B.W. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am on the BOD for a condo association. Each tenant is supplied 2 parking places. We have a tenant who has brought in a 3rd car and was parking in visitor parking which is posted for guests only, no overnight parking. After he was approached on this in anger he went out and somehow obtained a handicapped sticker for the 3rd car. He is now parking in our handicapped parking place. Because he has 2 assigned parking places do we have the right to ask him to remove his 3rd car from the handicapped parking? His 2 parking places are right across from his unit. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
B.W., I just hate it when folks move into a condo complex and then intentionally violate the rules. Since you have used the word “tenant” to describe this person, I will assume he rents and does not own the unit, although for purposes of this discussion, it might not make that much difference, although the enforcement provisions you take may be against the unit owner and not the actual tenant.
First off, I am not an attorney, so please consider my advice as friendly and not legal. You may very well need to involve the community association attorney in your enforcement efforts and I do recommend that you seek legal counsel before you get involved with rules enforcement against a person with a handicapped placard. You don’t want to subject your association to a discrimination lawsuit.
It really boils down to the rules you have in place regarding parking and/or handicapped parking at your association. Generally speaking, the parking lots are under the jurisdiction of the association and the Board has the ability to enforce regulation already in place and draft new regulations if so needed. Handicapped residents have no different rights than non-handicapped residents and the Board needs only to provide “reasonable accommodation” to be in typical compliance with state and federal law. If your parking rules already provide for two parking spaces and it can be demonstrated that these spaces are usable by a handicapped person, then I would think that you have provided “reasonable accommodation”. An attorney could give you a better perspective on whether or not your current parking lot arrangements provide “reasonable accommodation”. If they do, you are all set and should be able to enforce your parking lot rules and prevent this resident from having three vehicles on property. If not, you might just have to acquiesce to this resident’s use of the handicapped space. Good luck!