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HOA board - car parking and towing problems

Posted on Fri, Sep 03, 2010 @ 07:40 AM

I own a condo in Tampa Florida, I have been here for 7 years and have seen one property management company come and go, this last one has gotten very strict with rules and posts them by mailboxes and such frequently, it makes me feel like a child.

My question though is considering towing and private property. I own two covered carport spots, I had to purchase them with the condo, so they are my private spots, and the board has issued a towing company to actively tow cars who have not parked in visitors spots if they do not have a decal. There are less than 2 visitor spots per building and each building has 7 units.

Now the HOA board is allowing the tow company to tow cars without decals from under the carports, so if I have a guest over they cannot park in my private car port spot, is it illegal for them to tow from my carport spot if I own it? I was under the impression that is my private property. I want to properly bring up this issue at the next board meeting how should I do that? I also wonder if the condo association is responsible for paying to have them in our complex every night of the week? If I wanted to put a stop to this active towing every night and keep it to where the residents have to call to get an illegal car towed how do I do that? I don’t know if I need to start a petition or talk to other owners first. I appreciate any help as I do not want to stir up a problem at the meeting without some sort of knowledge!

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A couple of ideas for you. 
Look at your condo docs, there should be a plot of the property. This plot is part of your title and will show what is your private property and what is common property. If it is private property, the association does not have control over the property.  
Also you docs should provide guidance as parking and towing. Look to see what the docs state. The docs probably state that towing is limited to assigned or common owned spaces. 
Send a certified letter and copy of the documents you got at closing that states the property is yours to the towing company. The letter should state that these spaces are your private property and you do not authorize towing from these spaces. 
You could also try to post private property signes up in your parking spaces. Although you docs probably limites posting of signs. You might be able to paint a sign on the floor of your space or paint your space a different color to hightlight that they are provide property. 
Finally, as you live in Florida, you can request help from FL Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation. 
Hopes this helps.

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 8:17 AM by Cheryl Gowin

In addition to the sound comments posted above you may also want to check your city or county ordinances regarding towing before sending a certified letter to the board.

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 8:28 AM by Susana Murray

You have posed some tough questions, but also brought up some aspects that frustrate managers and board members. 
First, you state that the management company has gotten strict with the rules. Be aware that the board manages and administers the affairs of the association, so if the management company is posting the rules, it is most likely under the direction of the board to do so. Why would the board decide to do this? People are probably not following the rules and then stating that they did not know. 
Only you can determine how you feel. You have chosen to take the postings as being treated like a child. The question is, are you aware of the rules and have you looked at your condominium documents and your community rulebook/handbook, if you have one, to see the rules? The board may now be enforcing rules that were not previously enforced. Just because rules were not previously enforced does not mean that they cannot be enforced now. 
Has your board put out any communication about the rules and the enforcement or changed the rules? 
It is impossible to know if the board is acting incorrectly if they are towing from your carport. The carports are limited common elements and while assigned to your unit, are part of the association and under the rules and regulations of the association. For the cost benefit of the shared expense in maintenance, you have given up the right to have the say and be able to treat it as a sole homeowner type of property. The decision making belongs to people you and your neighbors elect. 
I urge you to first look at your documents, recent mailings and the rule book. Speak to your assigned manager, as they may be able to help you and probably would gladly help you. If you called me, I would gladly help you by explaining the rules and help you understand them. However, I must caution you against arguing with the manager. All you would do is frustrate you both, because the manager does not make the rules. He is tasked with helping the board enforce them and advising them. Chaning the rules or allowing variances for homeowners is a board decision. He can explain the rules, but he can't do anything about it. If you disagree about the rules, put together a letter or attend a board meeting. 
Try not to be confrontational and have clear rationale on why you don't like the rule and why you think it is detrimental to the community. Be willing to listen to why the board felt the need to implement it. 
What the board should consider is assessing the opinion of the community about the rule via survey, newsletter or personal interview. If you feel strongly about the issue, you can offer to assist in gathering the information or opinions. However, don't try to shape opinion - listen to people and gather data, which would help in making the rule acceptable and understandable for the community. 
I am usually against petitions, because what it does it make sides. A portion of homeowners who either agree or just don't want to be involved sign a petition to just get the petition taker, who is passionate about the issue, to leave them alone. However, a petition may be something that would get the attention of the board, particuraly if you just want them to look at the issue and hear the membership. Review the documents, handbook, recent mailings and talk to the manager before you make your decision. Listen. Maybe there are things you don't know and you may change your opinion after you find them out. If you still don't agree and don't see that the bylaws support this action or that the rule is not reasonable (as most documents state the board may make reasonable rules and regulations for the community) then state clearly and as logically as possible why you think it is an unreasonable rule and should be rescinded.

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 8:37 AM by Joe Schuirmann

Having been thru nearly the exact same scenario before, I can sympathize with your predicament. 
Your association docs should spell out the associations rights if any to tow from your private spaces.  
Typically they tow under direction / complaint from owners when owners private spots are involved.  
We moved to "temporary authorized guest" placards which were also specific to owners spaces to prevent unauthorized / unwanted tows. Perhaps your HOA will choose to move in that direction.  
It sounds like they are just a bit overzealous and the towing entity may well be just following orders from the managers. The towing company probably likes the revenue.  
Our situation came to a head on New Years day when there were way too many overnight guests for the number of available spots and temporary placards. Imagine how great many guests felt about our complex when hit with a nice towing bill to start the new year off right... Good times!  
Good luck...

