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How to Deal with Parking in Multi-Family Buildings

street parking in philadelphiaMost apartment buildings in Philadelphia provide private parking, which can be convenient for residents wondering where to park in PA. However, rental property parking lots in PA can be tricky to manage. Property owners may be faced with various types of parking options such as surface lots, parking garages, and off-site lots. While each of these will help tenants avoid street parking in Philadelphia, here’s what landlords need to know.

Should You Assign Parking Spaces?

It may seem like a good idea to assign individual spaces to specific tenants, but this practice comes with a few problems. First, keeping track of assigned areas will take a bit of extra work. Second, when spaces are assigned, the property owner will be responsible for tenants parking in the wrong spot. In some cases, the owner of the vehicle in the wrong place can be contacted and asked to move their car.

In other cases, drastic measures such as towing may be necessary, which won’t exactly build a strong relationship with the tenant whose car was removed. Plus, the correct tenant will be extremely inconvenienced while they wait for somewhere to park their car, no matter how quickly you work to remedy the situation. For these reasons, we suggest having Philadelphia apartment building parking spots available on a first-come, first-served basis and use hangtags to identify cars that are allowed to park in that lot.

How to Track Parking

Most of the time, an apartment building parking garage or lot will be secured with a gate, which is helpful to restrict entry using an electronic access system. Only those who have a card, fob, or another device will gain access to the lot. This type of system also makes it easy to prevent former tenants from trying to gain access to free parking in Philadelphia as the devices can be remotely terminated.

It’s also important to keep track of who currently has access to the rental property parking lot using a spreadsheet or by using a software solution like Appfolio (which can also export records into a spreadsheet format). At a minimum, you should be tracking the number of spots, the full name of the person granted access to a space, the details of the vehicle (make, model, year, color), and the serial or identification numbers of the fobs or openers assigned to that person.

Should a Tow Company Patrol Apartments with Parking?

In most cases, using a towing company to monitor your rental property parking in Philadelphia is a good idea, especially if the lot is not secured with a gate or garage with restricted access. That way, vehicles that should not be there can be removed before they cause problems for tenants.

If you choose to use a tow company, preventing accidental towing will be important. Even for lots with restricted access, every vehicle should have a hangtag so the tow truck driver can quickly identify cars that are permitted to be there. The company should also be sent a spreadsheet on a monthly basis with all the vehicle information for permitted vehicles. That way, they can cross-reference whenever necessary.

Abandoned Vehicles

It’s also essential to monitor the vehicles that are parked in the lot. While there’s usually no problem with tenants who leave their cars for an extended period of time, abandoned vehicles must be addressed. If there is a vehicle that appears inoperable, a notice should be sent to the tenant, asking what the status is. In some cases, the person may simply be waiting to make expensive repairs due to finances, but other situations may require special action.

Vehicles that are inoperable and also unsightly, perhaps due to a collision or other damaging event, are another problem. Most people will be unhappy with a busted down vehicle taking up space in a crowded parking garage week after week, so action must be taken. The vehicle owner should be contacted so you can understand what their plans are to either fix, sell, or relocate the vehicle.

For any vehicles that appear to be abandoned entirely or if the owner of an inoperable eyesore refuses to either fix or move the car, it’s important to understand the parking laws in PA. Landlords should not attempt to remove vehicles that are appropriately tagged, regardless of their condition. Instead, contact the local police and file a report for an abandoned vehicle, and let law enforcement take the proper actions.

Parking in PA

Every landlord knows that permit parking at a rental in Philadelphia is a definite perk and can help get your units leased faster. Tracking and monitoring apartment building parking in PA, on the other hand, can become a problem, especially if street parking and other options are limited or nonexistent in the area, and the competition for parking becomes steep. Instead, skip the hassles and leave it to the professionals. At BMG, we have experience with tenant parking, as well as every other aspect of managing a rental property, so you can feel confident that your investment is protected. Contact Bay Property Management Group Philadelphia today to get started!