Parking Questions In Florida Homeowners’ Associations
One of the most commonly disputed issues for many Florida homeowners’ associations (HOAs) is parking. Sometimes, parking spots are necessarily limited due to lot size or other issues, but even necessary rules can lead to disagreements and disputes – if an HOA is not careful, it may even find itself faced with a civil rights lawsuit. The way to minimize the specter of such issues is to always be aware of the HOA’s rights and duties with regard to what parking is offered.
Is It The HOA’s Purview?
It is understandable that one might wonder why the HOA has the right to tell you where to park; it can seem very much like a tangential issue that should be decided between association residents. However, when you enter into a contract under a homeowners’ association, which requires that you observe its CC&Rs, or you will be in breach of the contract. If you believe that a condition, covenant or restriction is unjust, your remedy is generally to try and overturn it with the association, rather than to simply ignore it.
One might also wonder why the HOA does not simply create reserved parking, if issues regarding spaces are so prevalent. The answer is that in many HOAs, parking spaces are classified as common elements, which means that they are able to be used by everyone. Reserving parking spaces would change the property type – it would make them limited common elements, which would necessitate a change in every resident’s lease or home purchase agreement.
Covered By Law
There are many different aspects of parking that can come up for dispute in an average HOA, from the way vehicles are parked, to the direction in which they are parked, to the number of vehicles each resident is allowed. The covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) set by each HOA will attempt to regulate these issues, but too often, it can be difficult to balance the needs of the average resident with those of others. For example, specifying that a resident may only have a certain number of vehicles may help minimize congestion, but it may also disadvantage large families who own more than one vehicle.
While interests must be balanced, there are laws surrounding these issues that must, of course, be followed. The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) prohibits discrimination in the “provision of services or facilities” related to the sale or rental of a dwelling, and parking falls under this umbrella. In addition, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that a certain percentage of spots in a parking lot be accessible, and a failure to do so can lead to heavy fines.
Call A Tampa Homeowners’ Association Attorney
When it comes to homeowners’ associations and parking issues, it is incumbent on both the HOA and its residents to reach an appropriate balance of interests. Assistance from an experienced Tampa HOA & condo association attorney at the Seward Law Office can help the two sides reach an agreement that keeps every detail in mind. Contact our offices today at 813-252-6789 to schedule a consultation.