We do not know if an owner can allow non-owners and residents to use the common elements in this manner. The board and many residents do not want this practice continued. We do not allow renters in our association but the owner is probably not charging rent for her space although the neighbors are. We feel that only owners/residents who live on-site should be using those garages and not inviting outsiders to rent/use the space when they are gone. To complicate matters, we do have an individual who shares a unit but does not own and rents an empty garage space from another owner. The board feels that a resident who lives on-site and uses another owner's vacant garage space is OK. We do not want our property being used as a public storage facility and losing the security of the garage codes. What action can we take?
—Concerned in Cicero
“Although the board might try to adopt a rule that prohibits storing personal property of non-residents, it would be very difficult to enforce. If unit owners are allowed to store personal items in the garage, it will be difficult to prevent the owner from storing otherwise acceptable items simply because they may not belong to the owner. Rather, to address the concerns presented here, the board might focus on what and how materials are stored in garages, and who may have access. The board can adopt rules prohibiting anyone except the unit owner or unit occupants from entering the garage without the presence of the unit owner (or a unit occupant), and could prohibit unit owners from giving out security codes to any other person who is not a unit owner or resident of the property. The board could prohibit renting garage space since it is common elements, except as part of residential lease of the entire unit (if leasing is allowed). Since the garages are shared, restricting access to non-residents without the unit owner or occupant seems reasonable for security purposes. The board can also prohibit storing dangerous materials in the garage, and can require that any items kept in the garage must be kept in a clean, neat, orderly and sanitary manner. The board can require that the unit owner keep the garage free and clear so as not to prevent or interfere with parking vehicles in the garage, or to interfere with the ability to move around within the garage. This may reduce the likelihood that someone else wants to store furniture or other items in the garages. By focusing on these types of things, the board may be able to achieve a goal of preventing outsiders from using garage space as storage.”