L.L. from Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a 51-unit self-managed condominium complex in Massachusetts. I am the owner and stated in our documents it says we are deeded 2 parking spaces numbered purchased with the sale of the unit. I would like to know that since they are deeded do I have any say on who parks in these spots particularly in snowstorms. Can the HOA take use of my other spot? Thank you in advance.
Mister Condo replies:
L.L., with snow season fast approaching your question is quite timely. I can only give you my opinion as I haven’t actually read your governance documents to see what they say in their entirety. In theory, your two deeded and numbered spaces are yours to use as you see fit, provided they fall within the association guidelines and any local, state, and/or federal law. However, there are major snow events that are considered snow emergencies and that can supersede your governance documents so I don’t want to offer you an answer that you feel is all encompassing. What has been done in the past? If the parking area is common ground for the HOA, they may have the right and or authority to use it as they see fit, even though it is deeded in use to you or another owner. This gets downright complicated from a legal standpoint and, since I am not an attorney nor an expert in community association law in your state, my best advice is for you to confer with an attorney to get a legal opinion on how to proceed. Obviously, you want the use of your two spaces and it would appear, from your interpretation of the documents, you are entitled to their use. What you need to know is whether there are exigent circumstances such as a snow emergency that give the HOA the power to use the association common grounds as they see fit. That is where your answer lies. Let’s hope for a winter that doesn’t create too many snow emergencies. All the best!