So I have to pay extra to park in a space I'm already paying for?

Forgive me for ending the thread title with a preposition, but I’m in a foul mood.

Here’s the dope:

I pay $50 to rent a covered parking space at my apartment building. There is a tiny white “RESERVED” painted at the foot of the parking space, but people often disregard this (or possibly don’t even see it - it’s very small). I’ve asked the apartment managers to put up signage indicating the reserved parking spots,but they’ve refused. When I called them to complain that someone was parked in my reserved spot, they told me to call a towing company to have the car towed.

Now my apartment managers have decided to give a special parking pass (to be hung from the rearview mirror) to those people who have a reserved parking space. If they see a car parking in a reserved space that does not have the parking pass dangling from their rear view mirror, they will have it towed immediately.

I went into the office yesterday to pick up my parking pass. I asked to get an extra one for my husband, since we are a 2-car family and we share the reserved parking spot (usually, whoever gets home first finds regular parking, and whoever gets home later gets the reserved spot). I was told that it would cost me $20 for an additional pass.

I told them that was unacceptable, since I was already paying for the parking space, and I should be able to park any car I want in the space. It would be extremely inconvenient for me and my husband to switch the pass from car to car. They pretty much told me they didn’t care. I asked them what would happen in case of an emergency - for example, what if I was in a car crash, and my husband had to rush to the hospital, but my mother-in-law needed to go to the apartment to watch the baby? They told me just to call them in a situation like that, and they wouldn’t tow my mother-in-law’s car. I told them that the last thing I was going to do in an emergency was call my apartment building to inform them of the situation. Again, they didn’t care.

Mr. Smaje tells me I am getting way too worked up over this. I mean, it’s only $20, right? But I am so pissed off about this!

When we rented this space, the cost and all the info about it was added to our lease. When I tried to cancel the space (due to tight budgetary concerns) I was told I could not - that it was part of the lease now and I was stuck with it until I moved out. So if they were going to add new rules and potential costs to the space, shouldn’t they have to put that in my lease and give me the option to get out of it?

sigh I love the Pit. Let me know if I’m being crazy. I’ve got mad after-pregnancy hormones cruising through me right now, so sometimes I freak out over little things.


Is that what your lease says? Are you sure it doesn’t put it in terms of keeping a space reserved for your car?

make a copy, kinkos or somesuch

I’ll double check on that. We had to provide both my license plate and my husband’s when we got the space, and there was no verbal mention that only one car was allowed in the space. It appears that they don’t care how many different cars use the spot, as long as there is a parking pass displayed in the car that’s currently in the spot. There’s no rule against my husband and I sharing the pass between our two cars. For some stupid reason, they just want me to pay them $20 for an extra piece of dangling plastic.

By the terms of my lease, I’m only allowed to park one specific car in my reserved slot, identified in the lease by make, model, and license plate. They don’t have permits we need to display, though, and they don’t do anything about a “non-authorized” car being parked in the wrong space unless you call up and complain. But if they started requiring us to display permits, I wouldn’t expect to get more than one permit without some extra cost attached - the lease says my car can park there, and no one else’s.

Any chance you can make your own?

Yeah, just scan the damn thing and print another one.

Be very careful with that. There’s a tow truck operator on and a lot of the people he tows are due to using copied permits. It’s likely to have “any unauthorised reproduction…” guff printed on it.

suck it up and pay the $20.

How many apartments are there in your complex? And how many assigned parking spots are available?

Just ballpark numbers would be good.

In one way it is crap, but in another, they’ve done something to alleviate a known problem, so good for them. I can actually see reasons for charging for the second/further passes - college students rent there, they want all their entire group of friends who might stop by to have one, etc. One pass for one space does make a certain amount of sense - you and your husband are the ones who are changing things up.

I must also vote suck it up and pay the $20.

Check with your Attorney General’s office, or any renter’s organizations in your state.

