Can I rent my parking space to another homeowner in my development?

Your parking space may or not be "yours," and you'll have to research your HOA's rules on whether you can rent it out.

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Question

I live in a planned community and have a covered parking space assigned to my unit. I just sold my car (biking is great!) and don’t need my space anymore. My neighbor has an extra car and wants to rent my covered space from me. Can I legally rent my space out to my neighbor?

Answer

While it might be tempting to make a few bucks by renting out your unused parking space, you must first do some research to determine whether it’s allowed by your development’s homeowners' association (HOA). Why bother? Because, if it’s not allowed in your development, you might end up owing more in fines and fees than you’ll make on the rental!

To determine whether parking space rentals are allowed, take a look at the documents governing your development. Carefully read the declaration of covenants, conditions, restrictions, and easements (CC&Rs) and any rules and regulations adopted by your HOA. If you don’t have a copy of these documents on hand, you can request one from your HOA.

If the CC&Rs or the rules and regulations do not specifically address renting out assigned parking spaces, you might need to dig a little deeper. You’ll first need to know what kind of property the parking space is. The space might be owned by you outright, or it might be a common area (property owned jointly by all the development’s homeowners).

If the parking space is owned by you outright, your right to rent it out depends on the development’s rules for renting out individually owned properties. Check to see whether there are any restrictions on rentals in general, which probably also apply to parking space rentals. For example, if the rules require HOA approval before renting out a condominium unit, then you likely must obtain HOA approval prior to any parking space rental, as well.

If the parking space is classified as a common area, the rules applying to common areas will apply. Since the space is assigned to your unit only, more than likely it’s described as a “limited common area.” Limited common areas are ones whose use is restricted to a specific owner or group of owners. Look for all rules and regulations applicable to limited common areas to determine whether you can rent this type of property out.

Unfortunately, you might not find a clear answer even after taking the steps described above. If you need further assistance, your HOA might help point you to any applicable provisions. You can also hire an experienced attorney in your area for help.

If the governing documents contain absolutely no prohibition against renting your assigned space out, however, you should be okay to rent it to your neighbor or another homeowner in your development. Good luck with your research, and happy biking!

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