parking-policy_Thumbnail.jpgAs a Nevada community association, how do you address HOA parking rule 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?

The truth is, whether you live in a master-planned community in Las Vegas or a single-family home association in Reno, one of the most common challenges for HOAs is managing and enforcing parking policy. For instance, here are several examples of parking challenges your association may face:
  • Insufficient 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 the common area
  • Unregistered or expired license plates

To help minimize violations and misunderstandings about your community's parking policy, here are 5 important considerations and tips for your Nevada HOA board:
 

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

Always work with local authorities and jurisdictions before attempting to enforce parking policy. Remember that your HOA 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 a resident's health, safety, or welfare, you can ask the city or county to have the vehicle towed immediately.

According to Nevada's Common-Interest Ownership (Uniform Act) NRS 116.350, "In a common-interest community which is not gated or enclosed and the access to which is not restricted or controlled by a person or device, the executive board shall not and the governing documents must not provide for the regulation of any road, street, alley or other thoroughfares the right-of-way of which is accepted by the State or a local government for dedication as a road, street, alley or other thoroughfares for public use."


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

NRS 116.3102 authorizes HOAs to have a vehicle removed if it's 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 contacting the owner verbally or in writing.

Situations that do not require 48-hour notice include 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

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

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. Partner with your association attorney and management company to walk through your current policy and ensure it is clear and reasonable.

What should your Nevada association parking policy include? Here are a few recommendations: 
  • A list of what is and what isn't allowed, including parking, 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

If any of these elements are missing from your policy, you may need to update your rules and regulations. Additionally, you may need to update your policy if it is no longer compliant with current Nevada law, if changes to your community require additional rules, or new parking issues have emerged.


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

When homeowners are unsure about association parking rules, they may be looking to your board for guidance first. Rather than counting on homeowners to check the CC&Rs (and 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.

As with all association policies, the key is to communicate proactively. If parking is a challenge in your association, remember that sharing it openly and honestly will go a long way with residents—partner with your community manager and management company to ensure that you regularly share policies and changes. And remember, the best communications combine good news and announcements with rules and "less pleasant" news. 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.

When developing or modifying your parking policy, it's important to partner with your association attorney and a knowledgeable community management company with a local presence and familiarity with Nevada laws. The community manager for your property will also take responsibility for enforcing your parking regulations and for keeping your residents aware of the rules.


Conclusion

Regardless of which community you live in, parking is an ongoing issue that affects many people, including your family, friends and fellow neighbors. That is why having a good HOA parking policy in place and communicating it with your 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, Nevada's leading community management company. 

 

Monday July 12, 2021