HOA Tows Handicapped Car without Association Placard from Handicapped Parking

J.P. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Our HOA assigns each unit 2 parking tags. All of the parking spots in our lot are unassigned and up for grabs, provided the car displays our HOA parking tag. We have 3 handicapped spots in our parking lots. We have a security company that tows cars parked in the lot without an HOA tag. Recently, they towed a car parked in a handicap space that was displaying a handicap placard, but did not have an HOA tag. Should cars parking in the handicap spaces have to display HOA tags just like all other residents?

Mister Condo replies:

J.P., if you read my column regularly, you probably know what I am going to say. The HOA typically owns the parking lots at condos and HOAs. That means the Board of Directors governs how these lots are used. If the rules state that only vehicles with HOA placards are allowed in the parking lots, then that is the rule. As long as they follow local and state law, enforcement is at their discretion. Towing a handicapped person’s car is about as dastardly a deed I can think of but this isn’t a popularity contest. The HOA needs to protect itself from others parking on the common grounds who just don’t belong there. It’s bad form to tow a handicapped person’s vehicle and the local news station, newspaper, or Facebook page will likely have a field day painting the HOA as evil but I don’t think they have done anything wrong, just ill-advised. While I would continue towing unmarked cars from the general spaces, I think I would advise a “warn first, tow second” policy towards the designated handicapped spaces. All the best!

2 thoughts on “HOA Tows Handicapped Car without Association Placard from Handicapped Parking

  1. Are handicapped parking spaces required at condominiums in Alabama if there are no handicapped residents? If so, should they get a residents parking space in front of their condo? What is the logical solution if their is a requirement for handicapped spaces?

    1. F., unless the condominium association is open to the general public (a clubhouse that is rented out or a golf course where the public an pay to play), condominiums are generally considered private property and are not under any obligation to provide handicapped parking unless they want to or they are petitioned by a unit owner and cannot show reason why they cannot reasonably accommodate the request. Logical solutions abound but there is no legal requirement for the association to make unreasonable accommodations and they typically do not. Good luck!

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