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 8:55 AM by John D.

the questioner states that he is living in an HOA, not a condo. I wonder whether provision is made for guest passes on the cars owned by guests. It's a matter of security to know who is on the property. And, is there room for more guest parking spots? They don't have to be right next to each building.  

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 8:58 AM by michael e katz

Iagree with the prvious answer to you question. I would add one more consideration. Did your board follow the procedures required to establish a rule? A rule canniot be estyablished by edict and it normally requires a majority vote of the unit owners to adopt a new rule. Check with your state Dept of Buisiness and Professional Regulation. Another approach if your board conducts their sessions with Roberts Rules. Under Roberts Rules whilet may suggest an agenda it requires a majority vote of the assembly (audience in attendance) to approve that agenda. Ask that Parking be added to the agenda and that willm allow for a dicussin of your concerns.

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 9:25 AM by Charles Adler

In addition to the other comments, Florida Statute 715 is pretty clear on what property owners must do in order to legally tow a vehicle from private property. Are there "Tow Away" signs permanently installed within 5 feet of the municipal right of way? Is a member of the association (board member or responsible committee person present when the vehicle is hokked up? Tow operators are not allowed to just decide for themselves which vehicles to tow. A representative of the association must be present at the time to point it out.

posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 4:16 PM by Bob Begley

The management company seems to be overstepping their boundaries. You, and only you, should have the authority to call the towing company to remove unwanted cars from your paid parking spot. Don't they have anything else to do?

posted @ Saturday, September 04, 2010 6:53 AM by larryB

Can a Condo Board towe an owners car from their assigned stall if they refuse to move it while we are having the stalls painted. Everyone has complied but one stubborn hateful couple. The painters want the car's out so they aren't responsible for paint on them. What are our rights, regarding towing under this circumstance???

posted @ Wednesday, November 17, 2010 1:32 PM by Lile

You state that your parking spots are limityed common elements. On what do you base that opinion?>?

posted @ Wednesday, November 17, 2010 6:26 PM by CharlesAdler

How does your HOA Board handle the designation of handiocap parking spaces? There is a Federal law which must be followed and within that law us the formula that applies to make the calculation of required number of spaces.

posted @ Thursday, November 18, 2010 7:01 AM by Charles Adler

I am a guest of my boyfriend (he is the owner of his condo) the board has a problem with a guest that stays over night for more than 30 nights.. They have issued me a parking permit for 30 days but I only stay there on weekends. 
They said I cannot have any more parking passes and has threatened my vehicle to be towed if I dont change my drivers licence and registration address saying I live with my boyfriend...  
I dont live with my boyfriend!! I just want to be able to sleep over whenever we want to be together.  
I am an owner of my own condo located down the street in another development. I dont think its legal for the board to ask me to change my address in order for me to spend the night when we want to be together.. in fact they said if you dont like our rules he can sleep over your condo or get married!!!  
Is this legal for them to make me change my drivers license and registration and loose my homestead for my property??  
What can I do about this??

posted @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:44 PM by Sandy

Parking spaces are limited common elements or common elements.As such their use is properly dictated by the Assocoiation and/or the Board of Directors in accord with the bylaws. Issuance of a 30 day parking permit would seem toe to be improper. Better-each weekend when you weish to visit why can't you get a parking permit just for 2 or 3 days??? I feel certasin that would solve the situiation for you.

posted @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:04 PM by Scott

Because it is very difficult to find a board member on a Friday or Saturday night to issue these parking passes.. so they gave me a 30 day to come and go when I please with out bothering them every weekend...We use to ask for a pass for each individual weekend or day at least 6- 7 times a month and most of the time we could not find a board member available to issue one  
Could I please have a more professional response than this!!

posted @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 7:17 PM by Sandy

My husband and I are having a similar issue. We are renting a condo in Oceanside, California. We have one reserved spot and a one car garage. My husband had a shoulder surgery and drives a standard, which I cannot drive and he cannot drive until his shoulder heals.My car is in the garage and his is in the reserved spot. He had to borrow a friends truck to go on with day to day driving. We have spots in our complex only for "registered visitors." you are required to get a STICKER DECAL and place it in the rear window of the car. However, we picked the truck up after property management business hours and could not get a permit. it got towed over night for not having a permit. We tried calling the office, which isn't even on-site, its in the next city. They didn't return our calls. We called another number and spoke to the "emergency person." she ended up just being a message taker and said we would have to wait until monday and we should just park the car somewhere it cant get towed. the only thing around us is a CVS and a highway. There isn't anywhere else to park. Is it legal for them not to offer 24/7 service for visitors and require a permit for them? and for them to have to drive to the next town to get a permit just to come to our house? Is it legal to pretty much say we cant have visitors over unless its during business hours? How are we supposed to register a visitor who's driving in from out of town and doesn't arrive until evening? or someone who is just coming over for a few hours to watch the football game on a sunday? Is this legal, or can we take some sort of action?

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posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:22 AM by paul

My landlord in Galloway nj has not paid his his fees there for we are being threatened that our vehicles can get towed even if we park in unmarked spot they put a tow out for our vehicles if they find them is it legal 

posted @ Monday, July 14, 2014 2:49 PM by donyele

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