S.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Each unit in my self-managed 15-unit condominium has two assigned parking spaces. One of the units is about to be sold. Another Unit owner would like to assume one of the parking spaces assigned to the Unit owner who is leaving. The Unit Owner who is leaving insists that the space belongs to her Unit and must be given to the new owner. Does the Board of Managers have the right to reassign this space to a current homeowner based on seniority?
Mister Condo replies:
S.B., thanks for writing. The answer is based on two things: the deed to the unit and the association’s rules and by-laws. If the assigned parking spaces are part and parcel of the unit (it would be spelled out in the deed which would read something like Unit 1 includes parking spaces 1A and 1B) then they Board may not be able to reassign the spaces. If the condo documents spell out which parking spaces are assigned to which unit, the Board may be able to reassign the spaces based on a vote. Neither of these scenarios is all that common. For the most part, parking is on common grounds and the Board has the full authority to reassign spaces as they see fit. However, nothing angers unit owners more than having their long-held and often cherished parking spaces by a Board with self-serving interests. Unit owners who feel they have been served poorly by such a Board often return the favor by voting those Board members out of office and returning the parking to the original plan. Honestly, unless there is a major problem with the parking as is, the Board should leave well enough alone. Reassigning parking usually creates a “neighbor versus neighbor” struggle and destroys harmony within the community as evidenced by other folks that have written to me in the past few years. Boards should work to create a vibrant and harmonious community if they wish to do an excellent job governing their associations. All the best!