V.E. from Nevada writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a Condo unit in Northern Nevada. The H.O.A. is trying to get residents to park in their garage and driveway instead of the visitor parking area. This has become a problem as we have many renters here that use their garage for storage instead of parking. I believe we could solve the problem by using a sticker system and verification of registration and insurance. All units have at least 2 parking spaces. Some residents have more than 2 cars. I am thinking that if you have more than 2 cars you would get a sticker for the third or fourth and the stickered cars could park in the visitor parking area. Any idea on how to implement this system or a better one? Any information would be very helpful and appreciated. Thank You.
Mister Condo replies:
V.E., parking issues plague condos and HOAs all across the country. It is usually caused by too many people living in a relatively small area with regards to parking. Of course, as you point out, the problem is really complicated when individual units are responsible for 3 or 4 cars on the common grounds at one time. Not to mention the fact that many units also have visitors who come and go on a regular basis.
Many HOAs forbid anything other than cars being stored in garages. Check your rules and regulations, Chances are there are rules against using the garage for anything other than parking. There is good reason for this. Garages can be real fire hazards and if folks are storing all kinds of junk in their garages they may be creating a potential hazard. I am sure there are plenty of local storage rental companies where people could relocate their garage junk to free up the spaces in the garages which were designed to house cars.
You mention that you have many renters in your condo. That is fine but there is no reason for renters to be allowed more parking spaces than anyone else. Their landlords knew when they rented their units what the parking arrangements were. If you don’t already have rules in place to limit the number of vehicles renters are allowed to have on your property, I would do so at your earliest convenience. I would require that rental units use their garage and their assigned space. Period.
Finally, you have proposed a sticker system that may work just fine for your community. Of course, someone needs to issue those stickers and someone needs to then enforce the system. If you are going to ask your property management company to do that, I would work with them to figure out what is the most economical and practical solution. Chances are they have experience with this very situation in one of the other properties they manage. I also want to point out a website that you may find useful. SpotShare is in the business of helping associations make the most of their available parking spaces. You can learn all about their innovative parking solutions at http://SpotShare.com/. Good luck!