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Governing Documents Determine How Parking Spaces Are Defined

Question: The association in my condominium is trying to reassign all the parking spaces, which were originally assinged by the developer in 1969. I have a two bedroom unit and ever since I moved 15 years ago, I’ve had two parking spaces, just like almost every other two bedroom units. Recently, a member of the board changed how parking spaces are assigned. The new plan allows two bedroom units only one parking space. The board of directors say that they can do this by vote. Is this legal? What is the proper way to do it? Thank you, Enrique D.

Answer: Parking spaces are ordinarily subject to reassignment by the Board of Directors when they are common elements. Parking spaces which are appurtenances to the units are not typically subject to reassignment. The answer to your question lies in a review of your governing documents to see how these parking spaces are defined.

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  • walter
    January 6, 2015

    In our condo each month the assessments for an Enterainment assessment . once a month is taken out ,for all units. this is totla amount is almost 4000 dollars a month, this money is spent on entertainers, and the board charges us 3 dollars to go to a show. maybe 400 people could fit in the auditorium. other condos i have talked to do not assess and the entertainers money come from ticket sales. if not enough tickets are sold the show is cancelled.we pay 3 dollars a month whether we go or not..over 2000 people live here.. is this legal?

    • Lisa Magill
      January 8, 2015

      The determination of what expenses are properly includable in the budget is made based on the particular governing documents. Many communities are proud of the level of entertainment provided to the members.

  • John_Pearce
    January 6, 2015

    The board will define the documents in the way that favors the end they want to reach. If you want a different end you need to:
    1. Object at a board meeting and demand (nicely, of course) an explanation for the basic reason for the change. (For example, if there were units with NO parking spaces and this resolves that unfairness, it might be justified.)
    2. Bring the change to the attention of the state agency that governs condos, but be aware that those agencies have been stripped of most of their employees and are no longer genuine regulators.
    3. Sue, if you believe you have been deprived of the assets you purchased. Find a plaintiffs’ attorney, of course. (This may cost some money, so you’ll have to balance that cost against the benefit you might receive. Do note that the condo will be represented by lawyers very familiar with the judges, from similar economic backgrounds, who may also be contributors to the judges’ re-election campaigns.)
    4. If your attorney believes the change rises to a federal violation, by all means go that route. Federal judges don’t run for re-election and so are generally not beholden to the local legal establishment.

  • Jo
    January 11, 2015

    In our condo all units have parking assigned. Some units have two some have one parking place. There is no guest parking. Although we’ve been asking when, how, and why this happened we have received no answers so far.
    Shouldn’t everything be registered and documents filed somewhere? What would be the best way to get some clarity on the matter?
    Thank you for any assistance you might provide.

    • Lisa Magill
      January 13, 2015

      Sometimes the parking space assignments are recorded (either as part of the deed or by some other instrument). If that is the case you can track the history of the assignments through the public records. You may have to look at whatever official records are on file to re-create the assignment process.

  • Mary
    January 22, 2015

    In our condo, the governing documents state that each unit is assigned one parking space without charge. Parking spaces are not deeded to the unit. Also, the documents are silent on the use of parking passes and towing away a vehicle from such assigned parking spaces. A towing policy and a parking pass system was implemented by the board several years ago without the consent of the owners. As a result, owners vehicles are towed away without any prior notice for not having the parking pass visible or a valid one. Is the board acting illegallly?