One of the most common problem areas for condominium associations and their property management is parking. Spaces are at a premium in most communities, and issues arise when unit owners and tenants fail to park in their designated spots. Associations and their property managers must be well prepared in order to effectively contend with parking violations.
Most condominium bylaws allow for the adoption of reasonable rules and regulations governing the use of the common elements, which typically include parking areas and spaces. Boards and management should determine whether the bylaws and/or rules are already adequately addressing parking in the community or if amendments to the governing documents and/or rules may be needed.
Some of the most typical issues addressed by parking rules are designated parking areas and spots for owners, guests and vendors, and spaces for commercial vehicles, boats on trailers, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft, campers, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Some communities have restrictions on the number of vehicles that a unit owner is allowed to park onsite, and some have time limits for the parking of vehicles in certain areas.
Bear in mind that all parking rules and restrictions must comply with the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with respect to designating handicap parking.
Once clear rules and restrictions are in place, condominium boards should develop effective enforcement measures, which will typically include warnings, fines (typically using a graduated scale that increases commensurately with each violation, but consistent with statutory constraints), and towing. The bylaws or rules pertaining to towing should allow for the association to assess the costs to the corresponding unit owner, and towing notices and requirements must strictly comply with Florida law.