HOA fines parking violation: What are your rights?

Local

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Since July, David Lopez has been hit with two parking violations for parking his truck overnight in the street adjacent to his home in the Parkside At Slaughter Creek subdivision in south Austin.

Lopez said he’s not alone, several of his neighbors have also received a parking violation, “down here you have another five or six, and then 10, 15 more it’s just all up and down the streets,” he said as he pointed to vehicles lining his street.

Lopez doesn’t understand why after four years of parking on the street he is now receiving parking violations.

Longtime attorney, Gregory Cagle said this isn’t uncommon.

“We get this issue all the time by the way,” he said. “Specifically with parking on the street because people say, ‘These are public streets, what do you mean I can’t park on a public street?’ Well, these are contractual obligations, you can contract away your constitutional rights.”

In Parkside At Slaughter Creek HOA’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions it states vehicles are not allowed to park overnight on the road, and homeowners are subject to removing their vehicle from the street and parking it in their driveway. However, city rules let drivers park on public streets. Lopez believes it should not be different in his neighborhood.

“We’re a community and that’s not part of the community that’s bullying right there,” Lopez said.

Yet, Cagle said it can be different.

“The restrictive covenants that are in the governing document of an association are contractual obligations that run with the land and when you purchase your home, that is subject to one of these documents, you assume the obligation to comply with these contractual obligations,” Cagle said.

Cagle said if a homeowner receives a letter from their homeowners association, the homeowners have a right to request a hearing with the board to discuss the violation. Cagle recommends everyone do that.

Also, if a homeowner lives with a disability, you can request a meeting and Cagle said the board should handle these on a case-by-case basis.

KXAN reached out to Parkside At Slaughter Creek HOA’s property management company. Representatives say the reason for parking violations is because of narrow streets making it difficult for neighbors to get around.

Read the full statement:

“As an association management company, our job is to make living in an HOA community a pleasant experience for homeowners.

Each association has a set of governing documents. Each homeowner buying into a community acknowledges that they’ve read and agree to abide by their community documents. Understanding how HOAs operate is an important part of choosing to live in a homeowner’s association; this is why we provide training to board members and homeowners alike.

Where there is no issue with an enforceable rule, an HOA will likely not actively enforce a rule; however, this doesn’t change the nature of the rule. When a covenant or rule becomes an issue, an association may elect to give more attention to it. Associations should always enforce the rules fairly and universally across an association. For instance, if parking becomes an issue – and the governing documents and the law allow it – a board may seek to reduce risk of harm to the association and homeowners alike. One way to do this is to hire a third party to enforce parking, as Spectrum Association Management does not perform parking enforcement.

An HOA board of directors is the decision-making body for the association they represent, and they make the decisions they deem best for their community. As the decision-making body, HOA boards also select the vendors they work with to perform specific duties, as requested. In this instance, parking on narrow streets became a safety issue and the association board decided to act after discussing in an open board meeting and involving homeowners in the process.

The association provided notice to homeowners of the upcoming enforcement before starting the program. To our knowledge, this program simply provides those in violation a simple postcard notice to the homeowner and does not involve fining, towing, or other escalated parking enforcement mechanisms. This approach is an attempt to create a neighborly resolution to this important safety issue.

We encourage all homeowners’ associations to make decisions in line with statutes, regulations, their governing documents, and good sense; however, as an HOA management company, decision-making authority remains with the association.”

Spectrum Association Management

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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