Five Simple Ways to Manage Your HOA Parking Policy

One of the most common challenges that homeowners’ associations (HOAs) face is how to address parking violations. Depending on the type of community you live in, some of the situations that may lead to violations include:
  • Insufficient parking spaces
  • Parking in a resident’s assigned spot
  • Guest parking
  • Overnight parking in a prohibited location
  • Inappropriate or prohibited street parking
  • RV and boat parking
  • Parking in handicapped spots
  • Parking in fire lanes
  • Parking in landscaping
  • Inoperable vehicles
  • Vehicles leaking fluid in common area
  • Unregistered or expired plates
To help minimize violations and misunderstandings about your community’s parking rules, here are five things that your HOA board should do.

1. Contact the proper jurisdiction for parking issues on public roads.
HOAs cannot impose fines or tow away vehicles that are illegally parked on public roads, even if those roads run through your community. Instead, contact the city or county that has jurisdiction over the road and report the problem. If the parking violation poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a resident, you can ask the city or county to have the vehicle towed immediately.
2. Be familiar with Nevada law pertaining to HOAs and parking regulations.
Nevada law (NRS 116.3102) authorizes HOAs to have a vehicle removed if it is improperly parked on community property (including private roads) in violation of the HOA’s governing documents. Normally, you must notify the violator at least 48 hours in advance. This can be done either by conspicuously posting a notice on the vehicle or by contacting the owner verbally or in writing.
Situations that do not require 48-hour notice are if the vehicle is:
  • Blocking a fire hydrant or fire lane
  • Blocking a parking space designated for the handicapped
  • Posing a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a resident
3. Make sure your CC&Rs clearly spell out a reasonable parking policy.
If the parking rules and regulations in your Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) are too vague, homeowners may be confused about what constitutes a violation. By the same token, unreasonable restrictions can be frustrating. Save yourself and your residents a lot of headaches by reviewing your parking policy and making sure it is clear and reasonable. See if it includes:
  • A list of what is and isn’t allowed, including parking that is prohibited by law and rules specific to your association (for example, regarding guest parking)
  • Towing conditions, including the HOA’s authorization to tow, towing notification procedures (see #2) and the owner’s responsibility for all towing-related expenses
  • The HOA’s right to enforce parking regulations and levy fines
  • Authorization for your HOA board to grant limited exceptions and waivers at its discretion
If any of these elements are missing from your policy, you may need to update your rules and regulations. Other possible reasons for updating your policy are if it is no longer compliant with current Nevada law, if changes to your community require additional rules or if parking issues have emerged that the existing policy does not address.

4. Communicate regularly with homeowners about parking rules.
Of course homeowners should refer to their CC&Rs if they are unsure about the HOA’s parking rules. However, we all know that it is more likely that these important documents are filed away. Out of sight often means out of mind.
Rather than counting on homeowners to check the rules (and to inform their tenants and guests of the parking policy), share this information periodically with everyone in the community. Include a friendly article in your community newsletter. Send out emails. Post the policy on a community bulletin board. You may also want to include a discussion of the rules at a homeowners’ meeting.

5. Turn to an experienced community management company.
A knowledgeable community management company with a local presence will be familiar with Nevada law and with developing an effective HOA parking policy. The community manager for your property will also take responsibility for enforcing your parking regulations and for keeping your residents aware of the rules.
Having a good parking policy in place and making sure that your residents are familiar with it can reduce parking problems and keep your community safer for everyone. For more information on managing your parking policy, contact FirstService Residential, Nevada’s leading community management company.


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