At ABODO, we’re committed to helping you find the perfect apartment. But we also care about what happens once you’ve moved in. We started Ask ABODO to help you navigate the renter life, from rental agreements to roommates. Each week, we’ll answer a new user-submitted question.
Got one? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s question comes from a renter in Ann Arbor.
I live in a house off campus. Street parking is awful, especially in winter. Luckily, my house has a driveway. It’s big enough for two cars. In the past, this has worked out well — there’s only one other apartment in my building, so each tenant has just claimed one space.
The problem? I have new neighbors, and both of them have cars. They moved in two months ago, and now, at least twice a week, they block me in. I’ll get up in the morning and a third car will be parked directly behind mine. I have to go down to their apartment, knock on their door, and ask them to move their car. It’s really annoying.
They say they were promised off-street parking when they toured the place, and have suggested coordinating our schedules so no one ever gets blocked in. I think that’s ridiculous. I looked at my lease and it specifies that I have ONE parking space. I suspect the same is true for them, too, but I’m tired of knocking on their door and getting angry. What do I do?
Pretty Angry Regarding Klepto-parking
I feel for you. It’s infuriating to be running almost-late to class and then see that you’ve been blocked in by a Rav 4. But don’t slash any tires just yet.
This sounds like an issue for your landlord. You’ve already confronted your neighbors, and they haven’t changed their behavior. In fact, it sounds like they’re trying to claim that the landlord gave them special privileges. So ask your landlord directly: “I see in my lease I’m promised one parking spot. Do they get two? If so, how does that work?”
My guess is that your neighbors are bluffing, and that the landlord will side with you. Regardless, you were promised a parking spot in your lease, and your landlord has to honor that — or amend the lease.
In any case, don’t take your neighbors up on their not-entirely-sincere offer to “coordinate schedules.” You’re renting an apartment, not a group-living situation. You should be able to come and go as you please.