May a Condo Assn ask for Vehicle Information?

I am getting a lot of emails from owners who are concerned about questions their HOA or Condo Association Boards are asking about vehicles and whether the request invades their privacy.  Let’s take a look – see my comments –  and feel free to comment. Questions:

ONE: “I live in a community that has an HOA.  The property management company is requesting I pay $25 for a six month parking variance for my third car.  Not a problem, will send payment, registration, proof of insurance and car description as requested.  My problem with the HOA is that they are requesting auto info on the cars parked in my garage.  I’ve provided them the auto description and license plate info, however they want registration and proof of insurance too.

I don’t believe this info is relevant being that these cars will be under my roof.  Is this legal for them to know everything?”

TWO: I live in a town home community in _____ California and our HOA is asking each resident o give 
them the make, model, license and registration numbers for each of  our vehicles.  Is this legal?  Do I need to give them this info?  It  seems a little invasive to me.”

MY RESPONSE: As for relevancy, any information about whether vehicles are properly licensed, registered as operable, and/or whether owners carry insurance is pertinent when governing documents exclude vehicles that are not currently registered, or require vehicles driven in the complex to be operable and insured.  And which vehicles belong to which household would be relevant too if parking is limited, controlled and enforced.

These kinds of requirements are common especially when there is a shortage of parking, concern about storing extra vehicles that are prohibited, concern about using garages for purposes (such as storage) other than vehicle parking, or concern about protection for person or property that could be at the mercy of a driving accident in the development. And if the requirements exist and are valid (based on authority in the governing documents) requests for supporting documentation would also be valid.

 Boards can ask for any information they want to and many owners will probably provide it voluntarily, especially if the request looks official.  Whether an owner is required to provide such information depends on whether it is relevant to existing rules or regulations, the authority for which appears in the governing documents, or whether the governing documents (which include the CC&Rs and rules among other documents) require that the information be provided. The same goes for the “fee” for extra vehicles.

Some “privacy” is lost when one lives in a homeowners association that has rules and regulations  properly authorized by the governing documents and approved by the Board.

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