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Tips for Resolving HOA Parking Problems

Yellow and white parking ticket sits between the windshield wipers of a car.

Parking and car-related issues are a common frustration for many homeowners’ association (HOA) residents and board members. From limited guest parking to vehicles blocking driveways and confusion over parking spaces, these mishaps can be avoided with education and planning. Follow along as we explore popular HOA parking problems and provide tips for resolving them.  

Common HOA Parking Rules

HOAs have vehicle, parking, and traffic rules to maintain aesthetics, promote safety, keep property values high, and more. You’ll typically find homeowners association parking rules about:

  • Vehicle types. HOAs may only permit certain vehicles to be parked in the community. Large vehicles, like RVs, boats, and trucks, may be prohibited.
  • Guest parking. Guest vehicles may be limited to avoid overcrowding.
  • Parking duration. Vehicles may only be able to park in areas for an allotted time.
  • Parking locations. Residents may only be able to park in identified lots, avoid blocking driveways, or leave their cars in designated parking spots on the street.
  • The number of cars per household. Residents may only be allowed to have a specified number of cars on their property.

Innovations like electric vehicle (EV) charging may impact your association’s parking rules. Check out our article, “Everything HOAs Need to Know About EV Charging Stations.”

Tips for Successful HOA Parking Enforcement

One of the major responsibilities of a board of directors is to enforce the rules, regulations, and policies that maintain or enhance the safety, health, and well-being of an HOA. That includes HOA parking rules. However, it can be time-consuming and stressful to constantly monitor and enforce guidelines when there are seemingly more important duties at hand. To make HOA parking enforcement easier and encourage voluntary rule compliance:

1. Know Your HOA Parking Rules & Regulations

Board members and residents should be familiar with homeowners' association parking rules and regulations and understand their consequences if broken. To facilitate enforcement:

  • Confirm rules are clearly documented. Parking rules should be straightforward, outlined in the HOA's governing documents, and communicated to all residents.
  • Regularly review and update parking rules. The number of vehicles and parking spaces in your association may fluctuate over time. Frequently revisit and revise your policy to address changing needs and circumstances within the community.
  • Enforce consistent penalties. Parking violation enforcement should be consistent and fair. Boards shouldn’t show favoritism or abuse their power.

Governing documents include a variety of important details, including parking rules. Not sure where they are? Check out “5 Place to Find Your HOA’s Governing Documents.”

2. Understand What You Can & Can’t Do 

When a parking violation occurs, residents may have the right to contest it. Boards must be prepared for these scenarios, as they're responsible for working towards resolutions using smart dispute resolution strategies. They should always: 

  • Know the difference between public and private roads. While it varies, HOAs can typically only impose parking rules on private roads; issues on public roads are often outside of the association’s jurisdiction.
  • Get familiar with mediation techniques and escalation protocols. These should be outlined in the governing documents and will help you treat disputes properly.
  • Partner with an HOA lawyer. If needed, reach out to your HOA’s attorney for legal guidance on handling disputes and the association’s power to mediate.

A gray parking lot with white outlines and spots filled with cars and trucks.

3. Communicate Well

Strong communication is key to effective HOA parking enforcement. When boards take the time to communicate with residents, it’s easier to reach a mutual understanding, prevent future conflicts, and maintain harmony. Here are strategies to make that happen:

  • Provide educational materials or workshops. Pass along helpful information to get everyone on the same page, like informational packets on common parking mistakes, violation resolution FAQs, and contact info for towing companies.
  • Establish clear channels for residents. Give residents a simple way to reach the board to report parking violations, ask questions, and escalate concerns.
  • Be fair and transparent. Communicate about parking, especially fines or towing, so residents know exactly what they need to do to resolve and avoid issues.

HOA newsletters are a great place to feature educational materials. To craft one for your community, check out “The Top 6 FAQs About Community Newsletters.”

4. Be Proactive

Boards should aim to get ahead of HOA parking issues before they happen. This can prevent having to handle parking violation escalations. Consider doing the following:

  • Use signage. Parking area signs are needed to remind residents of parking rules, parking areas, and consequences for violations.
  • Offer alternative parking options. Designated guest parking areas or overflow parking lots can alleviate traffic congestion.
  • Allow temporary parking permits. These work well in special circumstances, allowing guests to park in the community for a set time without fear of fines or towing.  

Beyond HOA Parking Problems: How to Prevent Other HOA Vehicle Issues

By following these tips for resolving HOA parking problems and actively engaging in parking enforcement efforts, the board can help maintain order and harmony within the HOA. Still, some other issues may occur on community roads, including increased traffic and speeding. If this affects your neighborhood, explore the solutions in our article, “7 Traffic-Calming Devices to Slow Speeding In Your HOA.”  

HOA Parking Issues FAQs

  1. Can an HOA restrict parking in the driveway?

Yes, some HOAs may restrict the kinds of vehicles that can be parked in a driveway, typically to maintain the appeal of the neighborhood.

  1. Can an HOA tow my car?

In certain circumstances, such as repeated violations of parking rules, HOAs may have the authority to tow vehicles.

  1. Can an HOA restrict parking on public streets?

HOAs may not have control over parking on public streets, but they can work with local authorities to address issues.

  1. Can an HOA require vehicle registration?

Yes, HOAs often require vehicle registration to ensure that only authorized vehicles are parked within the community.

  1. Can an HOA enforce parking rules?

Yes, HOAs have the authority to enforce parking rules within their communities to maintain order and safety.