As an Arizona community association, how do you address HOA parking rules and violations? How do you ensure that residents and visitors are aware of the rules, while strengthening your reputation and keeping the peace in your community?

Parking policy enforcement is a universal challenge for homeowners’ associations, regardless of whether the community is a master-planned one in Scottsdale or a single-family home association in Tucson. For instance, here are several examples of parking challenges your association may face:
  • parking-policy_Thumbnail.jpgInsufficient parking spaces
  • Parking in a resident’s assigned spot
  • Restrictions with guest parking
  • Overnight parking in a prohibited location
  • Limited or restricted street parking
  • RV and boat parking
  • Handicapped parking
  • Illegal parking in fire lanes
  • Parking in landscaping
  • Inoperable vehicles
  • Vehicles leaking fluid in common area
  • Unregistered or expired license plates
To ensure a smooth and harmonious community, it is crucial for your Arizona HOA board to prioritize a clear and effective parking policy. By following these 5 important considerations and tips, you can minimize violations and misunderstandings while fostering a pleasant living environment for all residents.

HOA Parking Tip 1: Contact the proper jurisdiction for parking issues on public roads.

It is essential to collaborate with local authorities and jurisdiction before taking action to enforce HOA parking rules. It is important to note that your HOA does not have the authority to issue fines or remove vehicles parked illegally on public roads, even if those roads pass through your community. In such cases, it is recommended to reach out to the relevant city or county authorities with jurisdiction over the road and report the issue. However, if the parking violation poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of a resident, you can request immediate towing assistance from the city or county.

According to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 33-1818,  “Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, after the period of declarant control, an association has no authority over and shall not regulate any roadway for which the ownership has been dedicated to or is otherwise held by a governmental entity.” (Note that this applies to associations where the declaration is recorded after December 31, 2014.)

HOA Parking Tip 2: Be familiar with Arizona laws concerning HOAs and parking regulations.

Compliance is key when it comes to towing restrictions and laws in Arizona. HOA board members must have a clear understanding of the laws in place and ensure that they are followed diligently, even on private property. Associations have a vital responsibility to adhere to all stipulations when it comes to towing vehicles.

According to A.R.S. Section 9-499.05(B), “The owner or agent of the owner of the private property shall be deemed to have given consent to unrestricted parking by the general public in any parking area of the private property unless such parking area is posted with signs as prescribed by this subsection which are clearly visible and readable from any point within the parking area and at each entrance.” These signs should clearly outline the type of parking restriction, what will happen if a vehicle is in violation of the restriction, maximum cost to the violator, telephone number and address where the towed vehicle is located. The signs should also be clearly visible and readable from any point within the parking area and at each entrance.

HOA Parking Tip 3:  Make sure your parking policy is reasonable and defined in your CC&Rs.

When it comes to HOA parking rules, clarity is key. Vague regulations can leave homeowners confused about what is considered a violation, causing unnecessary headaches. Additionally, unreasonable restrictions only add to the frustration. To avoid these issues and promote harmony within your community, take the time to review your parking policy. Partner with your association attorney and management company to assess the current rules and make any necessary adjustments to ensure clarity and reasonableness. By doing so, you will not only save yourself and your residents from potential disputes but also maintain a peaceful and well-regulated environment for all.

What should your Arizona association parking policy include? Here are a few recommendations:
  • A list of what is and what isn’t allowed, including parking that is prohibited by law and rules specific to your association (e.g., guest parking regulations).
  • A description of towing conditions, including the HOA’s authorization to tow, notification procedures (see #2) and the owner’s responsibility for all towing-related expenses.
  • An explanation and reiteration of your HOA’s right to enforce parking regulations and levy fines.
  • Authorization for your HOA board to grant limited exceptions and waivers at its discretion
Ensure your policy is up to date by checking for these elements. If any are missing, it's time to update your rules and regulations. It's also important to stay compliant with current Arizona law and address any changes in your community. Additionally, keep a close eye on emerging parking issues, as they may warrant policy updates as well.

HOA Parking Tip #4: Communicate consistently with homeowners about parking policies.

Get clarity on association parking rules by proactively communicating with homeowners. Instead of relying on homeowners to check the CC&Rs and inform others about parking policies, make it easy for everyone in the community to stay informed. Include friendly articles in your community newsletter, send out emails, and post the policy on a community bulletin board. Consider discussing the rules at a homeowners' meeting for added clarification. By taking these proactive steps, you can ensure that everyone in the community is aware of and abides by the association's parking rules.

As with all association policies, the key is to communicate proactively. Dealing with parking issues in your association can be difficult, but by openly and honestly discussing the matter, you can make significant progress with your residents. Collaborate with your community manager and management company to consistently communicate parking policies and any updates. It's important to strike a balance between sharing positive news and announcements, as well as addressing and enforcing rules and potentially less enjoyable news. Don't underestimate the power of effective communication in resolving parking challenges within your association. To learn more best practices on how to appropriately communicate new policies, read HOA Policy: Why Consistent Communication Is Key.

HOA Parking Tip #5: Always partner with your management company and attorney when managing parking policies.

Ensure the effectiveness of your HOA parking rules by collaborating with an experienced association attorney and a reputable local community management company. By leveraging their expertise in Arizona laws, you can confidently adapt or create regulations that suit your community's needs. Additionally, your designated community manager will diligently enforce the parking rules and efficiently communicate them to residents, fostering a harmonious living environment.

Having a good parking policy in place and communicating it with residents can reduce parking problems and keep your community safer for everyone and strengthen your reputation. For more information on effectively managing your parking policy, contact FirstService Residential, Arizona’s leading community management company.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Monday July 31, 2023