Unbundling of Parking and your Rent


Unbundling of Parking and your Rent

Much discussion has been had concerning the providing of parking "free" as a portion of a persons or company’s rent.  Like anything else, if you don’t see the price, you don’t know what it costs, and most likely unfairly, cost you.

Consider a graduate student housing project at UCLA.  (They are in the headlights lately).  The project is all inclusive. A student living there pays one price, and they get electricity, parking, cable, etc.

This student used the example of the fact that she liked her room warm in the evenings so she opened the windows and turned off the AC.  However her roommate like her room cold, so she left the AC on constantly, even when she wasn’t there. Since there was no meter for the electricity, there was no incentive for the roommate to perhaps turn on the AC only when she was there.

Likewise, her roommate is from China and has no car, however there is a space assigned to her. This makes no sense. Why should the roommate pay for parking (as a part of her rent) if she will never use the space, and likewise why should the writer pay for electricity that the roommate is using (as a part of her rent), and she isn’t.

This is equally true in the business world. If a developer decided that he could recoup the cost of building a parking structure by selling the spaces at $250 a month, and charged accordingly for each spot used, the tenants could decide how many spaces they needed based on who was willing to pay the price, and who wanted to carpool, ride the bus, or walk. We would quickly find, I think, that the number of spaces built outstripped the need, and smaller garages would result and thus, less expensive buildings. Also, rents would go down because the cost of the building (particularly in apartments and condos) would be less and those that used the parking facilities would pay for their use and those that decided they would get by with one car rather than two would save the difference.


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John Van Horn

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