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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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We are having parking issues with the property manager of

Customer Question

We are having parking issues with the property manager of the town home which we rent. The property rules and the owners covenant allow two vehicles to park for each town home. We have a four door sedan, and a van. My husband drives the van to and from work. He is a tradesman, so he carries his tools in the van. The van has a driver seat and a passenger seat.
We recently received a towing notice on the van, stating that it is a commercial vehicle. When we questioned the HOA representative why he feels the van is commercial he said it is commercial because it has no windows on the side, or seats for passengers. The van is black, has no commercial logo or branding. It is not oversized, has no trailer hitch, is rated less then a 1000 pounds, and has a normal registration.
There are residents that have extended pickup crew cabs, which are rated over 1000 pounds that are allowed to park without restrictions.
Below is the portion of the covenant related to vehicles, and what is posted on the property website under parking rules.
Do we have grounds for a harassment or discrimination lawsuit and financial remedy?
Section of vehicle description from Property Covenant
Section 15. Vehicles and. Recreational Equipment. No truck or commercial vehicle, (except police or other governmental automobiles), mobile home, motor home, house trailer, utility trailer, camper, boat, boat trailer or other recreational vehicle or equipment, horse trailer, bus, passenger vehicle without current registration, van (other than a passenger van), or the like shall be permitted to be parked or to be stored at any place on any portion of the Property unless they are parked within a garage, or are located on a Lot so they cannot be seen from any street and are shielded from view from any adjoining Lot. For the purposes of this rule the following definitions shall apply.
A. “Truck” means a vehicle with any sort of weight capacity, which has a compartment or bed for carrying cargo, as opposed to passengers, regardless if such vehicle has a cover or “topper” for the cargo-carrying area, it shall be deemed to be a truck. Notwithstanding the foregoing, trucks with a cargo capacity of one ton or less shall be permitted on the Property.
B. "Commercial Vehicle" means any vehicle, which from viewing the exterior of the vehicle or any portion thereof, shows any commercial marking, signs, displays, or otherwise indicates a commercial use.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The section that you posted clearly states that vans other than passenger vans are not permitted on the premises unless it is inside a garage or otherwise hidden. Since the van has no seats, it cannot be considered a passenger van. And for that reason, you unfortunately are not going to be allowed to have the vehicle parked on the property regardless of whether it's considered a commercial vehicle. The rules and regulations are something that you agreed to when you moved in, and there are no anti-discrimination laws that protect someone based on the type of vehicle they drive or whether they need a specific type of vehicle for work purposes. They're allowed to insist that the van be parked elsewhere or fine you for each day that it's parked where it can be seen, in violation of the rule you posted. Since you have been personally given notice that the vehicle is not allowed and will be towed if you leave it there, Florida law also allows them to tow the vehicle at your expense.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Good luck.

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