Parking in an HOA or Condo – Commercial Vehicles – Do Vans Qualify??

A reader asks: “Do you have an article on how to handle vans used for commercial work where the van has writing on it describing the service provided? We have a renter like that. Some feel the van should be removed. I think it robs the person of having a business/living and would be a form of discrimination.”

There are certainly different schools of thought. Some boards are quite lax when it comes to enforcing documents that prohibit commercial vehicles. Others are like the Nazi-police. Most are in between. The important thing is to set some boundaries, and then enforce them – like raising teenagers.

An association will need a good parking policy and a good one would be a balance between what the governing documents say (they usually prohibit businesses and so the question arises as to what to do about commercial vehicles) and what makes sense.

In some communities the rules adopted prohibit vehicles with signs so owners use magnetic signs they can remove. Some communities allow signs so long as they are unobtrusive and not larger than specific dimensions, in which case offensive “signs” like the big yellow Bug Van would be prohibited but small door signs would be okay. Some communities allow signs on the sides of vehicles but not the back or front facing the street. Most have some prohibitions on size of vehicles or equipment racks or ladders. The goal is to prevent as much as possible a laxity in rules that keeps the development from looking less residential.

There is an Advanced Enforcement Primer – Parking and Towing, available on my website at for $25 that would be helpful in setting policies geared to work in this scenario. [Note: Don’t try to use a credit card right now. The merchant provider is not communicating with the webstore provider. You will need to use Paypal or a check, or contact me if you want to purchase a PDF Primer to be sent to you.]

See a blog article in my other blog which you can access at on the main mage entitled “California HOA and Condo Law Blog.”

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