F.M. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a 160-unit townhome community. My unit is right across from the main parking lot. Each parking space is clearly labeled VISITOR. A neighbor who lives down the street has a college-aged kid with an unbelievably loud sports car. I suspect he’s had an after-market muffler system installed. He always parks his car in the visitor spaces. When he starts is up it lets out a backfire and vibrates the walls in my unit, as well as my neighbors. Worse than that, it startles the hell out of me because we are on a mountaintop with NO traffic or industrial noise. It’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop.
The kid and his mother are aware of the problem and the complaints, and they don’t care. Her attitude is: “I pay the same association fee as everyone else. . . my kid can park where he wants”.
The HOA board says there’s nothing they can legally do about the repeated nuisance, despite multiple residents complaining about it. Ironically, we recently got a new property manager, and she sent out a community-wide email warning that the pool parking is for visitors only, and that residents had to park in their garages, driveways and any additional vehicles needed to be parked in an auxiliary lot (which would have solved the noise issue, since that lot is on the other side of the development). However, as always, many residents did not heed the warning of a $100 fine for parking by the pool, one of whom was the owner of the loud car. He continues to park there. The HOA and management have been completely and utterly useless in dealing with this, and they just tell us to go to the cops and file a noise complaint. My issue with their BS excuse is that condo property is private property, and is governed by the HOA rules and restrictions. . . a lovely privilege for which I pay over $300 a month in association fees. The parking lot, furthermore, is a “common area” and their responsibility—not mine. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?
Mister Condo replies:
F.M., don’t you just hate it when a neighbor behaves in an un-neighborly fashion? Automotive exhaust systems that are modified for loudness are most certainly a nuisance and violating the community’s parking rules are both violations that the association could very likely act upon if they so desired. Their failure to do so indicates that these are probably not the right volunteers to run the community. You need to elect leaders who are unafraid to enforce the rules or you will have a community where rules don’t matter. You know what comes next, don’t you? You and other like-minded community members need to run for the Board and enforce the rules once you are elected. Keep in mind that service on the Board is much more than just rules enforcement but if your current leaders aren’t going to enforce the rules you can either replace them or live with the rules going unenforced. It’s your choice. Good luck!