Everything Your HOA Board Needs to Know About Parking Enforcement & Towing

Parking and towing in residential neighborhoods can be a nightmare. In condominiums and other homeowner association properties there is often limited space. In many cases, there are more vehicles than available parking spots. Residents and visitors resort to parking in restricted areas, or worse, parking illegally, and create issue for roadway safety as a result. 

Parking issues can create a long term problem if not promptly addressed and resolved.

While you may not be able to add more parking spaces, you can use HOA Guidelines to improve and enforce parking regulations in your neighborhood.  We suggest to start by identifying the stem of your parking issues, then implementing thorough and practical parking guidelines. Follow up with effective signage and ensure residents are well informed, and use parking enforcement like warnings, fines and towing as a last resort.   

HOA Guidelines For Parking Enforcement

  A great starting point for any association in a parking pickle is to revamp and review the guidelines for parking set by the HOA. In many instances, we’ve found that the rules are now antiquated. Often they are based too much on regulation and are not practical. Often, by tweaking the association parking rules in a few simple ways you’ll find major parking improvement. With less need to enforce parking or tow vehicles, you alleviate the hassle and frustration.   

Identify The Parking Issues Of Your HOA

Typically, parking enforcement and towing in residential associations is caused by a few classes of parking issue: vehicle types and quantity, time restrictions, locations and road types. 

Vehicle Types Within Your HOA

Certain HOA’s limit the type of vehicles that can be parked on  a property. If your residential neighborhood wants to maintain a certain look and style, they may prohibit parking of certain commercial vehicles, like trucks, RV’s, vans and trailers. Similar concerns apply to non working or out of service vehicles that may be abandoned or left on property. 

Vehicle Quantity In The HOA Property

Also important to consider is the number of vehicles permitted per residence. Consider how many parking spaces the typical household on property association is allotted. Use that to decide how many parking decals, and guest passes can be assigned per unit without causing overflow.

Times 

Some residential neighborhoods create regulations based on time for vehicle  parking. As described above, if your association prohibits certain vehicles parking  on property, consider the time frames.    Work trucks and vans may need daytime access, but are unlikely to need  evening or overnight access to units. Use this information to minimize parking issue by restricting overnight parking of work vehicles, vans or trucks.    The same applies to guest vehicles  and overnight guest vehicles. Consider where and how these cars can park, and for how long.  

Locations

Sometimes, residential parking issues stem from poorly marked or designed  parking areas. Are parking lots being used to the appropriate capacity? Are residents assigned specific spots? Where should guests or overnight visitors park? Are there garages?  Ensure that all outdoor parking lot spaces are clearly marked with the parking pattern the HOA has adopted. Install appropriate signs and information to minimize the issue.  

Road Types

It is important to consider the type of roads on your property. If your association has jurisdiction over private roadways, garages and lots, it is easier to define and regulate parking. In some cases, properties are on public streets or share public roadways and thus must abide by more formal parking enforcement rules. Once you identify the issues for parking it is easier to address and resolve them.    

Simple Parking Solutions

  Signage Hands down the most straightforward way to simplify parking challenges for your HOA Board is to create clear signage. Assure that parking spots and parking areas are marked well with lines on the pavement as well as proper advisory signs.  When residents and visitors can clearly see the parking guidelines for the property, the parking problem is usually quickly eliminated. No body willingly parks in ‘Tow-Away Zones,’ if the proper parking areas are well marked.  Frequently, vehicles are towed because the areas are not well marked or not marked at all.  Create proper signs and visible parking demarcations and everyone will have a better parking experience.    Parking Enforcement Plan After you have identified major parking issues and assured that appropriate  parking areas are clearly identified, develop a parking enforcement plan. Perhaps  the board chooses to impose warning and fines. Consider how those will be  applied and collected. You may need to get help from a local parking  enforcement or security team. Above all, inform residents and visitors first.  Though parking can be problematic, there is no worse headache than  dealing with angry residents, vendors, or guests who were not adequately  informed of the rules and received a warning, fine, or got towed.  Make a parking enforcement plan for your association and inform the residents.   Towing Vehicles  Under Florida Law, commonly known as ‘the towing statue,’ HOA and association Board’s are within legal rights to have vehicles towed from the property under certain conditions.  While there are many details to consider, if a car is parked on a condo or HOA property out of accordance with the Board’s published guidelines, the vehicle is subject to towing. We suggest leaving this as a last resort. Try to work with your residents and homeowners to address the parking issues practically. Inform them of parking rules and changes and give them plenty of notice.   

Final note on HOA parking enforcement and towing for the Board

When your association is having trouble with parking, try implementing some parking alternatives to resolve the problem. Simple steps, such as clarifying the associations parking rules with residents and visitors, and properly enforcing the HOA Guidelines can drastically improve the parking issues in your community association.   

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