Parking is a conflicting and confusing situation for a number of associations. Many disputes tend to arise concerning where and what type of an automobile an owner may park on the property. In order to resolve these disputes, it is important to know the types of parking spaces that exist in community associations.

If you live in a condominium association, there are generally three different types of parking spaces.

Deeded Parking. In a deeded parking situation, the owner of the space has fee simple ownership of the parking space. There is a separate tax bill for the parking space, as well as a separate percentage of ownership. Unless there is a restriction in the association’s declaration, the space may be conveyed by the owner to a person who does not own a residential unit in the association. This tends to upset the owners in the association when there is limited parking when someone who does not own a residential unit in the building has ownership of a parking space. If your association has this situation, the board may want to consider adopting an amendment to the declaration which prohibits those that do not own a residential unit from having a parking space.

Limited Common Element Parking. A limited common element is defined as a portion of the common elements which is reserved for the exclusive use of the owner. Although on the surface, a deeded space and a limited common element space may appear to be the same, the difference is in who owns the space. All owners in an association own a percentage interest in the limited common element parking space. However, an owner is granted the exclusive use of this space by the developer. The use of the space is automatically transferred with the sale of the unit. The use of this space may be transferred between owners by an amendment to the declaration, but may not be owned by a person who does have ownership of a residential unit.

Common Element Parking. Common element parking is obviously reserved for the residents of the building, but distributed on a first come, first serve basis. The spaces are not assigned in the declaration. We do represent a number of associations that have common element spaces and the board has assigned use to individual owners. There is some question under Illinois law as to whether this is proper. This depends on the specific terms of your declaration and the manner in which the board has assigned spaces.

In a townhome/homeowners association there are two types of spaces – either those owned by the owner or common area spaces. The common area spaces may be assigned by the board as set forth under the provisions of the declaration.

In a condominium association and most townhome/homeowners associations, the board of directors has the right to adopt rules and regulations regarding the parking of vehicles. This includes what types and where vehicles may be parked on the property. A common exclusion is trucks, boats and recreational vehicles. The board must make sure that these rules and regulations are clearly drafted to limit the types of vehicles that the board wants to limit. As the board in some instances reserves the right to tow vehicles which are parked in violation of the rules and regulations, the board needs to make certain that the rules are drafted properly so the association is not subjected to a lawsuit. If you have ever been towed, you know the type of confrontation that can result.

Although parking can become a contentious issue for associations, if the board has clear and concise rules and has explained the parking scenario to all owners, it will help alleviate these issues.


Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collectionslandlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We represent thousands of clients and community associations throughout the US with offices in several states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

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