Dispute Involving Condo’s New Parking Scheme Lands in Court

Siegfried Rivera
June 3, 2024


The firm’s latest Miami Herald “Real Estate Counselor” column was authored by shareholder Shari Wald Garrett and is titled “Dispute Involving Condo’s New Parking Scheme Lands in Court, Makes Local News.” The article focuses on the recent litigation involving the Buckley Towers Condominium and its new parking payment scheme.  Her article reads:

. . . In fact, for the northeast Miami-Dade condominium community, those tactics landed its former directors in court and in the crosshairs of state regulators, and they also drew the attention of NBC6 News (

According to allegations brought by Francis Trullenque and several fellow unit owners, some members of the Buckley Towers’ board of directors took advantage of their position to profit financially from the community.

Their lawsuit claims that the association’s board of directors took owners’ assigned parking spots and began charging a premium for the most convenient spaces. The complaint alleges that the association “contrived a plan to sell or lease spaces . . . [o]ffering spaces at a premium price based on location and leasing spaces close to entrances or exits to the highest bidder.”

To implement the new policy, Trullenque and some of his fellow owners assert that the association had many vehicles towed away during a single night.

“One night at three in the morning, I came home and there were maybe nine, 10 tow trucks,” he tells the station. “I call it the tow truck massacre.”

Fliers posted around the property promoted the payment options for residents to bid on parking spaces or pay a specific monthly rate for a space close to the building’s entrances. Records show that several residents paid hundreds of dollars to the association to secure a space, and some owners pointed out numbers on parking bumpers that had been painted over when the association took away all of the former parking assignments.

The owners claim the entire scheme violates the community’s governing documents. In addition to their lawsuit, they have also filed several complaints with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the state agency that oversees community associations.

When the station visited the property in April, its board secretary, Janvier Villars, defended the association’s actions.

“The assigned space is not theirs,” he said. “That means if the association needs more funds, the association has the right to collect.”

He tells the reporter that the association received approximately $28,000 in 11 days from the new parking revenue, and the owners themselves voted for the change. In court filings he submitted forms titled “A New Path” that he says were signed by the owners in support of the parking change to avoid implementing a special assessment.

The form has a QR code that links to a website for a for-profit entity called POWER that was founded by Villars. During the litigation, some owners claimed Villars created POWER, which stands for “Property Owners Wanting Equal Rights,” to funnel money from the parking payments to himself, but he tells the reporter that its profits go toward administrative and legal costs to fight corruption.

In recent developments, the owners were granted a court order to have the association return the parking lot to its original condition and assigned spaces, and banning it from any further towing of vehicles.

Villars and some of his other fellow board members were voted out of office in late April by the community’s owners, who elected Trullenque as its new president.

In truth, the upheaval caused by this community’s new parking policy is not very surprising. Regardless of whether the changes are permitted by the community’s governing documents, taking away owners’ assigned spaces to charge a premium for the best spaces will predictably be met with a great deal of dissent, especially if it is implemented with a “tow truck massacre” in the middle of the night. . .

Shari concludes her article by noting that associations and their boards of directors should proceed with a great deal of caution, forethought and community input whenever they are considering major changes of any kind.  She writes that the financial strains that are impacting many condominiums may spur some directors to explore all the potential options to help minimize special assessments and raises to owners’ monthly dues, but extreme and overzealous policy changes are likely to do more harm than good, and they are best left avoided.

Our firm salutes Shari for sharing her insights into the takeaways for condominium associations and their boards of directors from this recent case with the readers of the Miami Herald.