Parking is a valuable amenity, and cost and availability can be different from one community to the next. Unfortunately, first-time renters can pay too much attention to other features and not enough to parking policies. This oversight may cost renters’ convenience and time, if not money, too.
Apartment Parking 101
During a tour, the leasing agent or landlord should describe the apartment parking rules for their building or complex and if there are additional costs. Before you commit to an apartment, take some time to consider your situation and how parking rules for a complex will impact your wallet, as well as your time and patience. The answers to the following questions will help you make your decision.
If parking space is available, ask:
- How many spots are available for each apartment? Are there enough for each roommate?
- Is there an additional cost per space? If so, how much? Is it already included in the rent, or will you pay an extra monthly charge?
- Are the number of spaces and costs negotiable? Can you have a lower rent if you don’t need a parking space?
- If the landlord would consider waiving the parking rental fee for your first month as an incentive to sign a lease.
- If parking is in short supply, how long is the waiting list?
- Are garage units available? If so, are they attached or detached? What is the cost per month? Is the rental period the same as the apartment lease? Ask to see available units, so you will know how far they are from the apartment you are considering renting.
- Are spaces assigned? If so, ask how far the space is from the apartment. What do you do if someone parks there? Who do you tell? Also, find out if it is ok to allow someone else to park in your assigned space.
- Is parking available for visitors? Is there a time limit?
- Is vehicle registration required for all residents and visitors? If you need a handicap-accessible parking space, is there one available near the apartment large enough to accommodate your vehicle and let you maneuver your equipment?
If parking is not available on-site, ask to see your off-site parking options, which may include a parking garage, an open lot or off-street parking. Ask:
- How far you will you have to walk from your car to your apartment each time you go out? How easy will it be for you to carry groceries and everyday items back and forth?
- How much will monthly parking cost?
- Is the parking area safe and secure? Is it well lit? Are there security guards and cameras in use? Have there been any problems?
- Are there any rental parking options offered by neighbors in private residences nearby?
Apartment Parking Rules or Etiquette
Parking guidelines may not include these etiquette tips, but do consider following them:
- Don’t take up more than one space. If your car is on the line or over, jump back in and readjust!
- If you drive a large vehicle, don’t try to squeeze into spaces meant for compact cars. You may have to park a little farther away, but you will have the room you need to park and unload.
- Slow down when coming and going through parking areas. Often, parking lots are adjacent to green spaces or tot lots, so keep your eyes open for children running and playing nearby.
- Observe winter parking rules to help plow drivers keep lots cleared of snow.
Often, you can add your name to a waiting list for a parking space and get a better one than you have when one becomes available. You will also improve your odds of getting a space by following the parking rules and guidelines outlined in your rental agreement.
If you have any questions about parking on any of our properties, please give us a call. We’re here to help you find the right apartment with the amenities you need.