The scarcity of land and population density has brought about a boom in condo development. In the past years, we have seen an increasingly large number of condos be erected across all major cities. This is as a result to the increasing scarcity of space. This holds true not only for living space, but also for parking spaces as well. With parking spaces becoming increasingly valuable commodities, the market for renting them has grown to be of significance. If you are a condo owner or are looking for a parking space, what should you be aware of in terms of condo parking space rentals?
Different Types of Parking Spaces
There are different types of parking spaces in a condo, each one with a different set of rules that govern them.
- Common element parking spaces
There are parking spots that fall under common elements. This means that the property belongs to the condo board and not the owner of a unit directly. They are typically available for use by owners on a first-come, first-served basis. Given that ownership of the space belongs to the owner of the unit directly, they clearly cannot be rented out at will.
- Exclusive-use parking spaces
In more rare cases, there are parking spaces that are of a hybrid nature. They are limited common element spaces and are not owned the condo unit owner as they do not have separate legal title. In other words, technically speaking, that parking space would be owned by the condo board. Their use however, may be allocated to a specific unit or owner.
In this scenario, the resident does not have sufficient legal title to be able to rent it out. As you may have guessed, to be able to legally rent out a parking space, one must have legal title to it.
- Parking spaces owned by by resident
The parking spaces that are owned by residents have their own separate legal titles. Just like a condo unit, it may be bought, sold and rented. They are not a part of common elements. One thing to watch out for is that transactions involving a parking space may be subject to the condo's by-laws and regulations.
Restrictions As Defined in By-Laws and Regulations
Often times, there can be restrictions on how parking spaces are to be treated in a given condo. It is possible that the rules may prevent an owner from leasing a parking spot to another owner or a tenant or to someone that does not live in the building. The conditions really vary depending on the condo.
When the parking spot can be rented, it is general practice for the rent to be notified to the board or property manager for the purposes of record keeping.
The Frequent Issue of Residents Parking in Spaces Designated as Guest Parking
This is a common issue in most every condo building. Often times, visitor parking spaces will be occupied by a resident. This may be due to the fact that in most instances, visitor parking spaces are conveniently located next to the entrance/elevator.
The best way to remedy this is through clear signage and notices upon violation. When those do not work, the violator can be subject to fines. In most condos, there is a predefined method to going about violations and parking in visitor parking spaces is a common one.
The "Management" of Parking Spaces
In all condos, it is important to track who a parking space belongs to and also who it is rented out to. As with all condo-related record keeping, the best and most efficient way to do this is with condo management software. Many software solutions have modules that allow the tracking of parking spots and even visitor parking spaces. The software would in most cases, track things such as parking spot number, make and model of vehicle, license plate number and so on.
The proper tracking system allows the board and management to know if there is a violation of the parking spaces. Proper record keeping allows for the proper enforcement and management of the parking spaces.
The management, enforcement and record keeping of parking spaces is an aspect of condos that remains at the forefront on a day-to-day basis. The specific rules and guidelines often vary greatly depending on each condo. Along with the by-laws set by each city, the condo's governing documents will dictate the rules regarding them. Proper management, on the other hand, of these spaces is critical in maintaining a harmonious community as the issues relating to them can become highly controversial very quickly. Please feel free to reach out to us and we would be more than happy to discuss how to best manage parking spaces as condo managers.