C.W. from Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If a condo owner has deeded parking, can the Board boot his car if he did not pay his assessment for one month. Bylaws states association can put a lien only. We also had a towing company for unauthorized parking. Isn’t it a law in Illinois that a Condo Board should have a sign for guest parking for 15 minutes in parking lot? There are 16 units and around 21 parking spaces.
Mister Condo replies:
C.W., parking is a perennial problem for condominium dwellers all across the country. I am not an attorney nor am I an expert in Illinois condo law so I will need to refer you to a local attorney in your state for a legal answer to your question. However, from a practical standpoint I can tell you that enforcing the condominium’s parking rules can prove quite challenging for the Board. In states where there are additional laws about parking (for the record, I am not aware of any) I can only imagine that challenge is greater. As a general rule, the Board needs to notify an offender in writing that they have violated a rule. Then they need to allow the rule breaker an opportunity to contest the breaking of the rule. Repeated offenses are then punishable with a fine or further action such as applying a boot.
Non-payment of assessments is another story. State and local law will supersede the association’s rules. However, if the association rules indicate that non-payment or delinquent payment of common fees will result in denial of use of common areas, the association may be within its rights. However, most states do not allow an association to prevent unit owner access and a court may find that the association is overstepping its authority by booting a car that is parked in a deeded space. It truly depends on the law and the history of similar cases. An attorney is the best person to advise the unit owner of his or her rights on this matter.
Of course, the simplest solution is for the unit owner to keep current on the common fees and/or park off property until such time as they get current. Late fees, towing fees, boot removal fees, etc. are going to cost more than just paying the common fees. Common fees are the lifeblood of any association and in a condo as small as yours is, one unit owner can have quite a damaging impact on the association if the fees are paid on time. All the best!