Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Home and Garden

Community Living: Parking locations likely fixed in plans

Parking locations likely fixed in plans

Q: We are owners in a community. When we purchased, we were assigned a parking spot. The board has taken it upon themselves to change the location of the numbers on the spots, thus changing our parking location. We still have the same number but it is in a new location. Some owners have their number on their deeds but now their location has changed. Does the board have a right to just change the location and transfer the number?

A: You indicate this is a deed and title right. You need to read your documents to see if they grant the board the right to change the location. My deduction is that the board does not have that right. I would question the board as to why and what rights they assume they have to change the location. I would suggest that you seek the original plans that may be in the office or go to the county courthouse and pull the plans. These plans may have reference to the parking plan and space numbers. Demand that the board return the parking to the plans that first were recorded. One last thought: Maybe an outside inspector, such as a fire inspector, demanded that the spaces be moved because of a safety issue. Unless the board has a similar reason, chances are high that they do not have a right to just change the parking spaces.

Unpaid dues should result soon in liens

Q: Our HOA board of directors is considering a significant special assessment to compensate for nonpayment of monthly dues by many homeowners. It is unfair to impose this penalty on owners who always pay their dues. It is equally unfair to allow the delinquent owners to have their dues paid for them by others and let them get away without paying their fees. Is this assessment legal? If it is, please refer me to the relevant articles of the law. If it is not, what is your advice on how to counter this unfair solution of our board? For instance, short of resorting to a lawyer, could we instead offer the board a six-month to a one-year loan to its operational budget, on condition that it be paid back in full to the "lending homeowners?"

A: If an owner does not pay, then the other owners in the association must pay. The board is obligated to maintain and operate the association. To do so, the statutes give the board the right to assess the members the necessary funds to accomplish their duties. This could mean a special assessment or an increase in the budget to cover the shortfall.

However, it is expected that the board is taking proper collection action against the delinquent owners. The board has the most powerful tool in that they can foreclose on a home and put the owners on the street. That action would be to have an attorney lien and foreclose on the delinquent homes. The board must take fast action rather than delay the collection procedure. To do so, they need the guidance of an attorney.

If your board is not taking fast action to lien and foreclose on the delinquent owners, then you have a valid reason to complain.

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