T.R. from Miami Dade County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My family drove for hours on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate my daughter’s 15th birthday and was not allowed to park in a guest spot because she drives a Cadillac Escalade with the extended back that looks like a pick-up truck. I begged security and offered to pay HOA a parking fine if I had to but security refused to listen to me placed a sticker on car and told me the tow truck was on the way. There were over 10 cars in the parking lot violating parking rules and a commercial vehicle was given a pass to park 30 minutes after my mom left. My daughter’s birthday dinner was ruined and canceled because of this unjust.
Mister Condo replies:
T.R., I am sorry that your daughter’s birthday was ruined over a parking lot issue. It is stories like these that offer an insight into who does what at an HOA and who can you complain to when things don’t go as expected. Since your point of service denial was the Security guard on duty at the time you were denied parking, let’s start there. Almost all HOAs have rules about who can use the common area lots and what types of vehicles are allowed. The security guard reports to his manager and if he doesn’t do his job, he would likely lose his job. The security company reports to either the association manager or the Board of the HOA. If you can find who the manager is, you should certainly send a letter documenting your experience and be sure to also copy the HOA Board. As a guest of the association member, the association member should be the one filing the complaint unless you are a member of the association as well. Association parking lots are property of the association and are private property. As for the other vehicles that you noticed parked that were in violation of the rules and/or the commercial vehicle you noticed allowed entry, you can mention them in your complaint but without knowing who let them in (likely a different security guard) but don’t expect too much from that. Your issue is that you were denied entry and threatened with towing for a vehicle you claim did not violate the association’s parking rules. If the association manager or Board agree with you, you may get more favorable treatment in the future. However, if that message doesn’t reach the future security guards, I wouldn’t be surprised if your vehicle was denied entry again. I am sorry for your parking troubles but it is the nature of an HOA to enforce its rules. If your vehicle isn’t in compliance with the rules there is little to be done other than to use a different vehicle to enter the HOA or to park offsite. All the best!