If you manage an apartment complex and are revamping the parking process, it's a good idea to add assigned parking with permits if you don't have that already. While having open parking seems like a good amenity for your tenants, it can result in more problems for you and the tenants over time. Here are three reasons why assigned parking with permits is really the best way to go.
Guest Spots for the Guests
If all spots are assigned and everyone has a permit -- even short-term ones for guest parking -- then guest and visitor spots remain open for guests and visitors. Tenants know they have a place in which to park, and they also know they can't simply leave their cars in a visitor spot instead. This can be an issue because visitor parking is often in a prime area and very close to the complex. But if tenants park there, then guests have nowhere to go, and they're at risk of being towed. This was one of the problems facing people at a complex in San Antonio -- The San Antonio Express-News reported in 2011 that an apartment complex was under fire for having a high towing rate, and the reason given was that visitor parking was often filled up by tenants, leaving guests with nowhere to go except tenant spots.
If each apartment has an assigned spot, then tenants know what they're getting when they move in. With open parking, with or without a permit, tenants coming home late at night might find that there are no open spots at all, either because there aren't enough spots to begin with, or because of visitors taking up spots. That can make the apartment seem like not such a good deal and get you some bad reviews on apartment review websites.
Point of Contact
If each apartment has a specific spot, and a strange car shows up in that spot, you know you can go to that apartment and ask about the car. It could be a rental because the tenant's regular car is in the shop, it could be that the tenant got a new car, or maybe the tenant has someone visiting and forgot to put the regular parking permit in that car. That saves you the frustration of constantly towing cars from a company like Mark's Towing, Inc. and finding out later that they were the property of the tenant.
If you want more pointers on reducing parking problems in your complex's lots, talk to towing companies in the area to find out what are the most common issues they see. With that knowledge, you can devise a strategy that helps you make your parking a lot easier to handle.