J.L. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have a 36-unit condo with 3 businesses. The businesses have specific parking spaces. Our owners have been warned the businesses own those spots and they will be towed if they park in those spots. The businesses want the HOA to be responsible for towing. Some Board members think we should fine these owners. I say the businesses have that responsibility.
Mister Condo replies:
J.L., mixed-use condos like yours are not all that uncommon. The governance of such issues can be a little tricky, especially if the condo documents do not clearly detail who is responsible for what. For the most part, the Board of the association is the governing body for all common elements, including the parking lots unless the parking spaces are actually deeded (included as part of the property deed). Assuming the Board has control of the parking spaces, the businesses would not have any authority over towing and, in fact, may be placing themselves at legal risk for towing cars that are parked on property they don’t own!
My advice is to seek a legal opinion. What is likely to happen is that the current parking rules will be reviewed and proposed modification may have to be enacted before an effective parking management program can be put in place. Signage should be ordered to correct the situation. Towing is an extreme measure and should be the final option if all else fails. An attorney could best advise you on how to proceed with towing enforcements if necessary. Hopefully, with appropriate signage and good communication efforts with residents that unpleasantness can be avoided. Good luck!