Thanks KerryL1 - I'll look into that.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


05/16/2021 1:52 PM  
Posted By JimC24 on 05/16/2021 1:24 PM

In a condo where there is more owner involvement, the rule based approach probably works well, but that's not my condo.
Understood. Hire the goons.

Regarding the OP's so-called "rule based approach": No, that's not what the hoatalk veterans here mean. When the hoatalk veterans here speak of "rules," they mean certain types of rules expressly permitted by the covenants and with the force of contractual law.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/16/2021 2:46 PM  
Thanks for saying that clearly, Augie,, and without my maddening typos!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


05/16/2021 3:39 PM  
Jim

I agree with Kerry. Rules and Regulations (R&Rs) are made by the BOD and the BOD only. They typically are used to clarify/define things but they cannot override Covenants nor Bylaws.

In your case it seems the BOD can clarify/define how the exterior parking spaces are used.

You say you have 6 exterior spaces plus one visitor space and each of the 6 spaces are assigned to a specific resident. Spot 6 to Unit A. Spot to Unit B etc.

You say the problem is some residents are parking in the visitors spot and some are parking in resident assigned spaces when they are not the resident.

Easy enough to make R&Rs to cover this, such as:

1. Only the assigned residents can park in the spot (6) assigned to them. Others parking in those spots will be fined and/or their vehicles towed.

1a. A resident could give permission to another to park in their assigned spot. Some might actually rent their spot.

2. The Visitor parking spot is for visitors only. Residents parking in those spots will be fined and/or their vehicles towed.

This can be regulated with R&Rs.

JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/16/2021 4:12 PM  
I have to look into the R&Rs more. When I discussed it with our property manager, they made it seem like a lengthy, complex process - easy to challenge, hard to enforce. Before the property manager was hired I worked on a rental restriction rule with our lawyer. We limited the number of unit rental to 50% because it was easier - this required that we send the rental rule to all the condo owners and have a meeting where they could comment. However, there was no vote required - the measure was automatically adopted as long as we documented the review process and recorded the rule with the town/city. If we wanted to limit the number of rental units to something less than 50%, I believe we needed to put it to a vote and get 80% in favor for adoption.

Our lawyer reviewed many of the rules that were passed along in the purchase package when I bought the condo. When I took over as Condo President I discovered that many owners had not paid condo dues for a long time. I worked with the lawyer to collect back condo dues. Some owners did not put up much of a fight and they paid right away, while others tried to hold out and made my life difficult. I wanted to incentivize them to pay the funds back more quickly so I proposed using some of the rules that were in place to fine owners for late payments. I basically told them if they paid what they owed now I would not include any late payments, but if I had to go through collections that I would impose the maximum late fees according to the rules in place. I remember the lawyer saying - if the rules were not adopted properly, they would be easy to challenge and there was no proof or documentation that the rule in place at the time were adopted properly. This applied to all the rule, not just the ones for late fees on condo dues.

AugustinD


Posts:1937


05/16/2021 5:43 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/16/2021 2:46 PM
Thanks for saying that clearly, Augie,, and without my maddening typos!
Our posts crossed paths. I think you said it better and with more honey (vs. my vinegar).
TerryS6
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:13


05/17/2021 2:36 PM  
Like crime, HOA parking problems never end. There will always be those who think they are
entitled. Entitled to their own spaces plus what ever they can get away with. Not sure
about your R&Rs or local law enforcement. Parking in someone else's assigned space w/o their
OK is not only rude, it is a form of trespass. With only 10 units, things can get personal
all too easy...hence your dilemma. Be brave. Make it clear that they have to make other
arrangements for their extra vehicles. They knew going in that there were only two spaces per
unit. They'll have to lease parking space somewhere else. Set a time limit. And, by all means
do not go alone when you tell them.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1469


05/17/2021 3:01 PM  
The problem is people have multigenerational families and 4-6 or more people living in one unit and not enough parking. HUD, FHA I believe don't give people in these situations the right to monopolize all the parking. Establish parking rules for owners, tenants and visitors, then enforce them.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/17/2021 5:09 PM  
So, Jim. Can you look in your own CC&Rs and tell us what they say about how to rules & regulations? Don't know why, but you seem to avoid citing your own governing documents.

Are you possible citing covenants in stead of rules and regulations?? The rental example probably is a matter that involved revising or amending your covenants (aka: CC&Rs, deed restrictions, declaration).
JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/17/2021 5:53 PM  
The bylaws and declaration were written in the 1980s, mostly boilerplate. However, I did find that the condo is restricted to use as a single family household defined as a single housekeeping unit with no more overnight occupants than two per bedroom. This particular unit has four adults (more than one single family household) and two children - therefore more than 4 overnight occupants. Not sure how enforceable this is or should I say how easy this would be to enforce. The four adults with four cars is the problem.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/17/2021 6:06 PM  
Most declarations and Bylaws are somewhat boilerplate. Until you amend or rewrite them, they matter. I'll try again:

Does your declaration say anything about the Association's right to make rules?

