R.K. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My parents are the original owner of the condominium where they have lived since 1966. I am their son writing this question. I’m in Chicago. Unfortunately, I cannot find the paperwork to see if the two parking spaces were “deeded” when they purchased in 1966. For the last 7 years, I have parked in their assigned spaces. My brother is also a legal owner of the condo but does not park his car in one of the spaces. When my girlfriend visits, she parks in one of spaces. It’s an indoor garage. Best as I can tell, another unit owner wants to take one of the spaces for me in exchange for his outdoor space. This is my best guess as I received a letter from a lawyer’s office that claims he represents the condo association. His letter has threatened to tow my car if I don’t give up space 34 within three weeks. I don’t want to give up the spaces for two reasons. First, since my brother is part owner of the condo, both my brother and I consider one of the spaces his. Also, if I want to sell the condo, I want to be able to offer the new buyer two of the indoor garage spaces as there’s benefit to me as the seller. Once again for the greater part of seven years my car is usually parked in the center of the two spaces and again one of the space is often used by my girlfriend. Based on reading other questions and appears I have to know how the spaces were deeded in that regard since I can’t find the paperwork. The condo board should have the original paperwork, right? I would appreciate your answer. And I will also be contacting my lawyer since the condo association never talk to me about the spaces before they had their lawyer send me the threatening letter.
Mister Condo replies:
R.K., in many ways, you have answered your own question. Your local County Land Office should have the original deed on file. It is highly doubtful that the Condo Board has a copy of the deed. What they do have is the Declaration and by-laws (so should you) that likely described the common areas, including the parking lots and spaces. Deeded parking is yours, association-owned parking is theirs and they can do with it as they see fit. Since you have already hired an attorney, my best advice to you is to go with what the attorney tells you. If you can produce a copy of the deed showing the two parking spaces as yours, this situation should be brought to an expedient close. If not, your attorney can best advise you of the steps you need to take to protect your rights as a unit owner. Good luck!