How to Handle Parking Issues with Your Rental Properties
Feb 12, 2024 21:43
If you’re a landlord who offers parking to your tenants, you’ve probably run into some issues like guests taking someone’s assigned spot or people double parking for a holiday. There are so many problems that can arise in a parking lot, and even when you can call a tow truck to eliminate an illegally parked vehicle, it will still be your responsibility to handle situations with your tenants.
Parking is stressful for tenants and landlords, so here are some tips to help you navigate some of the most common parking problems that might arise on your rental properties.
1. Know your local parking laws
While you can set your own rules for a private parking lot, you also need to follow your city’s local parking laws, and this is something many landlords forget. Cities can impose specific parking requirements for residents and visitors that apply to certain types of housing (like senior housing) under certain circumstances. For instance, in some cities where street parking isn’t feasible, property owners are required to provide at least one parking space per unit or even per bedroom.
In Houston, Texas, for example, landlords who provide their tenants with a parking permit are required to keep them current so that the permit spans the entire lease term. This law came into being under House Bill 1002 on June 4, 2019. Don’t forget to renew your tenants’ parking permits with the city because they can hold you responsible if their car gets towed. It will also diminish their trust in you as a landlord and can lead to lawsuits and arguments.
The complexities of managing a property, keeping tenants happy, and staying on top of details like parking permits is just one reason investors hire a Houston property management company to handle their affairs. When you try to manage everything yourself, you’ll quickly realize it’s not as easy as you thought.
Having a professional handle your business is the fastest way to get peace of mind and know your tenants are in good hands.
2. Post signs that clearly state your parking rules
Clear signs make all the difference in parking lots, whether it’s on or off site. The most important details to make clear include:
· Who can park in the lot
· Where guests may park (if they are allowed)
· How long guests may park in the lot
· If the spaces are assigned
· Unauthorized vehicles will be towed
Your tenants will likely understand the parking rules, but guests showing up for a party may not know if there’s a special section for guests or if they need to back out and go park on the street. Most of the time, people won’t be willing to risk illegally parking, so they’ll follow the rules. The biggest problem arises when the rules aren’t clear and people end up violating your parking rules without knowing.
3. Make your parking spots assigned spaces
When parking spots are “first come, first serve,” several issues arise. First, people who need to park close to the building because of a disability are often forced to park far away and struggle to get to their home. Another common issue occurs when guests park in the lot. If you only have enough spaces for your residents and the spaces aren’t assigned, it’s harder to know when a guest has taken a resident’s spot.
This happens all the time. Someone comes home after a long night at work, only to find that there are no parking spaces available, and since the cars are unfamiliar, they won’t know which car to have towed out of the lot.
When you assign spaces with numbers, guests are less likely to take someone’s spot because they won’t want their car towed. If it happens anyway, your tenants can document the license plate of the car and either call a tow truck themselves or notify you to call for a tow. You should encourage your tenants to call the tow company directly if this happens so they don’t have to wait for you.
4. Install a good video surveillance system
Having clear video surveillance is crucial for solving some types of parking disputes. For example, if someone continually parks illegally in your lot, you can document their license plate and report them to the authorities. You’ll also have video proof of their actions.
Video surveillance can also settle disputes involving double parking, people blocking residents in, and other issues easily verified by video footage.
Take care of parking problems right away
To be a great landlord, it’s crucial to handle parking issues immediately. Never let tension build up between you and your tenants over parking.
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