My apartment complex got burned recently by declaring a lot of rules changes taking effect “immediately”, then finding out that LEGALLY, they were not allowed to do this because it was a change to already existing leases. Of course, it means they will just add it to all new leases and renewals, but it was a definite slap for them to be forced to put out flyers to all @200 apartments that said “Oh sorry, we can’t do this. It will only affect all new leases and lease renewals.”

Me, I’d be walking down to the office, copy of my lease in hand, saying “I don’t see this in the lease I signed, therefore it’s not happening.”

While this is the correct response, the apartment jerks are still cock munchers to the nth degree.

Yes, suck it up and pay 20, I guess but I agree, it sucks ferral dog-sack and I would be looking for loopholes. Reserved parking is reserved parking and the building is just nickle and diming you to death. I remember being a renter, especially when I lived in vancouver. It seemed every single thing required an extra fee, or special this or that permit.

They get away with it because they know they can. If you move when your lease is up please state in your letter that their gouging parking policies are part of your motivation to move.

a) are the spots numbered to the passes? if not, then I can understand why they are going to want to charge you new money for a second pass as you can effectively get two spots out of it. if they are, then I would think that copying the pass (subject, of course to any restrictions on doing so as indicated on the pass) would be fine. if your car with the copied tag is parked in your spot, then no one is going to call to have it towed, and anyone who does would be opening themselves up to liability for trespassing on your property.

b) as for the “change” in the lease - it’s not really a change at all. you got your one pass for the one spot you’re renting. your parking lot lease was presumably silent on passes, since they didn’t exist at the time, so they’re not really changing anything about that. they’re more likely adding something to it. which they can do, unless your parking lot lease from before is explicit that you can park multiple cars in the one spot you’re renting

c) offer to leave the $20 as a deposit for the new tag, which you will retrieve once you leave the apt. it’s a fair compromise

d) if none of that works, and the $20 still chaps your ass, just trade the pass off weekly with your spouse. i’m sure the net result would be the same (the same as randomly getting to the spot before or after spouse gets home).

Rumor, here’s what I think is the more likely scenario: The apartment management is going to start giving access to a local towing company, who will periodically drive around the complex, looking for towing opportunities. “Towing opportunities” in this usage meaning “cars in reserved spots not displaying a placard/pass.” Pretty unlikely that the driver will want to get out of his cab to match placard numbers to spot numbers.

OP, I suggest you start being real careful to make sure your placard is on display when you park in a reserved spot.

I have absolutely no idea what you’re basing this on. Keep in mind the OP has rented a specific spot.

I’ve lived in apartment complexes, in college towns, with assigned spots. Never once have I ever seen a tow truck driving aimlessly around a lot like some ersatz parking enforcement officer.

It’s extremely risky for the management company and the tow truck driver (not to mention a waste of time, when there are probably many other towing opportunities that they don’t have to scrupulously look for) to drive onto private, leased property (again, the OP now has a property interest in that specific spot) and start towing things without the leaseholder’s approval. Frankly, depending on how the lease is written, the management company doesn’t even have the authority to instruct the tow truck company to do jack shit on leased property (do you think they have the right to authorize a repo man to come into your apartment and take your rented LCD tv out of the apartment?)

In the stories that I’ve heard (I never had occasion) with getting a tow truck to tow a car parked from a rented space, you have to show them a copy of the lease or something to prove to the tow truck driver that you are the one who has the right to park in that spot - not the infringing car.

PS, OP try negotiating that when you move out, you can turn both placards in and get your $20 back.

ETA: Rumor, I’m in Southern California, and I’ve heard some horror stories.

why would you recommend attempting to negotiate after the fact? “yes, you have my money that I gave you 8 months ago, but would you be nice enough to give me that $20 back? after all, I have nothing to offer you in exchange…” :wink:

you’re in a much better position to negotiate when you get the 2nd pass - as in my version of the $20 refund option.

(unless I misread, and your suggestion was exactly like mine?)

Perhaps my wording was unclear. My apologies. My suggestion was supposed to be about establishing at the outset that the $20 is a deposit, not a fee.