Most rental properties offer their renters a series of amenities that help to keep them happy and improve their lives within the building. One of the most popular is parking, whether it be an indoor or outdoor space beneath or around the property. People are very concerned with how and where they are going to keep their cars, particularly when living in a city where street parking can be difficult and extremely stressful. Unfortunately, managing your residents’ parking situations can also be difficult and stressful for you, given that there are disagreements over price and availability more often than not. So, how do you combat the trials of “establishing, monitoring and enforcing parking at rental properties?”
How to Avoid Residents Arguing About Parking
It begins with an examination of some of the more common issues that arise with regard to parking. Some tenants may be feuding with others who have allegedly parked in their spots, for example, and you become the mediator. As with most things, you want to have a clearly-defined plan from the beginning so that there are no blurry lines when it comes to parking regulations. Particularly if your residential property falls under “duplexes, four-plexes and multi-unit housing,” you will find that conflict comes fairly easily and often between quarreling residents.
Obviously, as mentioned above, there are bound to be more issues if you are located in a city rather than a more rural area with a great deal more space for, everything, parking included. It’s an highly-coveted amenity and one that you should absolutely feature if you have the space to do so. If not, you may need to find “creative” solutions, such as, perhaps, purchasing a nearby lot as at least an offering for some tenants. Otherwise, they’ll likely be inclined to seek out other buildings that can offer them spots for their vehicles.
What are some of the larger conflicts that arise with parking at your residential property? One of the more common is when one person parks in the wrong spot, and so the person whose spot it really is moves to another spot, taking that of someone else, and the dominoes continue to fall, making everyone unhappy. Similarly, guests may not have adequate space when they come to visit and then end up taking a numbered or assigned spot, which also sets off this “chain reaction” with actual residents. Lesser problems might include complaints that the spot to which a resident has been assigned is inconvenient, or far from stairs/elevators. There’s probably not much that you can do about this, considering that it would have an effect on whoever you then displaced and moved to that less-desirable location. Something that is completely out of your control is the number of vehicles that your residents own. If the complaint is that they don’t have enough saved spaces for all of them, then there really isn’t much that you can do about it. Realistically assess how many parking places you can offer to each unit, because, more than likely, it won’t be more than one, or maybe two.
If you’ve provided a document with rules and regulations, remember that to “a lot of miscommunication can be eliminated with a comprehensive lease agreement that has a section about parking,” so don’t forget that last bit. You want to be as clear as possible, particularly in writing, and make sure to include points of significance, like parking details, to all current and prospective residents.
When you’re writing or revising these lease agreements, you need to make sure to include all the relevant questions that may arise to avoid confusion and conflict. Include things that you may think seem obvious, because you’re sure to face a resident or guest who violates these rules despite how much of a “no-brainer” they seem to be, such as not double-parking or parking in front of fire hydrants outside of the building. Then, be clear about parking allocations, including numbering spots, if they haven’t been already, and/or giving out stickers to indicate that the vehicles belong to residents. For guests, a separate set of rules should be outlined, offering space for them if you can, because it will please residents, but not overextending your parking availability in a way that will inconvenience those who are actually living on the property.
Decide how strict you need to be to effectively enforce the parking in your lot. Will you immediately tow guests, or event tenants, who violate the rules you set in place, or will you first try to contact them about it? How long will you wait if they don’t respond, how many times will you try and reach them, and when is it not worth it, if you’re angering other residents? You need to make a sort of mental contract with yourself so that you hold to your decisions and make them without much waffling or deliberation. Don’t forget extenuating circumstances, such as extreme weather blocking spots or accommodations needed for those with disabilities. Consider all the possible scenarios before writing the parking section of your lease agreement, and, again, make sure all of it is clear.
There’s nothing like having everything taken care of before any issues can arise. That’s why Anton Systems offers SKYLINE Property Management and Accounting Software, so that you have an easy-to-use and powerful system at your disposal for all of your property management needs. Because it’s full integrated, you can access all the details of your lease agreements in one place at the touch of a few buttons, making it easy for you to create and reference those parking clauses. Keep things organized so that you can more quickly solve your residents’ problems and keep everyone happy.