J.T. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I rent a condo that has roughly 700 units. I have a townhouse that has a small garage and a driveway. I am being told that I cannot have a guest park in my driveway because he owns a pickup truck. This is not a commercial truck just a new Chevy. So I said OK, where is the guest parking and I will have him park there? I was told no; he has to park in the road outside of the complex. He is disabled and cannot walk down a large hill nor walk 5 blocks to get to my condo. I don’t want my landlord to get fined 25 dollars a day. What can I do?
Mister Condo replies:
J.T., I am sorry for your parking problems. Unlike public grounds or city parking lots, condominiums are considered private property and are not required to allow vehicles beyond a certain size the ability to park on their grounds. The rules of the association are in place to protect all unit owners and to establish the guidelines by which unit owners choose to purchase and live within the community. The fact that your parking issue involves a guest who is not a unit owner within the condominium truly negates any reasonable accommodation you could seek through the Board. If you allow your guest to park on association grounds with an oversized vehicle, the unit owner (your landlord, in this case) will very likely be summoned to appear before the Board and eventually be assessed fines. There are very likely rules that will allow the Board to tow the vehicle from the property after repeated offenses. Clearly, simply disobeying the rules will create a hardship for your landlord who will very likely pass that hardship on to you and may even evict you for the offense.
So, the easiest solution is for your visitor to visit but without his oversized vehicle. Perhaps you could offer to pick him up when he comes to visit or meet him at the street and drive him to your home so he can park correctly and you can drive him to your unit. If he has a second vehicle that is within the size restrictions of your condo, he should use that when visiting. You can ask your landlord to petition the Board to allow the oversized vehicle on the property but my guess is that they will deny the request because it opens them up to no longer being able to enforce the oversized vehicle rule which is not wise for most condos because of the typically small garages and driveways that are so common to them. I wish you and your friend all the best in solving this problem!