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CCOC Decision Summary

#26-14: Stalbaum v. Ashley Place at Tanglewood Homeowner’s Association (Sept. 30, 2014) (Panel: Stevens, Mays, Zajic)

The homeowner filed a complaint alleging that the board of directors of his Homeowners Association adopted parking rules that violated the Association’s documents. The board responded that the documents gave it authority to adopt rules and that the new parking rules were within that authority.

 In July, 2013, the board of Ashley Place at Tanglewood Homeowners Association adopted a new parking and enforcement policy.  This policy added limits to the existing practice of assigning two parking spaces to each unit.  It specified that the board would not issue hanging tag parking permits to owners who were delinquent in their assessments or who had lot usage violations or maintenance violations.  The primary purpose of this new policy was to establish an additional assessment collection and enforcement tool. Vehicles parking without valid permits could be towed from the lot.             

The evidence at the hearing showed that the Association’s Declarations and By-Laws:

  1. Grant members the right of easement of enjoyment to the Common Area and provides the Association some authority to limit that grant.
  2. Authorize the Association to suspend voting rights and the right to use of recreational facilities for any period during which any assessment against an owner’s lot remains unpaid and for a period not to exceed ninety days for any infraction of its published rules and regulations. 
  3. Provide for a continuing lien including interest and costs for any assessment payment delinquency and for enforcement of the lien for continuing nonpayment.
  4. Require among other provisions that the Association provide not less than one parking space for each lot.  
  5. Authorize the board to adopt rules and regulations governing the use of the Common Area and facilities and to establish penalties for the “fraction” (sic, presumably ”infraction”) thereof. 

The hearing panel concluded that the authority of the board to adopt rules suspending the use of Common Areas to punish members for unpaid assessment and for violation of other rules was limited by the governing documents to suspension of voting rights and recreational facility use, and did not include suspension of parking rights.  Therefore, those parts of the new policy were void.  The hearing panel ordered the Association to reimburse  unit owners for any fees incurred due to the enforcement of the policy and reimburse the homeowner for his complaint filing fee. 

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