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What to do if someone parks in your spot in a planned community

Most people in a planned community hope to have a friendly relationship with their neighbors. Unfortunately, parking in a planned community can be limited and many neighbors may get into disagreements over designated parking spots.

Disputes over parking spots can lead to angry notes and escalating tensions. This post will explain the steps you can take with your homeowners association (HOA) if you need to resolve a designated parking spot dispute.

Understand your parking rights

Before taking the parking dispute to the HOA board, you should first check any documents you have related to parking, including your HOA’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs outline the rules and obligations of the HOA and normally have a section on parking spaces and enforcement.

In some instances, a home or condominium owner may have a deeded parking spot. Compared to an HOA controlled spot, a deed can give the owner exclusive access to that spot. These deeds can have specific terms and conditions that are separate from the CC&Rs, so speaking with an attorney is the best way to clarify your rights.

Steps to resolve your parking problem

If you confirm that you have a right to the parking area, the next step is to notify the person parking in your spot that they need to move their vehicle. The person may not know that he or she did not have the right to park in the spot and will hopefully move his or her vehicle.

If the person refuses to park somewhere else, contacting the HOA is your next step. Many HOAs will tow a person’s vehicle after giving notice and may charge the vehicle owner additional fees. While unlikely, an HOA may not have clear rules for moving a car parked in another person’s spot. This dispute can then cause the HOA to change its parking rules, which will require notice and waiting at least 30 days before rule changes take effect.

Parking spaces in a planned community are a finite resource and many people have their own parking horror stories. If your neighbor continually parks in your spot, start working through the process now and get your HOA to take action.

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