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by Michael Monteiro
Depending upon where your property is located, parking may be a major consideration or something that you rarely think twice about.
For example, if your property is situated in a rural area or a quieter neighborhood, chances are that providing parking to tenants whether it’s street parking or on-site parking isn’t something you actively consider.
Parking lotIf, however, you are a property manager in an area where parking is scarce, it’s a whole different ballgame.
Following are some tips for making the most of parking.

1. Have a parking policy.

First and foremost, if you do provide tenants with parking, make sure that a parking policy is included as part of your standard lease.
Think of parking spaces as an extension of your tenants units. Just as they are renting a unit from you, so are they renting a parking place and, therefore, certain rules, regulations, and expectations should apply. If you provide additional guest spaces on your property, make sure that rules and regulations for them are included in your lease as well. Finally, if you live in an area where weather conditions or other specific events may affect parking, include specific instructions for such conditions in your policy. For example, if you live in an area where it snows frequently, make sure that any affect it may have on your parking policy is explicitly stated.

2. Determine whether you can charge.

Depending upon the neighborhood your property is located in, parking may or may not increase the rental value of your units.
If, for example, you live Dollar sign2in a safe area where street parking is readily available, chances are that providing tenants with parking spaces will add little or no value to your property in terms of rental rates.
If, however, you live in an area that is unsafe or where parking spaces are scarce, on-site parking may well afford you with an opportunity to raise your rent.

If you are not already charging tenants who have parking spaces additional rent, be sure to check out the going rates for comparable units with parking spaces the next time a unit becomes vacant. You may just be able to increase your income.

3. Get credit even when you don’t charge.

Even if your situation does not afford you the opportunity to charge higher rental rates when a parking space is included, be sure that you are advertising your parking space as an amenity rather than a basic. You never know what could make the difference between a potential tenant choosing one unit over another, and a parking space could definitely provide you with an edge over the competition.

4. Rent unused spaces.

If you live in an area where parking spaces are a particularly valuable commodity or have fewer tenants than you do parking spaces, don’t let that space go to waste! Rent out your unused parking spaces, even if it is to a non-tenant. Particularly in dense, urban areas, each parking space can generate up to $200 additional income per month. Best, of all, we bet it will be the easiest unit you have ever had to maintain!

Depending on your situation, parking may be a welcome source of additional revenue or a great way to appeal to potential renters. Be sure to make the most of your property’s parking.

Michael Monteiro works for Buildium LLC, maker of online property management software and landlord software for professional property managers, condos and homeowner associations (HOAs) and is author of the The Buildium Property Management Blog.

See The Right Way to Handle Subletting.

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