L.A. from California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am renting a condominium in California. My unit is in between two end units. Recently our HOA board sent a letter to the homeowners regarding parking issues and we attended a meeting where I was given fair warning not to allow my visitors to park in front of my garage. I was told there would be no warning next time, just a fine for $100.00. I am disabled and explained that I occasionally need to have things delivered, but was told under no circumstances is drop off, delivery or parking allowed in front of my garage, or I will be fined. There are 5 visitor spaces for 54 units. The problem is that both of my neighbors park in front of my garage either to drop off or to stay for long periods of time. I spoke with one of the board members and was told there is nothing they can do because they are renters and the board can only deal with the homeowners, who are not responding. What if any are my options? The landlord does not want to be involved and has told me to abide by the rules and not cause problems or they will evict me. Thank you for your help.
Mister Condo replies:
L.A., you have described a most curious situation here. The fact that you are disabled adds an extra wrinkle to this story but the Board is dead wrong is telling you that they cannot govern the actions of renters but while they can govern the actions of unit owners. Renters are fully bound by the rules of the association and the owners of the units they rent can be fined for any infractions the renters commit. Your landlord has a duty to protect your rights although, as a renter your rights are between you and your landlord. Does your rental agreement include parking in and/or in front of your garage? If so, you have every right to insist that portion of your rental agreement be honored. If not, you may be at the mercy of the landlord to intervene with the Board on your behalf. As far as the Board evicting you, there is a lengthy and legal process to do so and they cannot just arbitrarily evict you because you asked for a parking space rule to be enforced. If you experience any type of discrimination, you are well advised to seek the advice of an attorney who will likely bring suit against your landlord and/or the association if it is determined that discrimination has occurred. I would also reach out to local news outlets (newspaper, TV) if the Board persists in denying you the ability to have items delivered. If they won’t listen to reason from you about your disability requiring special deliveries, perhaps they’d like to defend their actions to the local media who would likely have a field day with such a story. I wish you all the best, L.A..