A must-read for condo parking space owners

Written by Joe Gentile Thursday, 25 March 2010

A condominium is governed by the Condominium Declaration. This document is recorded at the Land Records for the jurisdiction in which the condominium is located and sets the rights and obligations of the unit owners of the condominium association.

It is in the Condominium Declaration that the ownership of a parking space is outlined. Parking spaces in condominiums are either separately taxed or are limited common elements.

A separately taxed parking space is easier to comprehend. It is a separate entity from the unit, it is assessed separately by the city or state and it has its own legal designation and property tax bill. It is deeded and transferred separately from the unit as a fee simple interest, similar to the manner in which the unit itself would be transferred.

However, even if the unit owner is given fee simple title, the Condominium Declaration still must be reviewed, since it may place restrictions on the rights of the unit owner in regards to transferring the parking space.

Limited common element parking spaces are designated in the Condominium Declaration as being reserved for the use of a certain unit to the exclusion of other units. They are attached to a unit and do not exist separate from the ownership of the unit and consequently pass with title to the unit.

Since limited common elements are under the direct supervision of the board of the condominium association, if an individual is trying to transfer the limited common element parking space, the individual needs to obtain permission from the board and the parking space must be transferred in accordance with the requirements of the Condominium Declaration.

Although the board exercises control and authority over the limited common elements, the unit owner of a particular limited common element is entitled to the exclusive use and enjoyment of the parking space. This is still subject to the board's control, the owner’s proper use of the limited common element, the declaration requirements and the rules and regulations applicable to the limited common element.

Visit our consumer guide to learn more about condos.

About the Author

Joe Gentile

Joe Gentile

Joe Gentile is an attorney at Federal Title & Escrow Company. He received his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University and is a member of the Maryland, Montgomery County and Italian-American bar associations. Mr. Gentile has practiced real estate law in the DC metro area since 2000.

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