Do Condo Rules Prohibit Routine Automobile Maintenance?

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R.S. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Can I open my automobile hood in the condo parking lot in order to check regular everyday maintenance? I would like to fill up all liquid levels of the reservoirs to start normal working condition moving of my car? Thanks!

Mister Condo replies:

R.S., the answer is “it depends” and what it depends upon is the wording of the rules and regulations regarding the use of the condo parking lot. As a general rule, unit owners are not allowed to perform any maintenance (routine or otherwise) on the common areas, including the parking lot. There are several reasons for this including potential damage to the parking lot surface from automobile liquids like antifreeze and oil. Associations want to discourage the practice of unit owner oil changes and car washes where the run-off is a potential eyesore and they certainly don’t want to see cars up on cinder blocks while new tires are installed. There is also the potential for liability as any injury that occurs on association-owned property has the possibility of incurring liability.

Your idea of simple maintenance may not fall under the “forbidden” list at your condo association so you may wish to consult your condo documents or speak with a property manager to see if simple maintenance as you described is allowed. If not, I am afraid you should likely visit your local service station to do such maintenance. Happy Motoring!

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