Landlord Basics: Enforcing Parking Policies

tenantriskverification December 3, 2012 0


In a multifamily rental property, conflicts can arise over seemingly mundane issues. Parking is one of them. When parking is limited, and tenants are restricted toa certain number of spaces, sparks can fly when they think “their” space is being trespassed upon.

Here are some helpful tips to keep parking disputes from causing big problems for you or your rental property manager:

  • When enforcing your parking policy, remember that your tenants don’t own the spot or spots that go with their unit. You do.
  • Depending on availability, limit each unit to one or two parking spaces. Leave the rest open for visitors and potential new tenants.
  • You can require that a tenant household’s additional vehicles park in visitor spaces or on public streets surrounding the property.
  • Don’t allow tenants to “trade” spaces among themselves. For example, if Unit A has one car and two assigned spaces, and Unit B has three cars and two assigned spaces, it might seem reasonable to allow B to use A’s extra space. But this can get complicated. Other tenants will see the three cars and wonder why they are limited to two. When tenant A moves out, the next tenant may need both spaces. People tend to think something belongs to them after they use it for a while. And if tenants have disagreements, the parking spots could become a contentious issue. You don’t want to give tenants reasons to disagree.
  • Consider having inexpensive decals made for residents to affix to their bumpers, so you can easily identify cars the do and do not belong on your property.
  • Be sure to enforce rules against parking in front of dumpsters, along fire lanes and in handicapped spaces. It’s a good idea to give first-time violators a written warning. After that, tow any vehicles that are parked illegally, at the owner’s expense.
  • You are entitled to prohibit non-operating vehicles from your property, along with oversize vehicles, recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, etc.

Set clear policies and include them with your lease. Have tenants sign off or initial the page to prove that they have read and understand the policy.

This article originally appeared on tenantscreeningblog

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