Many homeowners associations become frustrated by frequent HOA parking violations and sometimes towing cars doesn’t seem to send a strong enough message. So can an HOA legally boot an owner’s car for parking violations?
The answer is a bit tricky and varies by state. For example, the attorney general of Nevada recently found it is illegal for any nongovernment entity, including an HOA, to boot a car for any reason at all. Because laws vary across the United States, it’s vital to consult with your property manager and a lawyer to discuss both legality and the practicality of this practice.
In Florida, an HOA’s ability to boot cars seems to be a real gray area. HOA laws in Florida allow for towing cars as long as the rules are followed. These rules including posting signs and ensuring cars aren’t towed past a certain distance from the building.
As far as booting cars goes, there is currently no state statute that addresses the issue. A number of counties and cities do have their own ordinances, however, further emphasizing the need for legal counsel.
To demonstrate the complexity of the issue, there is no statute on booting in Alachua County. In Gainesville, located in Alachua County, there are rules that allow HOAs to boot cars if signs and other rules are followed.
Many firms believe that with no statute in place, a homeowners association is allowed to boot cars. Still, given the complexity of the issue and the possible problems that arise, it’s a good idea for any HOA considering such a practice to establish a set of regulations that govern when they can boot cars and how it will be done.
Keep in mind that, as with towing, an association can still only boot cars if they are unlawfully parked. An HOA that boots or tows a car because of a general violation or even the type of vehicle is in dangerous territory and may face litigation in the future.