Has your community ever encountered a situation where two, or more, owners ask to switch their assigned parking spaces, carports, or garages?  If that’s the case, the first step is to check your declaration to determine if a process is provided for accomplishing these tasks.   Oftentimes, declarations are silent on this issue, and boards are left to wonder what, if any, steps must be taken to legally accomplish this task.

Keep in mind, assigned parking spaces, carports, and garages are limited common elements that oftentimes are referenced in owners’ deeds as an “exclusive right to use”.   This means such assigned spaces are part of the real estate records and future purchasers of these units take title to the units along with such allocated parking spaces.   As a result, any changes in the rights to use such spaces must be evidenced by a written document that is recorded with the county, or the reallocations will not be binding on future owners of the pertinent units.

If your community was created after July 1, 1992, and your documents are silent with respect to the reallocation of limited common element parking spaces; you’re in luck!  Section 208 of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) provides a process for reallocating limited common elements between owners in a common interest community.

Section 208 first requires all owners involved in the reallocation of limited common elements to agree to the proposed reallocations.   If all owners do not agree to switch their limited common elements, the reallocation cannot occur.

Section 208 further provides that owners who wish to switch their limited common element parking spaces, garages, or the like, submit an application to the board of directors requesting approval of the proposed reallocations.  The application must meet the following criteria:

  1. The application must be signed by all applicants (i.e. all owners whose limited common elements are involved in the reallocation);
  2. A proposed form amendment to the declaration or plat (if necessary) must be enclosed; you will need to consult with the association’s legal counsel to determine if an amendment is necessary and most likely the association’s attorney will need to prepare such document; if an amendment is not necessary, a document will still need to be drafted and recorded with the county providing notice of the reallocation for the benefit of future owners.
  3. A deposit against attorney fees must be enclosed;
  4. The applicants must provide such other information as may be reasonably requested by the board; and
  5. Unless the board approves the application for reallocation, the reallocation will not be effective.

If your association experiences limited common element reallocation requests on a consistent basis, it may behoove the board to adopt a policy setting forth the process for requesting reallocations and provide forms that owners can use to effectuate such reallocations.

If you have questions about reallocations of limited common element parking spaces, carports, garages, or the like, please contact an Altitude attorney at 303.432.9999 or at [email protected].

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