It seems that no matter where you go, parking seems to be an ever-present issue. It doesn’t help that cars have grown in size over the past decade, either.
Parking issues arise at the grocery store, the mall, and at apartment complexes. Your tenants will appreciate your efforts in making their parking situation as easy as possible.
Common Tenant Parking Problems
There is nothing worse to a tenant than to arrive at his apartment late one Saturday night to find that there is no parking in the immediate vicinity and that he has to park his car on the street, two blocks from his house. In many places, college towns especially, tenant parking gets used on weekend nights by guests of other tenants and party-goers.
As a property manager, you need to walk the tightrope between keeping your tenants happy and doing the right thing.
No Parking at Apartment
If there is no available parking at the apartment than there are a couple items to consider. The first is if the lease states that parking is included. A tenant could make the case that the lease was signed under the premise that there is parking included.
If parking was not promised in the lease than the tenant may not have a lot to go on with a formal complaint.
Put Up Signs
Ensure that you have proper signage in all the right places. Every location is different; find out what signs you need to put up, where, and what each has to say in order to comply with the local laws. You have to cover yourself in the event that you have to tow cars that don’t belong on your premises. It’s an ugly fact of property management, but on occasion, you will have to tow somebody.
The last thing you want is to have to deal with having broken the law while trying to carry out responsibility of ensuring that your tenants can park in your lot.
Make it Clear
Part of your property management responsibilities is to ensure that parking spaces are easily discerned. You need to make sure that the parking stalls are re-striped (re-painted) on a regular basis. Over time, the paint will fade away. Either hire a construction company that can do this for you or buy the equipment needed to do the job yourself. Contrary to what you may believe, you can find parking striping machines for less than $100 that are suitable for small jobs.
For larger jobs, you will most likely want to hire a company who already owns the equipment.
Know the Laws
You also need to make sure that you follow applicable laws when it comes to attempting to find somebody who has parked in an unauthorized fashion on your property.
For example, you cannot watch somebody park in your lot who doesn’t belong there, call the tow company, and have their car towed. You MUST make an attempt to find the owner of the car that is parked inappropriately in your lot before you can initiate the tow process.
Once you have drawn that proverbial line in the sand, where you have made a statement to the public about the fact that they will be towed if they park in your lot when they should not be doing so, as in the case of a party in a neighboring apartment complex, you must practice what you preach. It is not okay to be inconsistent!
The same goes for your handicapped parking spaces. You must patrol your grounds and ensure that people are parking in spots appropriately.
So there you have it: Establish proper and legal parking rules, enforce them, and your tenants will thank you for doing so when they come home late on a Friday or Saturday night.
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