J.S. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can the condo board rent the unassigned parking spaces to residents? I live in a 65-unit building. Each unit has an assigned covered space. There are 10 unassigned covered spaces and 21 uncovered visitor spaces. Owners are free to park a second car in the covered unassigned spaces (for 24 hours) or the visitors spaces. We feel lucky when we get an extra car in the covered spaces. My board just started renting the unassigned covered spaces to tenants for $50/month. If a resident choses to not pay, he/she must park in the uncovered spaces. They did this without input from the residents or a vote of any kind. I was under the impression that the unassigned spaces were “common area ” and thus could not be rented. Our by-laws say that common areas cannot be rented.
Mister Condo replies:
J.S., in some ways you have answered your own question with your closing statement that your by-laws say that common areas cannot be rented. It would appear that your Board has decided they will not conform to the by-laws. As you can imagine, a Board that doesn’t obey the rules they are charged to govern by is a bit of a problem. That being said, there is no reason the Board couldn’t amend the by-laws to state “common areas, other than parking lots, cannot be rented”. With that simple change they are covered.
The reality is that Boards do control what can and cannot be done with common areas, including parking lots. The by-laws should guide their decisions and unless the by-laws require full votes of the unit owners, the Board can act on their behalf to make decisions that affect all unit owners. After all, they are the democratically elected officials from the total of all unit owners. If unit owners are dissatisfied, they can vote them out of office at the next election or, if they are really dissatisfied, they can hold a special vote to recall them from office immediately. All the best!