Do you have an effective way to uphold your parking policies? Are your parking rules too confusing? If you’re in the process of updating your CC&Rs, it may be time to look at what software can do to help you simplify your parking. Parking software doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. It’s often easier to manage than paper-and-pen methods of organization.
We want to help you create the best plan of action for how to enforce parking in your community. Your parking policies will serve their purposes best if you keep them simple, limit time by home, and customize rules to the specific needs of your community.
Keep parking rules clear and simple
It can be hard to keep the peace while upholding the parking rules, especially if they’re complicated with room for interpretation. When you decide to update your CC&RS or bylaws, it’s best to keep your policies confusion-free. Keep it simple, and be specific.
Clarify which vehicles are allowed and which aren’t, and where homeowners may or may not park. Set a limit on how long vehicles may be parked and which hours vehicles may park in certain spaces.
We recommend you stay away from rules that allow a car to move to another space after its parking time is up. This promotes what we like to call “musical cars.” For example, if your rules only state that any guest can park for 48 hours at a time, all someone has to do is shuffle their car around to a new spot whenever it runs out of time. Instead, set per-home time limits which promote more fairness.
Limit Guest time per home
It’s common to only limit parking times by vehicle. It makes sense, for the most part, and is an easy way to keep cars from parking too long. The disadvantage of limiting parking time this way is that residents who entertain often or have lots of friends over can monopolize the spaces. The result is other people can’t offer the guest spaces as much as they might want to.
So what’s a better way? Set per-home limits for guest parking instead. For example, if 20% of your parking is for guests, 7-10 days per month of guest time is about right. With virtual guest parking permits, guests can only register for the allowed amount of time. In the end, it’s more fair for everyone, even if it means the popular guy can’t use up all the spaces he used to secure for his guests.
Do you have parking rules that aren’t followed? Are you struggling to know where to start? Don’t just copy what you see working for another HOA. We can help you define what policies you need so they make sense to residents. A good guideline to follow when putting new rules into place is to be conservative with the time you allot to each home. If parking improves in the following weeks or months and there’s plenty of guest spaces to go around, extend the guest hours you offer to each home. This lets you be the hero of parking rather than the villain who takes guest time away.
If you want to simplify your parking for the sake of the board and residents, you’ll find the software to make it happen in Parking Boss. Guests can reserve parking time without the need for prior approval or paperwork and your parking rules are automatically enforced through the online Parking Attendant.
Set rules for overnight parking
Do you have a plan for overnight parking? You’ll want to specify what overnight hours are, especially if you restrict overnight parking in certain spaces. Without parking permits or someone patrolling during those hours, it’s difficult to tell if cars are there for a few hours or the entire night. You’ll also want to outline the steps homeowners should take to permit their guest vehicles so that everyone knows how to follow the rules.
This also allows everyone to be treated the same when it comes to enforcement. Do you struggle with some people getting repeated violations while others seem to always slide by without any warnings? You can prevent unfair enforcement with a reliable record of all violations or parking warnings issued. Parking Boss makes it easy to record and save violations by automatically saving them in the system.
Once you’ve set a clear threshold for how many warnings should be given before a violation and the number of violations to issue before towing, you can keep everybody on the same playing field. By setting clear thresholds and letting the software store violation information for you, you’re reducing the risk of favoritism or discrimination issues.
Maintain resident parking
Do residents have too many cars? Are they parking in guest zones? Perhaps residents aren’t parking in their garages when they’re supposed to be. How do you handle this? With parking management software, you can set a vehicle limit per household and offer resident vehicle decals (like Smart Decals).
Smart Decals are easy to assign. Simply enter the vehicle information, home information, and contact info, along with the decal number in the software. This activates the Smart Decal which then corresponds with the vehicle information when scanned or searched in the software. You’ll always know how many resident vehicles there are this way since Parking Boss stores all information in an easy-to-use database for all admin users.
Should you decide to create extra revenue through parking or you have residents who want to keep extra cars, why not offer paid parking? Issue a different colored decal to differentiate these vehicles and allow them to park in street parking. These different-colored decals make it easier to identify if vehicles are authorized to park when enforcing. This option is especially beneficial for those who have driving teens or college students at home.
Enforce your community rules
HOA parking enforcement can be simple with parking technology. The right software makes enforcement easy since it holds all the information on registered vehicles and vehicle histories. No more chalking tires or relying on paper tickets. Is your community smaller than 100 units? Do you have an HOA member who wants to patrol parking? If so, you can save on expenses with self-managed parking enforcement. Read our post on best practices for self-enforcement. However, if you have a larger community or no time or desire to self-patrol, you can cut the out-of-pocket expenses for it by offering the option of paid decals for extra resident vehicles or paid guest parking.
Get a free consultation
Set up a free consultation with our HOA & Condo Director to figure out the best plan of action based on your specific needs.
Have you been struggling to update your HOA parking rules and enforcement plans? Software like Parking Boss helps you maintain the rules you’ve set and enforce them in an efficient and fair way. Parking doesn’t have to be complicated or overly-frustrating. Your community’s needs are unique and we want to help you find the best solution. Reach out to us for a free consultation to explore the best parking options for your community.