Q&A: How Do We Access a Common Parking Area?

Q. In our parking garage we have access to a bike storage room and an outside bike rack that is next to a resident's handicapped parking spot. Right now the only way to get to the bikes is to "trespass" over the parking spot. Our concern is that if someone parks a larger vehicle or if we want to add more racks, we might not be able to access the space. Also if someone were to damage a parked car by trying to remove their bike, we will have a hard time managing fault. Could a future owner of the spot deny access because of not wanting anyone to trespass over the spot? Is the spot public or private property?  

In addition, there is a trash room also next to a small parking spot and we could potentially face the same problem of not being able to access the space because of a vehicle obstruction. The board told us that the developer has the right to sell both of these spaces. Does the board have any say in the matter? Do they have the power to force the developer not to sell the parking spots?

                          —Blocked in Bayside

A. “A condominium sponsor owes unit owners what it promised them in the condominium’s offering plan,” says attorney Leni Morrison Cummins, a member of the Real Estate Department at the Manhattan-based law firm of Cozen O’Connor.

“The offering plan should contain a very detailed description of the property including floor plans.  If the description of the property and the floor plans include access areas to the bike and trash rooms as common elements, then the unit owners and the board of managers have cause to demand that the sponsor provide such access areas to the condominium.

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