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HOA won’t give family extra parking permit

Q: My 81-year-old husband passed away recently in May. Because of this, my son and his family and my daughter and her family moved in with me. They actually moved in when my husband was very sick in an effort to help out. Everything happened all at once, the COVID-19, layoffs, death of my husband, just everything fell apart. My son, daughter, grandson were all laid off, and the only one working the front lines in our family was my daughter-in-law.

I live in a condominium complex. There is one two-car garage per unit. My son and daughter gave up their apartments because they knew they couldn’t pay their rent having been laid off, so they moved in with me. At the time we had two cars, but most of the garage was being used to store their small things, as we filled up two large rented storage units to the max. Only one car fit. I was granted an extension by the homeowners association board to move everything out of the garage so the other car could be parked in it. We did this.

At that time, both cars fit into the garage, but we couldn’t open the doors of either vehicle. The only way to enter and exit each vehicle was through the window. One car is a large sports utility vehicle, a Toyota Sequoia, and the other is a Ford Crown Victoria. Side by side the doors barely open because of the width of both vehicles. My son was the only one able to climb in and out of the car windows to pull the cars out of the garage in order to drive them. At my age, 74, this was impossible for me to do. I wrote to the HOA explaining the situation and asking for a parking permit to park one of the vehicles in a community parking space. My request was denied because the parking committee (consisting of only one member, and no one else that I know of) deemed it necessary stating that I had not returned my forms in time. I returned the forms within two days. I believe that the HOA president does not like me, or a lot of the other elderly people in our community, this could be some sort of prejudice.

So, we struggled along like this for a couple of months. Now, my daughter-in-law has inherited her mother’s vehicle (since her mother had passed away), a smaller vehicle, a Saturn. She had been storing this vehicle at an auto shop on Rancho Drive, where they were trying to repair the car. The owner of the shop is giving up his business and has told her that she needs to put the car elsewhere. The only place she has is here, where they live with me. We left the Toyota in the garage with the Saturn, now I can actually open one of my car doors, yay. Except, I once again, asked the HOA for a parking permit since now we have three vehicles. Here’s the problem: the Department of Motor Vehicles appointment. I searched several months in advance trying to get an appointment with the DMV to no avail. You can’t call them, you can only make the appointment on the internet. Impossible. Because this vehicle has never been registered in Nevada. You cannot make this transaction through email or snail mail or fax or any other way, you have to go there for an in-person interview. They don’t make it easy. And neither does my HOA. I wrote and explained all of this with links, etc. They wrote back saying that the governor only made a 90-day extension that expired on Sept. 13 and that I could do this transaction through the mail or or by dropping off paperwork for processing without an appointment at the DMV. Ugh… I had already told her the car has never been registered in Nevada!!! My frustration is getting out of hand, I’m losing sleep, I’m breaking out, my anxiety is through the roof over this situation.

Can anyone help me? What should I do? I’ve forwarded everything to the management company asking them to deal with her because I cannot.

I believe that as soon as Congress and the House pass the next CARES/HEROES Bill there will be a new release by the governor, which hopefully addresses some of the problems we are having. For some reason this HOA seems to think the COVID-19 is gone now and things are business as usual. They are not.

I am at my wit’s end. I’m old, and I’m just running out of steam and can’t deal with this much longer. Can you help, please?

Is there a law that says an unregistered vehicle cannot be kept in a garage? I don’t know what else to do. Can the HOA dictate what type of vehicle I put in my garage as long as there are two of them there? The Saturn is not being driven nor used at this time and won’t be until it is properly registered. I am not asking them to park an unregistered vehicle in one of their parking spaces.

Thank you for reading all of this and for any help you can advise. I just hope you were able to understand it all through my anxiety, depression and stress.

By the way, the only member of our Parking Committee is also the president (and possibly the only active member) of our HOA.

A: There is no state law pertaining to the parking of an unregistered vehicle in your garage. There may be a vehicular regulation from you association that requires registered vehicles in the parking lot. As long as your unregistered vehicle is in the garage and not in the streets, the association should not be able to fine you.

Q: The HOA has suddenly shut down the pool and gym in our condo complex without any explanation and are not returning calls or emails. Have we any recourse ?

A: You can send a formal letter by certified mail to the management company or to the board. Attend a board meeting or ask for assistance from the Nevada Real Estate Division.

Q: I am a member in a small community in California, 18 units. We have a very hard time getting homeowners to run for the board; we have a three-person board. For this year’s election, we have one open seat and one candidate, so we are good. Last year, no one ran, but we were able to get two nominations from the floor, and their terms will expire in 2021. Our covenants, conditions and restrictions do allow for the board to make an appointment in the case of a resignation or recall.

I am concerned that next year we will not get anyone to run. What happens in that case?

A: I believe in being proactive. Start working to find interested homeowners who would like to serve.

I am not familiar with California law. If you are legally able to serve on multiple terms. If so, work with your current board members to see who would continue to serve.

Contact the State Real Estate Division for more information. There are real estate departments that have the authority to appoint a receiver until that time the association members can govern themselves.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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