I have a parking space that I don't use. There's high demand for parking in the area and I think there's scope to make some cash letting it out. Can I do this?
You’re certainly not the only person to be wondering this, and it’s not always as straightforward as you think, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not QUITE as complicated as letting a home!
If you do have a parking space going spare, you may be sitting on a real untapped asset. We’re a nation of car-lovers, and will stop at nothing to find the perfect place to park our pride and joy – even if we don’t always do it to the letter of the law… A driver in Birmingham learnt this the hard way earlier this month, when they were slapped with a hefty fine by police after they were caught parking on a private drive. The driver, along with 16 other motorists, was ticketed in part of a blitz on bad parking near a school and was part of a clamp-down by police to target drivers who left their cars parked on zig-zags, white lines, across entrances to homes and in other dangerous positions.
This is a familiar picture across the UK, and anyone who owns a property in a busy town or city, near a station, school or hospital, or in a street with poor parking facilities will be familiar with the pressures of the ‘parking war’.
However, before you think about letting the space out, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I just planning to let a space, or a garage?
Are you just letting a parking space, or are you going to be advertising a garage? A rectangular slab of concrete outside your property can really only be used for parking (make it clear in your agreement that no caravans or mobile homes are to be set up on the space!) but a garage is a commercial building and requires a commercial letting agreement which is somewhat more complicated!
Do I need a residents’ permit for my space?
In some busy areas, you may require a residents permit to park. If this is the case, you will not be able to let the space, as the permit has been allocated to you by the local council and you cannot profit from or reallocate this allocation. If you don’t require a permit for the space – it is a drive on your property for example – you are likely to be OK with letting it privately, you own the land.
Can I let the parking space separately from the property?
This really depends on your property. In some developments you are not allowed to split the accommodation from the parking, so check your paperwork to see if you have any clauses stating this. If you currently have tenants in the property, check the tenancy agreement to see if the parking space is included in the agreement. If it is, you have already let it with the property and cannot let it again separately! Until you re-let the property, the parking space belongs to the tenants!
Would I be happy if my tenants suggested subletting the space on my behalf?
If your tenants want to sublet the space, they can legally do so, but theydo need to get your permission as the property owner. DO bear in mind though that if your tenants choose to leave the property, the person who is letting the space has a legal agreement in place to park on your property, which could pose problems when it comes to finding new tenants.
Whilst letting your parking space may seem like an easy way to make some extra cash, don’t forget that you are still entering into a legal contract with someone, and you do have responsibilities to uphold the terms of that contract, whatever you decide they will be.
Whilst not as tricky as letting accommodation (very few parking spaces have gas supplies that require annual gas safety checks!), you should still take your responsibilities seriously – the priciest parking space changed hands last year for £500,000 in London, so there’s money to be made in simple rectangles of concrete!
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