Can my community stop me from parking a truck in my driveway?

 Can my community stop me from parking a truck in my driveway?

BY:Owner of Gibraltar Title, Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about the housing market in the Sun Sentinel each Monday. 
Q: Why is it that community associations don’t allow trucks or commercial vehicles to be parked in driveways overnight? This country is made up of small businesses that service these communities. It does not make sense that a homeowner can’t even have a pickup truck! — Terry

A: Many people decide to live in planned communities to have their own slice of paradise. They decide to live in a neighborhood with a certain look, amenities and lifestyle. Often the decision is made to ban commercial vehicles, and even, sometimes, all trucks. Each community is free to write its own rules, and you must read your community agreements to determine what rules you agreed to live by.

To be clear, you have to follow your community’s rules because you agreed to do so when you moved in. You are bound by your agreement, not any particular law in this regard. If your documents ban commercial vehicles but allow passenger vehicles, you should be allowed to have a pickup truck that is for personal use, but not a work pickup truck. However, if all trucks are banned, then you cannot have any pickup truck, no matter its use.

Remember to read your documents, and not just take the management company’s word on the matter, since I have found that sometimes the board or management company is misinformed on what the documents actually say.

Also remember that it is your community. So if you and enough of your neighbors want to change the rules, you can amend your documents, working with your board of directors to have a community vote to do so.

Short of that, if you are not a fan of the restrictions agreed to by your neighbors, you can always move to a community more in line with your lifestyle.

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