J.S. from Escambia County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I manage a condominium complex in Perdido Key. What are the laws regarding booting cars that do not have correct parking passes or none at all or are illegally parked or parked in private owner areas? What, if any, signage is needed? How long do we have to remove boot after owner pays fine? What is the legal fine we can charge?
Mister Condo replies:
J.S., booting cars is an extreme measure. I hope that isn’t the first effort to have folks follow the rules at the condo for parking. I am sure there is high demand and short supply at your condo and, as manager, the association is relying on you to enforce their rules and keep the peace. Signs may not be pretty but they should be your first effort at getting people to comply with the rules of the association. Since you are on private property, you can have whatever rules you would like about how the parking lot is managed but they must be the rules of the association and they must be adopted properly. If the rules state that cars parked improperly can be booted, the only other thing you have to worry about are local, state, and federal statutes. I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. I am not aware of any regulations that prohibit the practice but I would certainly speak with a locally qualified attorney before I started making people’s cars undriveable because of a boot. Local law enforcement may frown upon the practice as well as they are likely going to be the ones getting the complaints when an unsuspecting owner finds their care undriveable because a boot was applied. In my opinion, a far better solution would be to work with an outside vendor to control and manage your parking lot violations. One of the better solutions is found at Parking Boss (https://luminoushoa.com/products/parkingboss). Ideally, you won’t have to boot any cars. Using an outside vendor to help get control of the situation is ideal. All the best!