HOA Parking Rules: How Vacationers and Tenants Should Park Properly

Homeowners associations are no stranger to vacationers and tenants who are, in turn, not exempt from the rules of the community. When it comes to HOA parking rules, here is everything short-term and long-term tenants need to know.


HOA Parking Rules: Are They Allowed?

If you have ever lived in a community managed by a homeowners association, then you know that there are many rules residents must follow. Associations design these rules to keep order in the neighborhood and, more indirectly, protect property values. While no two associations are exactly alike, rules can range from home maintenance requirements and landscaping restrictions to the regulation of noise, pets, and parking.

As a tenant, one question you may ask is whether or not homeowners associations even have the power to enforce parking rules. The short answer is yes. For a majority of cases, HOAs do have the authority to enact and enforce such rules. This authority is usually granted to the association either by state statutes or their governing documents.


Can HOA Enforce No Parking on Street?

While homeowners associations generally have the ability to enforce parking rules, street parking is a separate topic altogether. The first thing residents and tenants must confirm is whether or not the rules apply to private or public streets. Associations can legally enforce parking restrictions on private streets. These are streets that are not open to the public, i.e. only members of the community have access to them.

But, what about streets open to the general public? Can HOA restrict parking on public streets? Unless authorized by the law, associations do not have the power to enforce parking restrictions on public streets.

Public streets are regulated by the local government and, therefore, fall under local ordinances. And, homeowners associations cannot enact or enforce rules that contradict state and local laws. Many public streets already have restrictions when it comes to parking anyway. If speeding is an issue, homeowners associations can ask their local government or law enforcement for help.


Do HOA Parking Rules Apply to Tenants and Vacationers?

HOA Parking Rules Apply to Tenants and VacationersBy now, it is clear that homeowners associations do possess the ability to enforce parking restrictions and that residents are bound by these rules. But, what about tenants and vacationers? Do the same rules apply to non-permanent residents of an HOA, too?

In a word, yes. Just because you are not a permanent resident of the HOA does not mean you should receive special treatment. Many HOAs allow homeowners to rent out their property to long- or short-term tenants. But, their rental policies usually require homeowners, i.e. your landlord, to ensure that tenants do not violate the rules. Your landlord will normally orient you on the rules of the community or provide you with a written copy.

For some communities, tenants may or may not be allowed to bring in their own vehicles. Depending on the HOA, tenants may need HOA parking permits to park in designated lots or spaces. Before agreeing to rent a home in an HOA community, make sure to ask your prospective landlord about parking restrictions, if any. This way, you can avoid running into HOA parking issues.

While you are not technically a resident, you are still required to follow the association’s rules. This is not limited to parking rules only. There are many rules in an HOA, including noise restrictions, pet restrictions, and occupancy limits.


Sample HOA Parking Rules to Keep in Mind

“Parking rules” is such a broad term that can encompass a number of conditions. Residents and tenants alike should educate themselves on the specific restrictions that apply. In general, though, the following are some of the most common HOA parking rules you will encounter:


1. Parking Location

Can HOA force you to park in your garage? Can HOA restrict parking in the driveway? These are questions that often pop into the minds of residents and tenants, but one with a simple answer: Yes.

While many might deem it unfair, associations can control where residents — and, by extension, tenants — park their vehicles. This is one of the most common parking restrictions in an HOA. An association may require residents to keep their cars inside garages or in designated parking lots. These associations do this with the well-established purpose of maintaining curb appeal and preserving property values.

Some vehicles just do not look good parked in a driveway, so HOAs require them to stay in the garage. Other times, having vehicles in the driveway or private street simply interferes with the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood. Whatever the reason may be, HOA driveway parking restrictions are commonplace.


2. Allowable Duration or Time

When it comes to parking in common spaces, homeowners associations usually impose a time limit. For example, an HOA may only allow parked vehicles in a given space for up to 24 hours. When the vehicle exceeds this limit, the association can initiate towing. This is mostly to discourage people from abandoning their cars.

There are also parking rules that only allow cars to park in a given space for a set period of time. For example, residents may park their vehicles in the clubhouse parking lot between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Outside of these hours, the HOA may tow the vehicle.


3. Types of Vehicles

Many associations regulate the types of vehicles residents can bring into and park inside the community. For instance, an HOA may not permit the parking of RVs, campers, trailers, commercial vehicles, and boats. This restriction also typically aims to maintain the appearance of the community. After all, a giant trailer parked outside of a home can really be an eyesore.


HOA Parking Solutions: Can the HOA Tow Vehicles?

hoa parking restrictionsWhether or not an association has the power to tow vehicles will depend on state laws. In Florida, for instance, Section 715.07 grants this authority.

Most states also allow HOAs to tow vehicles when they are improperly parked or when they violate community rules. But, the association must have provided written notice of the parking rules to the offender prior to towing.

It is also a good idea for associations to provide an HOA parking violation notice and allow the offender to remedy the breach before resorting to towing the vehicle. Boards must remember that towing can be a source of disputes, so it is important to tread carefully.


The Role of Tenants in HOAs

HOA parking rules may seem inconvenient, but they do serve a higher purpose. These rules exist to maintain the positive appearance of the community and, in turn, protect property values.

While tenants do not have a stake in the community because they are not homeowners, you must still respect the association’s rules and the members that adhere to them. Make sure to review and follow the rules of the HOA you will be residing in, be it long- or short-term.

Homeowners, on the other hand, must practice thorough screening procedures to get good tenants. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for homeowners to become landlords. This is where property management companies come in. Start looking for the best property management company in your area with the help of our online directory.