B.R. from Dixie County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have 48 units, 33 deeded boat slips. We have side tie slips in an area for HOA community to use. The problem, slip owners use the common slips as well, leaving less for non-slip owners to use. We just had a situation where an owner (who does not have a deeded slip) left their bumpers in the common slip to go boating, only to return and someone else parked their boat in the slip. To make matters worse, that person untied the boat and pushed it into the canal unattended. Can you recommend how to handle the usage of “common boat slips”?
Mister Condo replies:
B.R., it is too bad that a person felt it was their right to untie and release a boat into the canal unattended. As you have noted, the lack of rules and/or rules enforcement for the deeded boat slips and the common boat slips has created a problem for your association. When problems happen, it is up to the Board to address the problem by creating rules to prevent future problems. In this case, I would think the deeded boat slips will take care of themselves seeing as they are deeded and for the exclusive use of the deed holder. It is the common boat slips that need rules for use and managing the users. It is common to have a “first come, first served” policy that requires unit owners to apply for the use of the slip. The Board can set the criteria for every aspect, including giving priority to unit owners with the longest ownership, or priority to the 15 unit owners who do not have deeded slips first, or whatever other policy they wish to create. They will also need to monitor the boat slips to make sure other owners are following the rules. Creating and enforcing rules should correct the problem. However, if someone is so disrespectful of another’s property that they would untie their boat and set it adrift, the community may have bigger problems. All the best!