Q&A: Condo Parking Conundrum

Q. I live in a small condo association with limited parking. Our condo docs clearly state that each unit has one reserved parking space which is numbered with the same number as your unit.  The remainder of the parking spaces are clearly marked "guest." 

Unfortunately, a large amount of owners and / or their guests do not seem to understand the difference between an assigned parking spot and a guest spot.  Frequently, if you go out at night, you will come home to find someone parked in your space. You have no way of knowing if it is a visitor or someone that lives here parking in your spot, which is really irrelevant since they are in a reserved spot anyway.  Homeowners don't have a decal or any other identifying mark, and visitors are not required to put anything in their windshield identifying them as being a visitor or with whom they are visiting.

The association really has no set policy for dealing with violators. If you are lucky enough to be able to reach a board member or the management company, they may come put a sticker on the car in violation stating that it will be towed in 24 hours. The violator is rarely there for 24 hours, and therefore goes unpunished except for having to scrape the sticker off of their window.  Meanwhile, residents are sometimes forced to park in the grass if someone is in their spot and then end up getting a ticket from code enforcement for being parked in the grass.

I recently called the police regarding someone parked in my assigned and numbered spot and was told there is nothing they can do because it is private property. I assume if I lived in a private home and found someone in my driveway, I would be able to do something about it.  Why is a condo not able to do anything?  I was also told that they have no way of knowing if someone is trespassing or lives here since homeowners have nothing on their vehicle to identify them as an owner. Other people have been told the same thing.

I (and some of my neighbors) put chairs and benches in our spots if we leave our homes.  I have had chairs stolen and others knocked over. Tonight I plan on putting a barricade with caution tape to make sure I have my assigned parking space when I return home. I do not think I should have to resort to this. This has been an issue for years, yet the management company seems unable to come up with a solution. What are our rights as owners? And, what (if anything) should our management company be doing to combat this? I’m stumped for a reasonable answer.


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  • Andy - Annoyed with over reach. on Thursday, October 24, 2019 10:49 AM
    Hello, my situation is a bit different. I need some advice if possible please. We have a new manager in my condo in Miami, FL. I have an assigned parking space with a number on it and associated with my condo unit. I use different cars, rentals etc. I also let my friends park in my assigned space once in a while. The new manager wants me to register every car that parks in my spot and ask for a permit to park in my spot or be towed at my expense. This makes no sense at all, if the the parking lot was open with unassigned spaces I would understand. this is not the case, every unit has an assigned and numbered parking spot. So any car in my spot is obviously mine. This new measure is not in the bylaws of the association nor it has been submitted to a vote by the owners. The guard gate is absent a lot of times, I have my guard key to drive in and park in my assigned spot. I do not want to be chasing the guard around to register my new rental that I park in my assigned spot. Specially in the middle of the night when all I want to do is get in bed. They say I have to or I will be towed. I think this is an overreach by my association manager. Obviously a car parked in my spot belongs to my unit. What are your thoughts please. Your help is greatly appreciated. Very frustrated in Miami, FL