A must-read for condo parking space owners

By March 25, 2010 Uncategorized

A condominium is governed by the Condominium Declaration. This document is recorded at the Land Records for the jurisdiction in which the condominium is located and sets the rights and obligations of the unit owners of the condominium association.

It is in the Condominium Declaration that the ownership of a parking space is outlined. Parking spaces in condominiums are either separately taxed or are limited common elements.

A separately taxed parking space is easier to comprehend. It is a separate entity from the unit, it is assessed separately by the city or state and it has its own legal designation and property tax bill. It is deeded and transferred separately from the unit as a fee simple interest, similar to the manner in which the unit itself would be transferred.

However, even if the unit owner is given fee simple title, the Condominium Declaration still must be reviewed, since it may place restrictions on the rights of the unit owner in regards to transferring the parking space.

Limited common element parking spaces are designated in the Condominium Declaration as being reserved for the use of a certain unit to the exclusion of other units. They are attached to a unit and do not exist separate from the ownership of the unit and consequently pass with title to the unit.

Since limited common elements are under the direct supervision of the board of the condominium association, if an individual is trying to transfer the limited common element parking space, the individual needs to obtain permission from the board and the parking space must be transferred in accordance with the requirements of the Condominium Declaration.

Although the board exercises control and authority over the limited common elements, the unit owner of a particular limited common element is entitled to the exclusive use and enjoyment of the parking space. This is still subject to the board’s control, the owner’s proper use of the limited common element, the declaration requirements and the rules and regulations applicable to the limited common element.

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5 Comments

  • Terri says:

    I’m in contract to buy a condo. Sellers realtor told my realtor when he bought the unit a garage space did not exist. On the contract that had me instal “no garage space to convey” upon title search we discovered a deeded parking space & also seller inherited unit from his mother. I want the garage space & he is saying I initial no garage space to convey. Everything was based on lies & misrepresentation. What to do? They offered to discount $5,000 off the sake price but garage spaces cost 10-20k thank u.

  • webmaster says:

    Hi Terri, it’s hard for us to say much on this without knowing more of the details including if the property is located in a jurisdiction that we serve. You may want to reach out to a local attorney to help you navigate your contract and transaction. Thanks for your question!

  • Bill Seplowitz says:

    Does anyone know if the separate sale of a parking spot acquired as part of the purchase of residential condominium unit which is NOT being sold, qualifies for the tax exclusion allowed on the sale of the taxpayer’s primary residence?

  • Vinnie Boisvous says:

    Great post – informative! I have a question regardign this.

    In general, who might be liable when a buyer is sold a condo with a fee simple parking spot on the deed that doesn’t exist?

    Circumstances:
    – HOA might have ownership of other spots in the garage which they could provide tot he buyer
    – buyer forgot to verify existence physically in the garage of the spot
    – buyer forgot to verify existence/ownership of the spot with the HOA
    – HOA doesn’t assign spots
    – HOA doesn’t have a parking plan to check against.
    – The buyer didn’t insure title of the parking spot, only the condo itself.

    Who is liable? The HOA, the buyer, the seller, or Title Company XYZ

  • Nikki says:

    Hi there,
    Truthfully, everybody shares some responsibility/liability. You need to speak to an attorney, because it appears that you may have contracted to purchase something that the seller did not have the right to sell. Hope this helps.
    Thanks,
    Nikki

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