5 tips for managing your HOA parking rules Nevada boards should know
The truth is, whether you live in a master-planned community in Las Vegas or a single-family home association in Reno, one of the most common challenges for HOAs is managing and enforcing parking policy. For instance, here are several examples of parking challenges your association may face:
- Insufficient parking spaces
- Parking in a resident's assigned spot
- Restrictions with guest parking
- Overnight parking in a prohibited location
- Limited or restricted street parking
- RV and boat parking
- Handicapped parking
- Illegal parking in fire lanes
- Parking in landscaping
- Inoperable vehicles
- Vehicles leaking fluid in the common area
- Unregistered or expired license plates
Can HOA restrict parking on public streets in Nevada? In short, no, a homeowners’ association cannot restrict parking on public streets because they do not have authority over a street that is not owned or maintained by them and it would be against the law for them to do so. HOAs should always work with local authorities and jurisdictions before attempting to enforce HOA parking rules. Nevada boards can ask the city or county to have a vehicle towed immediately if the parking violation poses a threat to a resident's health, safety, or welfare.
HOA Parking Tip 1: Contact the proper jurisdiction for parking issues on public roads.
According to Nevada's Common-Interest Ownership (Uniform Act) NRS 116.350, ""In a common-interest community which is not gated or enclosed and the access to which is not restricted or controlled by a person or device, the executive board shall not and the governing documents must not provide for the regulation of any road, street, alley or other thoroughfares the right-of-way of which is accepted by the State or a local government for dedication as a road, street, alley or other thoroughfares for public use."
HOA Parking Tip 2: Be familiar with Nevada laws concerning HOAs and parking regulations.NRS 116.3102 authorizes HOAs to have a vehicle removed if it's improperly parked on community property (including private roads) in violation of the HOA's governing documents. Normally, you must notify the violator at least 48 hours in advance. This can be done either by conspicuously posting a notice on the vehicle or contacting the owner verbally or in writing.
Situations that do not require 48-hour notice include if the vehicle is:
- Blocking a fire hydrant or fire lane
- Blocking a parking space designated for the handicapped
- Posing a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a resident
Can HOA force you to park in your garage?If an HOA’s governing documents state vehicles must be parked in the garage, then yes, the HOA can force you to park your car in your garage. Some governing documents state that vehicles must first park in the garage for the number of vehicles intended, then driveway. Some allow garage and driveway parking regardless if the garage is being utilized. However, if street parking is not permitted by resident vehicles, then typically the rule for parking in garages and driveways are enforced. All associations should adhere to their own governing documents.
If your parking rules and regulations in the CC&Rs are too vague, homeowners may be confused about what constitutes a violation. By contrast, an over-restrictive policy can make life frustrating for those who live at or visit your community. To avoid legal trouble, it is important to have clear and reasonable HOA parking rules. Nevada HOAs should review the current state of their residential complex’s regulations to help reduce frustration and make sure it is clear and reasonable. Review the current state of your residential complex's regulations to help avoid offending anyone with their own personal space! Partnering with your association attorney and management company for this task could be beneficial in more ways than one. You'll get insight into how well-thought out or poorly put together our policies really are while also ensuring that everyone is on board before any changes are made.
HOA Parking Tip 3: Make sure your parking policy is reasonable and defined in your CC&Rs.
What should your Nevada association parking policy include? Here are a few recommendations:
- A list of what is and what isn't, including parking, prohibited by law and rules specific to your association (e.g., guest parking regulations).
- A description of towing conditions, including the HOA's authorization to tow, notification procedures (see #2) and the owner's responsibility for all towing-related expenses.
- An explanation and reiteration of your HOA's right to enforce parking regulations and levy fines.
- Authorization for your HOA board to grant limited exceptions and waivers at its discretion
It is important to inform your residents of the parking rules of the community so that they or their guests don’t get fined, or worse, get their vehicles towed. Because many communities have a parking policy that must be followed by all residents, parking can become an issue when new people move in as they may not know about the rules and how much it costs to park there. Rather than counting on homeowners to check the CC&Rs (and inform their tenants and guests of the HOA parking rules), Nevada boards should share this information periodically with everyone in the community whether it be through email, at an HOA meeting, or posting the policy on a community bulletin board.
HOA Parking Tip #4: Communicate consistently with homeowners about parking policies.
As with all association policies, the key is to communicate proactively. If parking is a challenge in your association, remember that sharing it openly and honestly will go a long way with residents—partner with your community manager and management company to ensure that you regularly share policies and changes. And remember, the best communications combine good news and announcements with rules and "less pleasant" news. To learn more best practices on how to appropriately communicate new policies, read HOA Policy: Why Consistent Communication Is Key.