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Backstory:
I had moved into a new apartment back in February, 2015. The building was brand new, but the business running it doesn't seem to be. In the Summer of 2015, a music festival started taking place every Thursday in a park across the street. During these days, nearly all available parking locations (within 3 blocks) are filled. I complained to the manager and asked for alternative parking solutions. I had also noted that there were non-residents parking in the resident-only backlot and even some vehicles parking illegally (in white-lined areas and some in handicap spots without placards).

Nearing the last few weeks of the event, they had sent out an email mentioning that the backlot would now be paid permit-only parking. Although a mere $5/month, it was aggravating since the issue was the lack of places and now anyone who didn’t pay is being even more restricted on parking locations. This seemed like a cash grab. Fast forward to now; I noticed about a week ago that they put up the permit-only posts in front of the apartment now. I hadn’t received an email or any type of lease addendum, so I had got in touch with them asking what was going on. They got back saying that the front stalls are now permit-only parking too and share the same cost as the ones in the back.

Questions:

  • Can parking restrictions like this take place at any time, even mid-lease?
    • The first instance being in Fall, 2015, where they started charging $5/month for parking; the contract didn't have the $5/month clause that it did when revised for my February, 2016 renewal.
    • The second instance being these past few weeks where they've essentially converted available street parking into permit parking when the clause was agreed, and still denotes, that the exterior parking lot was the only permit-based parking.
  • Is there any way to fight back since my rental agreement is now slightly diminished due to losing some “features” it once had?
  • Would my time consulting a tenant lawyer have any hope at this rate or is this possibly a lost cause?

The contract in February, 2015, had the following clauses:

“Indoor parking spaces are available for $40.00 per month. Only one indoor parking stall is allowed per apartment.”

"The resident, their visitors and family family will obey any parking regulations promulgated in the future for the safety, comfort, and convenience of the residents and others using the premises."

"While guests are permitted to use the exterior (Apartment Complex) parking area, Residents are encouraged to become familiar with the City of (My City)'s parking rules and regulations for the benefit of themselves and their guests. The City of (My City)'s parking rules and regulations can be found at (Website)."

The contract in February, 2016, included this new/updated clause:

“The exterior parking lot will be for (Apartment Complex) residents only. Parking passes for the lot will be sold on a first come, first serve basis at a cost of $5.00/month. For on street parking, please review the City of (My City)'s parking rules and regulations which can be found at (Website).”

Update:
It's come to my attention that parking across the street next to the park is no longer viable either. Those places are 2 hour parking and are effective at all days/times of days, except holidays. They suggested to look into off-site parking...

Does this claim that there is actually no free parking change anything?

Please let me know if any further details needs to be provided or if there's anything that needs clarification.

  • 1
    After one year they formally changed their lease. You appear to have agreed to the change in contact. I don't see what the question is? – user662852 May 10 '16 at 3:01
  • @user662852 The question isn't about the lease changes that took place upon renewal. Instead, it's about the change in the past week or two where they've designed an additional area, which was previously considered street parking, as falling into the $5/month clause. The February, 2016 contract mentions the exterior parking lot, which, at the time of signing, was only an actual lot (completely separate from the street). – Xrylite May 10 '16 at 15:44
  • I suppose the street is a private street owned by the apartment complex? If it's a city street, none of this makes sense. – phoog May 12 '16 at 6:49
  • @phoog I was followed up via an email conversation with them that "The spaces in front of the building are part of the (Apartment) property". The easiest way to explain the layout is— across the street you'd do parallel parking, while the side next to the building has diagonal stalls (only a single set). Still at a bit of a loss on if there's anything to work off of. I appreciate any insight greatly! – Xrylite May 12 '16 at 21:33
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Did your original rental agreement say that you could park in the backlot? If it did not (which seems to be the case) then your initial ability to do so was a non-contractural perk for which you have no ongoing right.

What your landlord is required to do is in the lease; if he spontaneously turns up every Saturday afternoon with coffee and donuts then that is a nice gesture but it is not an obligation and you have no cause for complaint if it stops.

  • I've included the February, 2015 clause regarding the exterior parking. I presume it isn't relevant to today's concern, but I could be wrong. My main concern is that the lease renewal from February, 2016 mentions that only the lot itself is paid parking and that I'd refer to my city's regulations for street parking (which is where the new posts are at). I appreciate the heads up on where this may be going. – Xrylite May 10 '16 at 0:14

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