E.H. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
There are 175 units and 195 parking spaces at my condo. In the past, we were issued 2 parking stickers for each condo. There have never been enough spaces. They now want to limit 1 bedroom units to one sticker and two or more bedrooms to 2. We will still be short 100 spaces! Can they make different rules for different sized units in the same complex?
Mister Condo replies:
E.H., overcrowded parking lots are a plague for many condos in our state. I don’t suppose it’s any comfort to know that you are not alone in this struggle. Basically, with 175 units there is one space per unit with 20 additional spaces that could be used by visitors. There is no requirement to provide visitors with parking but it only makes sense that some unit owners would have visitors from time to time. The reality is that most unit owners wish to domicile two or more vehicles on the property and that is what is causing your problem. Your question, though, is can the Board change the rules about parking and who gets how many spaces. The answer is “yes and no”.
It really depends on what the condo declaration says about parking as a right of unit ownership. If the unit includes one or more spaces, then that is the rule the association is bound by unless the declaration is amended. My guess is that if there were only 195 parking spaces then it is likely that each unit gets one and the balance is for visitor parking. If there are garages with your units, that is a different story as garaged vehicles would not count towards that allotment. In other words, you could garage a car and still have an additional parking space to use; either in front of the garage or elsewhere on the property.
So, begin with your condo documents. What did you purchase when you bought your unit? Does the deed include one or more parking spaces? If so, you are well within your rights to demand you get what you paid for. If the documents do not support more than one space for your unit, you may just have to accept the wisdom of the Board and work with just one space. It is an unfortunate reality of modern living. Most units require a car for every adult occupant. In a high density housing situation such as yours, that means a lot of parking spaces are needed but not always available. Best wishes!