Re: the rental. all you can do is ask the unit owners to evict their tenants as they aren't adding with you CC&Rs. If he does not, you CAN start fining the Owners for violating the CC&Rs IF you have a mechanism to do that. Do you have a fining schedule to bring into compliance those who violate your declaration and/or any rules & regs you might have?

JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/30/2021 5:33 PM  
A follow up on the parking situation.

I received an email back from our condo lawyer and he pointed out that the CT Statutes allows us to fine the owner or start an eviction process of the tenant after we notify the owner of the violation and his right to a hearing on the subject and give him 10 days to cure the problem. Our property manager followed up with a certified letter to the owner. I am still a bit unclear on the process, our property manager does not have the best communication skills. He never told me how much the fine would be or what we can do if the tenants continue to park in spaces not assigned to them - can we continue to fine the owner on some periodic basis? There is a moratorium on evictions and the expiration date keeps getting extended - so that doesn't seem like a reasonable option at this point.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


05/31/2021 6:12 AM  
Difficult situation Jim.

I would like to ask some general questions (that may not apply to your specific situation).

1. Does anyone have some kind of restriction on the number of vehicles that a particular household can park on association property?

2. Would a limit on the maximum number of vehicles per household violate any State of Federal laws?

3. I know that most Association documents require tenant compliance. Some even require copies of the lease. But, as we all know, there's a good chance that the tenant won't know what the Association requires at the time the lease is signed. So I'm wondering if anyone here has a one- or two-page document that the landlord must get signed by the tenant. It wouldn't have to include all the restrictions, just the ones that cause the most difficulty in that particular Association. Could something like that be successful?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10595


05/31/2021 6:33 AM  
Everything else the lawyer stated rings true but for the HOA eviction of tenants. The HOA typically can NOT evict someone's tenant because they are 3rd party to the rental agreement. Meaning the rental agreement is between the HOA member and the tenant NOT the HOA. The HOA can fine the owner for the Tenant's violations which may lead to the owner/member to evict their tenant. However, the HOA directly evicting a tenant not as likely.

It is also should be noted that the owner may be limited in being able to evict. Of course now because of the Covid situation but also other reasons. Most owner's don't include in their lease agreements that the tenant needs to follow the HOA's rules or it's a lease violation. If that is NOT in the lease, then the owner's hands are tied in being able to evict. It's not a violation that can/will violate a lease agreement.

Former HOA President
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:180


05/31/2021 6:34 AM  
Hi Jim,

Does the association have rules about parking? If not, or if they are not specific enough, it may be time to amend them. This way, you could set a limit on length of time visitor parking can be used by any one unit (for ex. a unit can only occupy visitor parking for a 24-hour period each week). If the car is there for longer, then you could start issuing fines and eventually tow. Make sure you're clear about why this rule has been created so that the owners don't feel attacked. That visitor spot should be available to everyone as it is a shared space.

As for the other owner's spot, I would suggest speaking with them first to make sure they don't have an arrangement with the other owners. If not, then create similar repercussions for occupying spots that do not belong to you.
JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/31/2021 6:49 AM  
I think the law may very state by state, but for CT this is the Statute. I do agree that Covid will complicate the eviction process. CT currently has a moratorium on evictions that is scheduled to expire on June 30 but may get extended. However, fining the owner get him to become more involved. The tenants have been warned repeatedly and they have become emboldened by the lack of enforcement action. They are now not even using their assigned space and parking and parking in other people's spaces - I could only presume they are doing this to taunt the association.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47-244
(d)If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may: (1)Exercise directly against the tenant the powers described in subdivision (11) of subsection (a) of this section; (2)After giving notice to the tenant and the unit owner and an opportunity to be heard, levy reasonable fines against the tenant or unit owner, or both, for the violation; and (3)Enforce any other rights against the tenant for the violation which the unit owner as landlord could lawfully have exercised under the lease, including any such right to bring a summary process action under chapter 832. (e)The rights referred to in subdivision (3) of subsection (d) of this section may only be exercised if the tenant or unit owner fails to cure the violation within ten days after the association notifies the tenant and unit owner of that violation.

JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/31/2021 7:02 AM  
MarshallT

I agree, I have to look into tightening up the rules and regulations, this may take some time to do correctly based on previous conversations with our lawyer. I can tow the cars but this will put me in direct confrontation with the tenants. I don't want to get drawn into a confrontation with the tenants - it could get heated and it's easy to make a mistake when that happens. The town I live in has very specific laws on towing cars from private property - it's easy to mess up if I don't do this by the book, it could come back to bite me. Besides, it is my opinion that this is the owners problem and he should take care of it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


05/31/2021 10:21 AM  
Jim

An association can make a fine schedule and then must follow it. The BOD can make the schedule and fine amounts. Reoccurring violations can have fines escalate whenever a violations reoccurs.

It seems you know who the parking violators are but to be sure, number the parking spots so you can refer to it in the violation.

Fine escalation example:

First offense $25. Second offence $50. Third offence $100. If neither fine was paid, they owe $175. This escalation should be for any violation, not just parking but you could add towing in the case of a motor vehicle parking offence.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/31/2021 11:24 AM  
I think JohnC is correct. Go ahead and make rules and add a fining schedule. It sounds like it would be easy in your HOA, Jim. It's just not clear why you keep resisting this common and straightforward approach. Can you show us in writing what makes adding or chain rules difficult???

By the way, only space owners can have cars towed where I live. Don't know about you. But the HOA certainly cn have cars towed form common area sales.
JimC24
(Connecticut)

Posts:37


05/31/2021 12:36 PM  
Thanks JohnC346 and KerryL2,
It’s good to know we can escalate fines if the initial fines don’t work. KerryL1, I’m not resistant to creating rules, its just that when I bought my place the resale package had a long list or rules and regulations that were put in place after the original bylaws were recorded. I tried to use some of these rules to impose fines on delinquent owners that were behind in there condo dues – but when I proposed this to our condo lawyer he said that those rules could be easily challenged because they needed to be implemented a certain way and there was no evidence that they were. Given the lack of participation from other owners, I think implementing new rules would not be easy if it required actual YES votes from the community. I haven’t tried yet but if our annual budget is a gauge then I don’t think it would be easy. The state of CT allows the condo budget to pass if you don’t have a majority of NO votes. If we required a majority of YES votes, we would be in trouble. Since we have very little voter participation, the budget usually passes. But I don’t think the same rule applies to implementing rules – its something I have to revisit, but I just don’t want to pay legal fees to find out, given that we need to spend the money elsewhere.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


05/31/2021 2:27 PM  
I asked more than once what your declaration says about the Board's ability to make rules. But you won't answer. You have written that your Bylaws talk about parking, but that's unusual as such materials is usually in the declaration & elaborated on in the rules.

Can you show us where your documents or CT statute says owners must approve new rules & regs??? Even so, wouldn't they want a rule that keeps their deeded parking spots to themselves?

I have a feeling we're talking past each other, but I don't know what the glitch is.

The difficulty you perceive may have had to do with the particular issue of past dues and how long they'd been delinquent.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


05/31/2021 3:13 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/31/2021 2:27 PM
I asked more than once what your declaration says about the Board's ability to make rules. But you won't answer. You have written that your Bylaws talk about parking, but that's unusual as such materials is usually in the declaration & elaborated on in the rules.

Can you show us where your documents or CT statute says owners must approve new rules & regs??? Even so, wouldn't they want a rule that keeps their deeded parking spots to themselves?

I have a feeling we're talking past each other, but I don't know what the glitch is.

The difficulty you perceive may have had to do with the particular issue of past dues and how long they'd been delinquent.




I agree. Typically Rules and Regulations (R&R's) can be made by the BOD alone. They cannot override Covenants nor Bylaws (which many try to use such to do) but they can be used to clarify situations such as who can park where. Your Bylaws already how they are assigned. Thus you can use an BOD passed R&R to clarify them. Why do I think you are scared to try it?
HenryD3
(Florida)

Posts:35


06/11/2021 10:18 PM  
Jim,
One thought on the tenants parking in other owner's parking spots when the owners are not using them.
With the limited number of condos and parking spaces, am wondering -

What if you created and enacted a set of parking rules, for the visitor spot and the owners spots.
Require a Condo Association form for all owners to supply the make, model and license plate of their vehicles.
Then have a "Temporary Parking Spot Usage" form, that must be sent to the Condo Association before any cars but the on-file owners cars may use the assigned owners parking space. The "Temporary Parking Spot Usage" is just that temporary and can only have a duration of 90 days or perhaps 180 days (thinking snow birders).
I would detail in the parking rules the "Temporary Parking Spot Usage" form with the expected fining to the owner if cars other than theirs or those with a TPSU form. $25 first night, $50 2nd night, etc. I would also detail the association rule stating any car improperly parked more than three times will be towed.
Then I would visit the local police/county commissioner and your attorney to make sure the condo association is not out of compliance.
Notify the Association has contracted with a local towing company to tow cars with word from the Property Manager or Board President.
Set a date for the new rule to go into effect.
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