Monthly Archives: December 2015

Tenants and Parking Space Issues

parking-lotOwning a multi-family building and having enough parking spaces for everyone can be a headache. Sometimes the tenants have more cars than parking lot spaces permit too. Or perhaps guests come over and take up a tenant parking spaces leaving no room for other tenants to park. These issues have solutions to solve your parking problem though. So below are some solutions to ease parking lot snarl ups:

  • The parking spaces can be monitored for any violations and the cars in violation towed. This can cover guest parking without permission or tenants parking in spaces with aren’t assigned to them. This will open the space back up for the tenant whose spot it is that was taken; plus it will send a message that unlawful parking won’t be tolerated.
  • Post signs that state that the parking lot or other spaces are for tenant use only and violators will be towed. Usually this is pretty effective in keeping unlawful parkers from parking. By having the cars towed too, it will also discourage it from happening again. This is especially true because word will get around to other tenants
  • Assign a parking space or spaces to each tenant. So decide how many spaces come with the lease and then assign that apartment number to that space or spaces. If another tenant parks in the space, then find out if that tenant’s space has been parked in and tow whichever car is the offending car.
  • If there is enough space, offer additional parking spaces for an extra monthly fee. Also, if you have room, you could also offer guest parking. You can have the tenant reserve a spot for a guest or just have the spaces available for a first come first serve set up then.
  • Decide whether or not you will have a waiting list for better parking spots. Most tenants prefer to be closer to the building, but that isn’t always possible. Some landlords have a waiting list for spaces which are closer, and the tenant is then assigned to that space who has stayed in the building the longest; or may have special needs. Specify this so you don’t have arguments; however.

Parking for tenants doesn’t have to be a headache if you stay strict with parking enforcement. It’s when the parking isn’t enforced that it becomes a problem for both the landlord and tenants.

Sidewalks and their Liability’s for Landlords

If the sidewalks in front or around your multi-family apartment building aren’t in good repair, it could be a liability suit just waiting to happen for a landlord. Because cracks and uneven pavement can trip even a watchful tenant. Plus, even if the tenant isn’t watching to see where feet are landing, you as the landlord still could be held to be at fault.

sidewalk-safetyHowever; if the sidewalk is cracked and you aren’t aware of the damage, you may not be liable if a tenant or visitor trips and falls. Say that just after a winter storm the snow melts and then freezes again making cracks in your sidewalk, but no one has informed you of the damage the snow and ice has done. If the damage isn’t reported to you, you may not be held liable for anyone falling down and getting hurt. Also, if in the rental agreement the tenant is supposed to shovel the walk and fails to do so; and someone falls due to this, then you aren’t liable. However; if you are to shovel the sidewalk and you fail to do so, the you could be held responsible if someone falls.

So what should you do to protect yourself as a landlord from lawsuits dealing with your sidewalks? Well, you should make an inspection regularly of the outside of your multi-family building to make sure everything is as it should be. If for some reason the sidewalk is in disrepair, then hiring a professional contractor to fix it may be the best thing to do. A professional contractor knows how to fix cracks, broken sidewalks and other states of disrepair so the costs are worth it if you don’t have the right skills for the job. Also the job will be done correctly and in the long run it will save you money by not having lawsuits filed because people fall and get hurt.

So leaving a sidewalk cracked and damaged is dangerous to your tenants and their guests. It also can be a bank account hit in the worst way. So it’s better to invest a little money now and have the job done right then to wait and be sued.