Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
By Larry Barszewski
Published April 9, 2017
The Parking Boss app helps officials identify and tow
away the cars of unapproved renters and others living under an association’s
radar — even though that is not what it was designed for.
At least three South Florida condo associations have found a novel way to
put the brakes on owners who break the rules.
They are using a parking app to do it.
“We have implemented new technology to combat both Airbnb and illegal
seasonal renters, and snowbirds that rent their units more than what our
declarations state,” said Josh Travieso, vice president of the 150-unit
Cypress Bend Condominium V association in Pompano Beach.
The Parking Boss app helps officials identify and tow away the cars of
unapproved renters and others living under an association’s radar — even
though that is not what it was designed for.
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Here's how the app works: Unit owners are issued decals with QR codes for
their personal cars. The app scans the code to see if the car’s license
plate matches what’s on file.
Guests have their license plate information plugged into the app as well.
But there’s a time limit put on guest parking — four days in a week at
Cypress Bend V — which allows the association to catch renters with longer
leases and have their cars towed.
“We were able to find a lot of dirty laundry,” said Travieso, who discovered
the app was being used nearby at Cypress Bend Condominium VII.
Officials there said it has helped get unauthorized rentals under control.
In the month the app has been in place at Cypress Bend V, the condo has
uncovered about 15 owners with roommates who had never been registered or
had background checks done by the association. There were snowbirds who were
renting out their units on a monthly basis while they were away, in
violation of the association’s minimum six-month lease requirements. One
owner, who had three units he bought as investments, ended up selling one he
had been using for short-term rentals, Travieso said.
So far, he said, only a couple of cars have actually been towed.
Lakeside condominiums in Lauderdale Lakes has been using Parking Boss for
about a year because of the limited parking spaces it has.
The app has helped management identify and tow cars that shouldn’t be there.
It also helped discover renters who had never been approved by the
association, said Gabrielle Province, Lakeside’s assistant manager.
Many longer-term renters have now gone through the approval process, after
their cars were towed multiple times, Province said.
"The people who actually live here are happy about it, because they can park
now," she said.
Generally, condo associations rely on paper passes to control guests. But
Travieso said the passes could be left in a unit and used by subsequent
renters. There always seemed to be a way for unit owners to get around the
rules, he said.
Seattle-based Parking Boss serves about 200 apartment, condo and homeowner
associations across the country.
Most use the app as a way to make sure limited parking spaces aren’t being
used up by people who don’t belong in the communities, said app co-founder
He didn’t foresee this new use for his 6-year-old system.
”Stopping illegal renting, that’s not something we set out to solve,” he