Vehicle Series Part 2: Restricted Vehicles
Many communities with HOAs prohibit residents from parking commercial vehicles where people can see them. The idea is to create a more appealing neighborhood. Communicating with residents about prohibited vehicles can be complicated, so check out these tips to help keep your community beautiful.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle can be one of many things. It may simply be a car with a business’s website or logo on the back window, or it may be a fleet van for a plumbing company. In basic terms, a commercial vehicle can be anything that refers to or is used for a business. Some HOAs may even feel that a truck with gardening or construction equipment on it is a commercial vehicle, even if it does not have the name of the company on it. The best way to determine which vehicles are, or are not, considered commercial vehicles is to check the definition of commercial vehicles in the HOA’s governing documents.
What Are Your HOA’s Goals?
If your neighborhood is swarmed with commercial vehicles, the first thing to do is determine your HOA goals. What kinds of vehicles do you want to prohibit? Are you more concerned with large trucks and vans, or is every vehicle with signage on the side a culprit? The HOA must decide which commercial vehicles they want gone: all of them or just the most noticeable.
What Steps Can the HOA Take?
The first thing the HOA should do is to check that the governing documents give a definition of what a commercial vehicle is. You may need to create a definition or redefine one based on what vehicles you want to prohibit. Make sure to communicate restrictions clearly and always be consistent. Once you know what types of vehicles you want to prohibit, make sure residents are aware of the rules.
Should You Tow?
If you have made the rules clear to the residents, and they continue to break them, it may be time to consider hiring a towing company. Ensure residents know that prohibited vehicles will now be towed, how long they have to move the vehicle, and what fee they can expect to pay. Again, make sure you have consistency. If you’re going to tow, tow every restricted vehicle not just one here and there.
Many are of the opinion that keeping commercial vehicles out of view helps create a better environment in which to live. However, before you start towing vehicles, determine which ones are restricted and communicate with residents.
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