What is assigned condo parking?

When we’re dealing with condo sales, we need to know what kind of parking  goes with the unit.  It’s not always obvious. A detached home usually has  garage or a driveway or both. But in a condo, parking is often underground and we don’t know which space, if any, goes with the unit except for what appears in the listing, and sometimes the listing doesn’t have that information.

A quick search on Geowarehouse (tax records) of the address of the condo will often tell us if the parking is owned. That’s because if it’s owned, the parking space will have its own legal title.

Often you can sell these spots separate from the unit if there aren’t any restrictions in the condo bylaws or declaration. I remember years ago when a condo owner in a building where I had a listing, owned three spaces and I recommended my client, who had none, offer to buy one of them to improve the resale value of his unit. We used an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, just as if we were selling a house.

So: an owned parking spot is an asset. It can’t be taken away from you or moved elsewhere; it’s your space. It may be something you can  even rent for a little extra income, depending on what the condo documents say. A unit that comes with parking costs more than a unit without it. And if you own it, you may find that your property taxes are a little higher than a unit without parking because of that.

Assigned parking is a whole different kettle of fish. You don’t own it, you only get to use it. It is a common area that is “exclusive use.”

Because having parking is so important, often condo documents will say that it can’t be taken away without the consent of the owner or with the approval of the board, or only in certain circumstances, or only if other parking is provided. You really need to know what’s in the bylaws and declaration to know for sure; be sure to make it a condition of the sale that your lawyer will order and review the condominium unit’s status certificate, before your sale goes firm, because it will have all those rules contained in it.

But your assigned parking spot can be moved from one place to another, and if the condo bylaws or declaration allow it, it can even be taken away from you all together, although most often, there has to be a reason.

However, if the condo documents say that the parking is not assigned to the unit, or may not be transferred with the unit, then BUYER BEWARE.

The unit you’re considering purchasing doesn’t have any guaranteed parking at all.  Just because the current owner has a space doesn’t mean you will.

Have your realtor check with the property management company before you put in that conditional offer. Don’t get left out in the cold.

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