July 7, 2024 at 7:36 pm

Apartment Complex Made Tenant Keep His Parking Spot After His Car Broke Down, So He Found Another Use For It And Inspired An Expensive Mutiny

by Benjamin Cottrell

Source: Pexels/Alex Urezkov, Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Landlords find a way to charge renters for everything – especially parking.

But when this user’s car died, he discovered a loophole that would soon transform the entire parking lot.

Read on to find out how he did it!

Can’t remove the charge? Well, I’ll just use it then

In the early 2000s, when I first moved out on my own, I rented from a complex that charged you for assigned parking. It was an up-charge of $25 a month.

If you didn’t get assigned parking, you would have to fight for a space on the street.

My apartment was in the back of the complex and I was getting over a recent knee and ankle injury, so I opted for paid parking that was relatively close to my front door.

My car was a junker, 3 years older than I am, but it ran semi-okay and the heater worked. As a newly minted adult, I was happy to have it.

About 3 months into my lease, my car went to the great scrapheap in the sky.

No sense in paying for a space without a car.

I had gotten used to the local transit system and discovered a nearby store would drop off groceries for me. This was long before Walmart and other stores started doing it, so it was cheaper than figuring a month’s supplies on the bus. So I opted not to replace the car and utilize the bus pass my work reimbursed me for.

I went to my leasing office and told them I no longer needed the space, and would you please remove the extra charge from my bill. The manager at the desk was new and had never been asked that before.

She promised to look into it and let me know. I was naive and figured it would be gone come next month.

And what did he find?

Nope! It was still there.

I paid all but the parking space and called up the complex. Same girl. She said she was awaiting word from higher ups and offered me a credit for the charge as a one-time courtesy.

I reminded her that I no longer owned a car. I hadn’t just changed my mind. I told her that the space had been empty for close to a month now and that I won’t be utilizing it. She said she understood “loud and clear” and would get it sorted by next month.

The complex finally reached a decision.

3 days before rent was due, she finally got back to me. Apparently, it was in my lease and couldn’t be removed without breaking the lease and signing a new one. Even if I didn’t move out, the lease breaking and initiation fees would be charged to me, and my rent would go up to the new current market value.

This would be over a thousand dollars, so not an option for someone freshly on their own. I kept the parking space on the lease.

3 weeks later, I was reviewing my lease to get the phone number for maintenance, and noticed the clause for the parking space. Essentially, I could park “a motorcycle, scooter such as vespa, car, truck, suv, or trailer” in the space. Gears were TURNING!

Villain mode: Activated.

For me to be in compliance, I had to have wheels on anything parked in my space. So I went to my local version of Craigslist and found a wheeled container similar to a shipping container.

It wasn’t cheap but it was worth every cent. The complex offered storage sheds at an up-charge too.

Being fresh out of High School, I didn’t have much to store. My neighbor though, did. I threw a lock on the unit and offered it to my neighbor for half the cost of a shed: $35 a month.

He was able to move his stuff out of his storage unit where he was paying over $100 a month, and the container was available 24-7-365.

He was happy for the arrangement and paid several months in advance.

The complex wasn’t too thrilled with this arrangement.

The complex put several tow stickers for “out of compliance” on the trailer, but I called the Tow Company and faxed them a copy of the lease where it says trailers are allowed.

The container was registered with the county as a utility trailer, so there’s nothing they could do.

They tried to fine me for improper parking, but again, I had proof I was within my rights.

So they try and sweeten the deal.

They even offered to remove the charge for parking on my lease if I would relocate the container. With what my neighbor was paying, I could cover my water bill every month, so I declined.

I stayed 18 months, and sold the trailer to my neighbor when I moved out. He had to rent a car to relocate it to his assigned space, but he said it was worth the couple hundred he paid. He ended up saving over $1000 a year renting from me.

His brilliant idea spread like wildfire.

Other neighbors even started bringing in their own containers too, even if it meant getting a second space.

Sheds were being vacated at such a large volume, the complex tried to give them away at 6 months free. Few took them up on it.

The complex amended the new leases to exclude trailers, but could do nothing about those that already had them in the spot.

Instead of moving out and giving notice, renters would reassign their lease to new people so they could be grandfathered into the trailer clause.

I drove by the facility 2 years or so after I moved out, going to a friends for Thanksgiving.

The complex had been sold to a new owner and changed their name.

But wouldn’t you know, there were still about a dozen wheeled shipping containers parked in the lot.

Any renter can agree that this turn of events is very satisfying.

Reddit seemed to agree.

The best type of malicious compliance is when it helps other people too!

Source: Reddit/ Malicious Compliance

It’s textbook malicious compliance in the best way.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This redditor had no notes.

Source: Reddit/ Malicious Compliance

This story was so good, this user just had to say something!

Source: Reddit/ Malicious Compliance

This user’s bold actions united not only his neighbors, but weary renters everywhere!

And that, folks, is why you always read the fine print.

If you liked that story, check out this post about a group of employees who got together and why working from home was a good financial decision.