Living in Metro Manila means dealing with traffic not just in public streets, but sometimes inside private gated villages as well. Not to mention parking spaces, or lack of it, the amount of cars simply do not correspond to the number of available parking slots. May it be office buildings, malls, or your own village, there are more cars than parking space. My neighbor maintains about 10 cars in a two-car garage home.
Role of Homeowners Associations (HOA) in Traffic Order
Aside from the Christmas, Halloween, Flores de Mayo, etc. parties that your HOA organizes each year yet no one seems to attend, every homeowner pays his dues so that the HOA can come up with an efficient and effective traffic plan.
A village’s Traffic Plan is comprised of the enforcement of a smooth flow of daily traffic, protection of pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists, and the implementation of a sustainable parking scheme.
Parking your Car in front of your House: Right or Privilege?
Open spaces such as internal roads, parks, playgrounds, sidewalks and other non-buildable areas are protected by law. After the developer turns over these open spaces to the duly-organized HOA, title and control is transferred by the former to the latter. Strictly speaking, the HOA together with its members own these open spaces.
Due to the current problem of traffic and excess cars, most HOAs devised schemes to alleviate the problem. One village in Pasig allows cars to park on the right side of the road every 1st-15th of the month, and on the left side of the road every 16th-31st.
Hence, the option to park your car in front of your own house is not a right, but a mere privilege that is granted and regulated by your HOA.
May HOA Penalize Homeowners?
Since the creation of parking rules and regulations are within the authority of the HOA, homeowners that violate these rules may be penalized.
However, it cannot be over emphasized that penalties that carry a fine or may deprive a homeowner of certain community benefits must go through a process of consultation and ratification. The Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations (RA No. 9904) provides that the HOA has the power to do this after public consultation and a simple majority vote of the members.
So before you park your car in front of your house, make sure that the HOA expressly allows it. On the other hand, if you have been issued a parking violation ticket, visit your HOA office and make sure that there is a duly approved and published rule or regulation that prohibits parking. If there is none or the HOA is being selective in its implementation, then you have the right to contest this citation.
Karl S. Borja is a Partner at Borja Salem Panis Baldonado and Associates. His practice includes real estate transactions, property law, and government regulatory compliance.
You may reach him at:
6B Vernida I Condominium, 120 Amorsolo St., Legazpi Village, Makati City. Tel. No. 02-847888395