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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

HOA members may face harsh parking restrictions

California Homeowner’s Association boards typically want the neighborhood to look tidy, but some might decide that vehicles are too unsightly. They may try to restrict parking outside of garages in order to keep up appearances or keep traffic obstacles at bay.

While you can probably expect that there will be some limits on parking, some associations may enforce unreasonable policies. One homeowner complains that their HOA’s parking rules are legal, but nowhere near appropriate, as reported in a recent Los Angeles Times article. Neighbors with multiple cars, guests and even caregivers had to park in streets outside of the neighborhood, often walking a mile to get to their destination.

This policy may have existed for more than the purpose of minimalist aesthetics. In response to the problem, the association sold each household one 3-day parking pass for guests per month, possibly to bolster funds for the board, according to the article. The association may want to reconsider these policies, however, to avoid injury liability from these long distances as well as angry homeowners.

Another potential parking issue can arise from favoritism. Homeowners with lavish cars might never suffer the same restrictions as their neighbors who have slightly rusty vehicles. An HOA board may intentionally or even accidentally favor nice vehicles because it could make the neighborhood look wealthier to potential buyers. Or, perhaps, the board members ignore parking restrictions for their own vehicles.

Associations should be open to examining unreasonable parking policies. If your association is unwilling to adapt the rules to be practical for the people who live there, it may be time to seek legal guidance for this HOA dispute. Your HOA board could be overstepping your initial contract with harsh parking stipulations.

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