Condo Line

Owners’ cars block narrow streets

Q. Our HOA board is having a difficult time enforcing the rule of parking on our narrow streets in our community. We have put out notices and signs about towing cars but we do not have “No Parking” signs along the roads. We are concerned that fire trucks and ambulances cannot get through the parked cars. Can we legally have a person’s car towed if they do not comply with our rules and regulations?

E.B., Ocala

Confirm that your documents restrict on-the-street parking. Notify owners, put warnings on the illegally parked cars, post signs and then you can tow. However, I have an alternate plan that may have better results.

Check with your local police or sheriff’s office and find out if they will come into your community and ticket the cars for illegally parking. They may require that you purchased “No Parking” signs and complete an authorization form. Your only expense would be the signs restricting parking. This way the board is not fighting with the owners of the illegally parked cars. Q. My townhome has a problem with rain flowing into my home. This has resulted in major mold in my carpet. My rear yard slopes down to my unit, as the adjacent home is much higher. I have addressed the problem with my board and it did install new rain gutters and a French drain to help dissipate the water. The board is not willing to face the fact that this system is not correcting the problem. How can I resolve this without going to court?

M.M., Lake Mary

I believe that you will get better results by talking to the county engineer or engaging an engineer to seek a better solution. Yes, you have the right to sue the association, however it may be determined by the courts that it does not have the responsibility to alter the course of the rain runoff. It would be better to work with your board. Ask it to help to engage the county to provide an inspection and work with their recommendations. Q. Several of our owners have requested an agenda item to be included at the next board meeting. We know the board received the request but the item was not up for discussion as it was not included in the agenda. The subject was a reserve budget to include pavers for the parking area. Our documents say that parking is a limited common area with assigned parking. In reading the condominium act, it says that limited elements shall be maintained by those entitled to use them. We have contacted the Ombudsman Division and it will not comment on this issue. We want to know if the association required to have a reserve item to pay for this limited element or should we seek a legal opinion?

M.J., Miami

The board has 100 percent responsibility to maintain these areas and to budget to maintain the property. Limited areas still must be maintained by the condominium; however each owner would be responsible to keep the areas clean. When the statutes address owner’s responsibility to maintain, they do not mean construction and repairs. They mean that each owner should keep the assigned parking area clean, remove any debris such as oil leaks and park proper vehicles. It could not to be used as storage of non-vehicle items. I would suggest that you and a couple owners write the board a letter and ask for a private meeting with the directors, less than quorum, to discuss the question. Be friendly in the meeting by explaining that you do not understand why they are not budgeting to repair the parking area.

Write to Condo Line, Richard White, 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., #201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115, or e-mail Include name and city.

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