Condominium projects by definition are high-density projects with a minimum of space available for guest parking.

One of the biggest problems discussed at HOA meetings is how to deal with homeowners who violate the parking regulations within the condominium complex by parking their cars in the street or in guest parking spaces.

The root of this problem is people using their garages for storage because of a lack of storage space within their units.  The CC&Rs that govern the condominium project usually require the homeowner to be able to park one four-wheel vehicle inside the garage.  Homeowners who park two or more cars outside their garages because their garage is used entirely for storage are violating the condominium regulations.  They can be cited and fined by the HOA and can even have their cars towed away at their expense.

In choosing an HOA management company, the builder should ask each prospective company what procedures they use in handling parking problems.  The HOA management company being selected should have a written contract with a reputable towing company who follows the state vehicle code rules.

Usually, only the HOA boards of directors are authorized to have cars towed on the project.  The builder does not want a towing company who drives through the project…sees a car parked in a no parking area…takes a photograph and then tows the car…just to make money on a slow day.

The standard procedure for giving parking tickets is to give the offending homeowner two violation letters…then a hearing letter requiring the homeowner to appear before the board…where a decision is reached and monetary fines are imposed until the parking problem is resolved.

The builder needs to be aware of these issues prior to selecting an HOA management company so that the builder can ask the right questions and be comfortable with the philosophy and procedures of the HOA management company.

The builder should also be aware that this problem comes up repeatedly during HOA meetings and can alienate new homeowners right when the builder is attempting to cultivate good public relations to support sales.

Both the builder and the HOA management company need to be in agreement about how to handle project parking problems and complaints.