Condo, Strata and HOA News

Tag Archives: parking

Boards Can Enforce Parking Restrictions Even After Years of Not Doing So

There’s a recent ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice between Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1737, and Farrah Hakim and Jaffar Kayyali, regarding board enforcement of owner parking.

Jaffar and Farrah bought a unit – with titled parking – and proceeded to park, according to by-laws, an overheight vehicle there for 3 years before the board informed them they were in violation. The couple fought the board and demanded the right to continue to park their vehicle in their titled spot. After 3 years of dispute the court ruled that the couple’s claim was invalid and ruled in favour of the board.

It’s important to note – because this comes up ALL (all!) the time with boards I deal with – that the court ruled the board didn’t have to grandfather the vehicle because the board issued and started enforcing the overheight violation on all deliquent owners (there were 7 at that time in violation) in a fair manner.

Many owners often argue that there is a “timeliness” requirement to be caught in their bylaw infraction. That requirement doesn’t exist. A board needs not be omniscient, nor perfect, in their application of the bylaws. They do need to show fairness when enforcing them, and that the board enforces bylaw infractions as they become aware of them.  That’s about it.

So, if you’re an owner raging against a board claiming that they “ignored the situation for years” and that should invalidate any restrictions listed in the bylaws, you might not find that a convincing approach to gain favor from a judge.

$340,000 Garage – Seriously, That’s Just For a Garage

Just a few days ago I blogged about a company in the US building storage space condominiums. These units are not zoned for human habitation and are intended as owned storage on Units range up to 1250 sq.ft. and cost about $82,000. I though it was a fabulous idea – a good use of condominium controlled development, it meets a need, and reasonably priced.

They have been outdone.

A luxury car garage – 34 units total – called The Dens – has been recently been completed near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The kicker – a 1600 sq.ft. garage was purchased for $340,000.

In other news, reported by the Globe and Mail today, income inequality is rising quickly in Canada.

Parking Spaces the New Investment Vehicle in Gridlocked Housing Market

For high density housing, multiple parking stalls attached to a unit can be a major incentive for purchasers. Where developers will commonly building only slightly more than one parking spot per unit, the option to have a second stall is always appreciated – especially with the wealthy who often own multiple vehicles.

There are normally two types of parking associated with condominiums – assigned and deeded.

Assigned parking is normally common property that the board assigns to units, sometimes on a yearly or multi-year basis, as an exclusive use area much like balconies. The space is common property, but you are the sole person allowed to access it. Transfer of the stall is at the control of the board.

Deeded acts much like your unit – often with its own tax roll. These can be sold or traded just like a unit can be, but often with caveats on who can buy. Deeded titles normally have unit factors attached to them as well – so selling or buying them will change your monthly condominium contribution.

A good condominium corporation will have bylaws in place that limit ownership of a stall to those who also own units. If you sell your unit, you are also required to sell your stalls to other owners (normally the person buying). Bad corporations allow anybody to own parking stalls – which over time tends to put them in non-owner hands, managed by people who have little incentive in the maintenance of the building as a residence.

For many urban centers, parking spots are maintaining their value or rising – even when units are dropping in price. A parking unit in Boston (200 sq. feet) sold for $125,000. Toronto sold a spot for $100,000.

These are in part driven by municipal regulations that are either lowering the minimum number of parking stalls developers are required to build per unit built, or in some cases capping the amount of stalls within very dense regions in order to reduce traffic issues. Both of these will force parking stall prices higher, especially when newer developments (with fewer parking spaces) get infilled into spaces previous held by lower density and higher parking ratio buildings.

Chris Brown, the Anti-Model Resident for a Condominium

There is a lot that seems to be accepted as fact here – multiple loud parties, dog racing in the hallways (that’s a new one from me) and parking in handicap designated spaces by a non-handicap driver. Where to start –

It’s likely that the condominium (a building with only 7 units, so likely the entire building) is faced with a nightmare resident that disregards the entire condominium by-laws and treats his residence at the condominium without any regard for neighbours. I’ve always indicated that living in a condominium is a communal living experience, and has significantly more limitations on an owner’s rights than detached housing. Does that register in people – often not, and from personal experience the greatest violators of the communal living experience (requiring due respect of one’s neighbours) is younger owners. Chris is 22.

As well, he’s got a criminal record for assault, the records show him uttering death threats, and he runs dogs in the hallways. I will assume that he can be a very intimidating person to deal with, and likely works that angle strongly, which limits the ability of the building to deal with him.

Currently the building is in conflict with him. I am uncertain about the rules in California about boards evicting owners, but it can be done in many jurisdictions (that is, evicting on grounds other that failure to pay the condominium contribution or in the US the HOA fees). Given the tough boy role Chris has, I would simply move to pursue the legal remedies to have him removed. It’s annoying, but it’s the least confrontational approach at this time.

A condo isn’t a Crib, as it has other people who live there. For 1.6 million (the cost of the unit) he could have easily afforded a detached dwelling instead of communal living – with all the allowance for noise and off track racing he would wish. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone who simply makes terrible decisions – and it’s his decision to have his lifestyle take precedence over the other owners.

Fame, celebrity status, and money. That’s an awesome combination matched with someone with little respect over their neighbours.

$76,050 Parking Units

Just a small disconnect between the cost of a condominium to house a senior citizen (see previous blog post) and your car, a Midtown Manhattan parking garage (attached as the base of a condominium complex) went for $5.4m USD recently, or about $450/sq. foot (the senior’s complex was running $30/sq. foot).

Sure, I totally give you that location means a lot in the valuation here 🙂