Updated: Jan 6
The best way to resolve parking disputes among residents is a vehicle information tracking system. Each resident or tenant (for commercial real estate) should have their vehicle information and parking information stored including make, model, license plate, parking spot number, and parking pass information. Each resident or tenant could have multiple parking spots and multiple vehicles assigned to their account. The property manager should have access to this information packaged in a clean and easy to use dashboard anytime anywhere. Here are some guidelines and best practices for parking management for both residential and commercial properties.
Take The Agreement Seriously
Each parking spot lease should have a lease attached which captures the rights and terms of the parking spot. This lease can be condensed into a term and service agreement that the driver to consent to online. The agreement should protect the building owner from any liability such as accidents, thefts, or vandalism. As an additional layer of protection, the lease may require the driver to carry renter insurance that covers the costs of replacement of valuables in the case of break-ins.
IMPORTANCE OF PARKING LOT MAINTENANCE
For surface parking lots, snow removal is the responsibility of the building owner, so the owner needs to ensure snow removal is done properly and within a reasonable amount of time after each snowfall. For underground parking lots, power washing should be done 2 to 3 times a year to reduce engine oil marks on the floor and general clean up of the parking lot. When the maintenance event occurs, how can drivers find alternative parking spaces and consequences for failing to remove vehicles from the parking lot during the maintenance events should be clearly communicated to the drivers 15-30 days in advance.
PARKING LOT SECURITY MEASURES
When leasing parking to non-residents it is crucial to outline your extra diligence such as background checks. Lighting and signage should be updated and maintained to make the space seen and feel safe. To prevent and deter false liability claims, vandalism and theft, the security system should be an integral part of any parking garage. Plus it helps drivers dispute parking lot collisions during accidents. Moreover, live feed cameras no longer costs a fortune to install and maintain and could reduce the commercial insurance premium, which is another incentive to why parking lots should install security cameras. More technology-driven parking operators can leverage the camera system and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR).
APLR provides a live feed of all parking activities so the building management can track and know exactly who has entered or exited the parking lot when, as well as vehicle and the driver details lending an extra measure of security and peace of mind.
CLEARLY COMMUNICATED PARKING POLICY
The building management should treat parking as an extension of the lease. Certain rules and regulations such as no overnight parking for guests or 1 license plate per reserved parking spot should be made clear to the tenants and their guests in the form of a written agreement and parking signage inside the parking lot. If the parking lot has anticipated events such as snowstorms, power washing, and other events which affect the operations of the parking lot, the building must advise the drivers in advance in writing so they can make arrangement accordingly. Most importantly, finding a parking operator that can efficiently adapt to enforce the unique parking policies is vital to a well-run parking lot.
6 PARKING POLICY SUGGESTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND MIXED-USED PROPERTIES
1. No parking on spaces not designated for parking
Survey the areas where drivers are prone to leave their vehicles parked such as fire route, lawns, loading docks, and garage bin areas, and put up signage for no parking in these areas. If the building has a high volume of food delivery services, outline a few parking spots for these services during peak delivery time could improve the parking experience for everyone else.
2. Guest parking
Tenants should understand how guest parking works whether it is the maximum number of days or nights per month, or strictly paid. The guests should also be informed how parking works at the building to prevent guests from breaking the guest parking policy or parking at reserved or paid monthly parking spots.
3. One vehicle per space
Some drivers will try to squeeze multiple cars and motorcycles into 1 parking spot making it unsafe for other vehicles to drive inside the parking lot, hence the parking policy should specify no over-sized vehicle and only 1 motorized vehicle per parking spot including cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trailers and all other non-standard vehicles.
4. Prohibit inoperable vehicles
All cars in the parking lot should have up to date registration stickers and the ability to run and drive. If a vehicle is sitting at the parking lot for an extended period of time with visible damage and missing parts, it can become a safety hazard to the building, and worsen the parking experience for other drivers. If the vehicle owner does not respond to requests on removing the vehicle, then the parking lot must remove the vehicle and stick to the parking policy.
5. Towing policy
Drivers should understand why their vehicle is towed, who they can contact after their car has been towed, and the number and types of warning issued prior to the vehicle being towed. Towing should be the absolute last resort. The first few offences should not lead to the car getting towed unless for emergency situations, multiple unpaid parking tickets, or unresponsive inoperable vehicle owners.
6. Accommodate drivers with unique needs
People with disabilities, expected mothers, people with children should be allowed to park closer to the elevator. Be sure to check local by-laws on the number of accessibility spots needed when designing the layout of the parking lot.
Author: Frank Jing, Strategy & Operations at GoParkr
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