Obtaining an additional parking spot requires negotiating with your landlord. If you’ve never negotiated before, the thought of trying it may seem intimidating. But, with a little preparation, it really shouldn’t be.
1. Determining the Odds of Obtaining an Additional Parking Spot
Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not be able to obtain an additional parking spot. If your apartment building has a parking garage or lot, then your chances of getting another parking spot are good. However, if you live in an area with a parking shortage, the probability of obtaining another parking spot is lower. Research your building and neighborhood parking situation before approaching your landlord.
2. Considering Your Landlord’s Perspective
Your landlord wants to receive a fair rent for the apartment, as well as obtaining and keeping a good tenant. The more valuable you are as a tenant, the more your landlord will be willing to compromise to keep you in the apartment. Use this to your advantage. Your willingness to be a good tenant improves the odds of negotiating successfully.
3. How the Negotiating Process Works
Successful negotiating requires a strategy and understanding the process of give and take. For instance, you may want a parking spot near your apartment, but your landlord may only offer to give you one farther away. Or, you may be willing to pay $100 per month for a spot, but your landlord wants $150 per month. Decide ahead of time what you must have and what you’re willing to concede. The goal is to get as many of the conditions you require, while conceding as little as possible.
4. Strategy for Gaining Another Parking Spot
At the outset, establish why you need another parking spot and how that will affect your tenancy. If you have an additional car, but nowhere to park it, tell your landlord that the lack of another spot will affect your decision to renew your lease-but only if that is really the case!
Outline how the lack of an additional parking spot makes the apartment less attractive to you. For example, describe how you drive around for prolonged periods of time looking for a spot on the street. Mention any parking tickets that you’ve received for on-street parking. Making your situation clear, and establishing why you need the the additional parking spot, will help you to prevail.
5. Creating a Binding Agreement
Since negotiations are often conducted verbally, you’ll have to take steps to ensure that the agreement you make with your landlord is legally binding. Immediately after discussing the parking spot with your landlord, send an email reiterating your agreement. Spell out all of the agreed upon terms including the parking spot number, start and end dates and cost.
Then, formalize your agreement with a written contract. Your landlord should draw up a parking spot agreement and both of you should sign it. If your use of an additional parking spot is a permanent arrangement, make sure that the same terms are attached to your lease when you renew it.
Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.