PLANTATION, Fla. – Some residents in a South Florida apartment complex can’t believe their management company is planning to gouge their guests.
We’ve all seen those Pay to Park signs at the beach or downtown but inside an apartment complex?
At Axis at One Pine (also known as Nottingham Pine Apartments), at the corner of Pine Island Road and Broward Boulevard, guests only had to register their vehicles with the complex, but never had to pay to park.
But in the near future, according to posted signs, guests will have to pay to park in a lot where residents said there are plenty of parking spots available.
Nikole Bosch lives in the building. She is a single mom.
“Every dollar counts. My family who helps me out by watching my son now has to pay to park and it is just an inconvenience,” she said. “I think it is just greedy and it is just not right.”
We asked Bosch if she or other residents had been told about the new procedure.
“I haven’t received any notices or anything from the community.”
She said it is already affecting the way she lives. So will she be able to stay?
“Well, my rent went up $1,000 so it is iffy right now,” she said.
“I haven’t had any family members come over only because I don’t want to risk it.”
Bosch agrees it is reasonable to charge for parking for valet service or if parking is limited and they are discouraging vehicles on the property. But she shows us the ample parking available.
When she called to inquire, she was told it would be $3 an hour with a maximum of $10 a day to park in one of the guest spots.
We called the property manager and left several messages. When no one returned any calls, we went to the leasing office.
“We wanted to talk to you about charging for guest parking.”
“We are not currently charging for guest parking,” Tatiana said.
“But you are going to be.”
“Yes, we will be,” Tatiana said.
We told her that we wanted to talk about the reason for the charge. “There are some residents here that are upset about it,” we said.
“Can I deny the interview currently?” she asked.
We told her she could deny the interview but that there is plenty of parking. “We have been watching. Is it nothing more than a money grab?”
“No, it is not,” Tatiana said. “I will deny the interview currently.”
We asked her about Bosch’s problem: “So someone who has a babysitter who comes to watch their child every day, they are going to have to pay to park?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t answer your questions, sir,” Tatiana said.
Mark Lippman is an attorney who deals with renters’ rights. He has offices from the Panhandle to Key West.
“This is the first time I have ever heard of a private complex charging for parking in this circumstance. Like you said, if there is valet or limited parking, I get it,” Lippman said.
“There is really nothing these renters can do?” we asked.
“Not that I can see. As far as parking, they have guaranteed parking for themselves but not for their guests. The guests aren’t the tenants.”
Residents here are fastening their seat belts and warning their guests what’s coming. They are wondering, what will they have to pay for next?