News & Updates

7 Ways to Get HOA Resident and Guest Parking Under Control

Whether you’re at a condo community or a single-family home HOA, parking doesn’t have to be a headache.

We know HOA parking—and getting residents and guests to comply with the rules—can be difficult. Sometimes you just can’t get residents to park where they’re supposed to. Or maybe residents have too many cars, or their visitors stay too long, taking up all the guest spaces.

Whether you’re at a condo community or a single-family home HOA, parking doesn’t have to be a headache. We’ve put together some tips to simplify your processes and get resident and guest parking under control.

The Basics of HOA Parking Management

HOA Resident Parking

HOAs can make their own rules for resident parking. They can limit parking spaces per household, create parking areas for residents only, or make people pay for parking spaces. Some HOAs use a combination of software tools, window decals, warnings, and towing to enforce their parking rules.

HOA Guest Parking

HOAs have many ways to manage guest parking. They can issue parking permits, use online car registration tools, set time limits, or require guests to park in certain areas. Some HOAs charge guests fees for parking, especially if they have limited parking space and want to keep more spaces for residents.

These tips can help your HOA  manage both resident and guest parking more effectively.

1. Establish clear rules and set time limits

The number one thing you can do to make sure your rules are understood is to establish both clear and simple rules.

Oftentimes, we see HOAs use parking rules like “guest vehicles must be moved every 48 hours.” This can be vague, and people frequently take advantage of this. We recommend setting time limits per home, such as 72 hours of free guest parking per month.

The time you allot to each household will depend on the ratio of guest spaces you have to homes. Per-home limits prevent one household from overusing the guest spaces, making parking fair for all residents who want to have guests over.

Once you determine your parking rules, make sure you update your CC&Rs (consult your attorney as needed) or create a parking plan and communicate any changes in parking policy to residents. Our experienced HOA team is happy to consult with you and help you figure out the best parking plan* for your community.

Common HOA Resident and Visitor Parking Rules

Many HOAs require visitors to park in specific areas, ask them to register their vehicles, set time limits, or charge fees. HOAs also sometimes ask residents not to park in guest spaces or limit the number of cars per household. If someone breaks the parking rules, the HOA can give warnings and tow the car at the owner’s expense.

2. Make it easy for guests to register for parking

You’ll find the most success with guest parking if you simplify the way guests (or their hosts) register for parking time. By using a 24/7 online parking registration like Parking Boss’ Parking Attendant, guests can quickly create an electronic parking permit. An online parking registration system makes it possible for management, board members, and enforcement to see all active parking permits.

With Parking Attendant, guests can read the parking rules, ensuring they are fully aware of how long they can park, and choose to receive text or email notifications regarding their remaining parking time. It not only gives guests and residents an opportunity to follow the rules but simplifies the process of overseeing who is authorized to park.

3. Identify and track resident vehicles

If you manage a condo community, consider assigning window decals to resident vehicles for visual identification. Our Smart Decals make it even easier to validate who the vehicle belongs to and where they’re supposed to park (if assigned spaces are applicable). A quick scan of the decal’s unique barcode is all it takes.

If your HOA has single-family homes or townhomes, parking may look different than in a condo community. Assuming residents have their own garages to park in, problems typically include residents abusing street parking or specific spaces intended for guests. Color-coded Smart Decals can help you quickly differentiate residents from guests or identify if a vehicle should be parked in a garage or driveway.

We understand that not all HOAs feel the need to use decals. Managers can still grant  electronic permits to resident vehicles using the licence plate and home number. License Plate Recognition (LPR) allows patrollers to scan any license plate , with or without a Smart Decal, to identify if it’s a registered resident or guest vehicle.

4. Find opportunities for ancillary parking revenue

Recently, we’ve seen an increase in college students (and their cars) living at home. In cases like this, why not let residents park the extra vehicles in the street or in guest parking for a fee? You can give them the ability to park their cars for a set amount of time and assign a Smart Decal to differentiate the extra vehicles when monitoring parking. The additional income can help cover costs such as a tow or enforcement partner.

5. Use professional signs to help guests find parking

Clear signage is an essential part of communicating your parking rules. Parking signs—especially at condos—are a great way to let guests know where they’re supposed to park. Parking Boss guest signs include a QR code, which allows guests to register their vehicle with a quick scan from their smartphone.

6. Implement an effective HOA parking enforcement plan to uphold the rules

HOAs have several parking enforcement options. They can use software to track violations and give warnings at first offense. If someone keeps breaking the rules, they can tow the car at the owner’s expense. The HOA can enforce the rules itself, use a tow partner, or hire a contractor to enforce the rules.

Creating parking rules means nothing if they aren’t enforced. If you self-enforce parking in your community, check out our tips for self-enforcement here. If you decide to use a tow company, choosing the right tow partner is crucial. Read our post here to learn more about hiring a reputable towing company.

If possible, give a warning or violation before towing. This will allow residents and guests a chance to fix their mistakes and follow your rules, especially if you’ve just rolled out a new parking system. Parking Boss enables you to record violations in the software and track repeat parking offenders.

With records of every registered permit and violation in a database, you’re able to know when to take further action, such as a tow or booting. In cases where there’s a dispute on the validity of a tow or ticket, you can reference the previous violations for proof. Knowing when to tow and which vehicle to tow maintains a sense of fairness and security for residents and you.

7. Automate the management process with software

As we previously mentioned, the software can streamline and modernize your parking management process. There’s no need to track every vehicle on paper or in complicated spreadsheets. With software like Parking Boss, you have all the tools you need to control your property’s parking situation.

Some of the tools and benefits Parking Boss offers include:

  • Parking Attendant: an online system for guest permit registration. This can be done by guests or by residents hosting them.
  • Free consultations to help determine the best rules for your community
  • Continual support from a knowledgeable customer success team
  • Customizable parking signs
  • Unlimited Smart Decals for resident vehicles
  • Recorded history of all registered guest vehicles (making it easy to track and find habitual rule breakers)
  • The ability to issue and record violations in the software

Schedule a free demo with us today to find out how Parking Boss can help solve parking problems in your community.

*Please note that in most states, you can write up a Parking Plan to amend your current CC&Rs if your parking rules are not already specified. If you do plan to update your CC&Rs, we advise you to seek legal counsel for more details.