K.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
(1) Each unit (there are two in all) has two parking spaces. My condo neighbors want to squeeze in their visiting son, for the summer, into two spaces, making it three cars in a two-car space. This would take up too much space in the common area and make it difficult for us to pull out of our parking spots. Are there any condo laws concerning this? I can’t find anything specific in the Master Deed Policy.
(2) My neighbor says that my vehicle is too large (15-passenger van) and should not be parked on the premises. Does she have the right to tell me to find street parking?
Mister Condo replies:
K.B., multiple vehicle and oversized vehicle parking will always be challenging issues for residents of condominiums, apartments, and any high-density housing property. It is human nature and convenience for residents, including you, to park their vehicles, whatever the size or quantity, as close to their front door as possible. Your neighbor’s attempt to put three cars into a two-car space or your example of an oversized vehicle that is not ideally suited for a small lot are just two such examples.
Your condo by-laws may address some of your concerns. The Master Deed Policy may describe which spaces are assigned to which units but it is very likely silent on the exact use of those spaces with regards to how many vehicles or what size vehicles are allowed on the property. For those types of rules, I suspect you will need to review your association’s by-laws and/or rules and regulations. If these documents are also silent on the parking rules, it is time for the Board to review the matter and issue some rules. Otherwise, parking chaos will ensue.
For the most part, parking rules include the proper use of parking spaces. This will include rules such as only one vehicle per assigned parking space. Unit owners are not free to convert two spaces into three simply because it is convenient for them. Rules about the size and type of allowed vehicles are also common. For instance, commercial vehicles are often banned from overnight parking on common grounds. Livery vehicles, like limousines are often banned. Rules can be as specific as to overall length or height of allowed vehicles. If your 15-person passenger van doesn’t violate any of the association’s rules then your neighbor has no right to tell you to park elsewhere. To be perfectly frank, your neighbor has no right telling you anything. Rules are enforced by the Board of Directors of the association; not the individual unit owners. If she thinks you are violating a rule, she should report it to the Board and let them issue you a warning or a fine for rules violations.
The bottom line here is that there are a few places to look for your answers. If the documents are silent on all of these issues, you are pretty much free to do what you want until such time as the Board adopts proper Rules and Regulations regarding parking. My guess is that those rules are already in place but you haven’t looked for them in the right place. All the best!