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For four months out of the year (Dec-Mar) our city bans overnight on-street parking (which is free on our street the rest of the year and where I have our guests park currently).
While our driveway can fit an extra car (maybe even two), it has a single car-width entrance and then a two car-wide parking area (and we have two cars of our own) at the bottom of the very short driveway.
We need to leave for school/work very early in the morning and can’t risk being parked in, so my plan is to offer guests one of the two “spots” at the bottom and then pull one of our cars into the top of the driveway after they’re in for the night (essentially blocking them in until the morning).
This should all work swimmingly unless a) our guests come home after I’m in bed, b) they want to go out again after I’ve parked them in, or c) they want to leave really early in the morning.
I’m trying to come up with the best way to communicate the situation to guests and coordinate things so it’s not an issue. Would love any tips from people in similar situations.
Note that while we live in the same structure the rental is completely separate and I usually don’t ever interact with guests in person unless we happen to run into each other or they request it.
So I’m other words, not swimmingly at all. I mean, you’ve basically described the behavior of 90% of my guests who come with a car.
I think if you’re going to offer parking, you want to be sure that it is 100% hassle free for your guests, or it’s going to come back and bite you in the reviews. I certainly would rather book a place without off street parking, than a place that has parking but with all sorts of restrictions on it.
Any chance you have a neighbor who might allow you (not your guests) to use their off street parking during the parking bans? For a price?
I agree with @Helsi. I’ve lived in MA and parking can be difficult in Back Bay, Brookline, Boston, Southie, etc. but you don’t need a car once you’re there - the T can get you pretty much anywhere except Honey Pot Hill Orchards for apple picking. What about local parking garages?
For bookings from Dec - Mar, explain the situation and the proximity to public transportation. Most guests will be happy to work with you so they don’t get towed.
I’ve stayed 2 places with this kind of complicated parking setup. Each host handled it differently.
One was a private room in a host-occupied house. They told us to park in a way that blocked them in and asked us to leave our car keys in the front hall so they could move cars if necessary. I imagine this will make guests a little uneasy (as it did us) that a stranger might be moving our car (and all the liability issues that go with it).
The other clearly said parking isn’t available in the winter and suggested two parking lots which were close to a mile(?) away (10-15 minute walk). This was in a dense downtown residential area of Toronto where we expected to explore on foot, so it was only slightly inconvenient to drop the bags and then park the car.
Even though the parking lot situation was extra work (and expense), I preferred it to the shared driveway solution. Is there a train station or other parking area you could direct guests to?
Not all of the train stations lots let you park overnight but for the ones that do, that might be a good option. I’m pretty sure Wellington Station has ample parking and will let you stay multiple days. I use the Pay by Phone app that lets you pay directly online.
I’m not sure I have a lot to offer here, other than agreeing that your situation will almost inevitably cause problems.
I rent two rooms in my owner occupied house, and I have a pretty big driveway with plenty of space. We have two cars, and with full occupancy, each set of guests having a car, we have a total of 4 cars in the driveway. If people park where I ask them to, all 4 cars can come and go, and guests never have to maneuver around any other cars, as we park in the spots that require maneuvering.
However, at least half the guests don’t read/pay attention/care, even after being gently coached, and park their cars a full car length or more from where they need to be. Because both guests can always pull straight back with nothing behind them, they don’t worry about it. But when they don’t park where I need them to, they either block in one of our cars, or make it so in order to park one of ours we’d have to block one of them in.
My point is that these parking arrangements/requirements are difficult and challenging, and your situation sounds more complicated than mine. If I were you, I’d either park my car somewhere else and walk/Uber to it, or stop hosting in the winter.
Many hosts have difficulty communicating even simple things like check in times to their guests so I doubt that you’ll be able to find a way to adequately get your system to work to everyone’s advantage.
It would make your life a lot easier if you communicated face to face with your guests and had a proper relationship with them so you could discuss the situation. It would also make life easier if everyone didn’t leave the house early, leaving your guests alone on your property.
But as things are, the only sensible option seems to be to add to your listing that street parking is available only during x months. Then, for guests who are staying at other times, have a conversation with them via the Airbnb system to explain the situation.
How many of your guests come by car? Although we have a designated parking spot per apartment, I’d estimate that the majority don’t have a car.
State that parking is possible with several restrictions due to government regulations. Guests then have the option to accept or decline after considering the restrictions. For some, it will be no problem, but they will be informed and the choice is theres.
I would turn off instant-book December through March and just tell guests in the reservation requests that there is no parking available during those months. Give them the info on nearby parking if they insist on bringing a car.
I love @CeeBee’s suggestion of renting a parking space from a neighbor. That would be ideal if it’s available, but I assume the whole problem is snow removal and then the neighbor now has to remove the snow from their space, so it might be more expensive than you think.
I definitely like the idea of finding someplace else for your own car, if at all possible. That failing, I’d include a disclaimer in the description AND all following communication.
PARKING RESTRICTIONS November through February:
You are welcome to bring your car during these winter months IF you are willing to abide by the following restrictions. Car entry/exit will have limited hours. Cars will not be able to enter the property after 10pm, nor leave before 6am without prior communication and arrangement with host. If you will need to move your car between 10pm and 6am, please contact host IN ADVANCE to see if it will be possible BEFORE RESERVING this location.
I would allow them to park behind you, but insist they leave the keys for you in a secure spot you can both access. I have an electric car and you can find my house on an app called plugshare, I allow people to park on my driveway and charge their cars, sometimes even overnight. I always tell them to leave the keys in the water can by the back door and I will move the car if I need to and put it back on charger. If they do not want to leave you the key then let them figure out a different parking solution.
Ah! A fellow plugsharer! I just volunteered at a National Drive Electric Week event last weekend and have been driving a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) for over 4 years now and offer my charger too. Never had anyone but a friend I met (via PlugShare a year or two prior). I do have the amenity checked off for my Airbnb listing though.
Well now I know where I can charge when I get to , well wherever it is you are! I get 1 a monthish person who asks to charge, I never charge them for it I give it away for free. A friend of mine asked what’s in it for me… I told her well I sell second homes and nothing wrong with meeting people who drive expensive Tesla’s…
I don’t have an expensive Tesla…yet! I have a Volt but having done the test drive of the Tesla Model 3 a couple weekends ago, if they change their headrest so I am not forced into a hunchback with my hair up in a bun, I would switch in a heartbeat. I learned that I could also put a hitch on it and could still pull my trailers! Now I couldn’t pull horses in the horse trailer unless I went to the Model X (or Y in the future) but eventually…I REALLY liked the self driving option.
I don’t see what you mean, everything is adjustable how tall is your hair anyway? Lol, I am tallish and I have my model 3 adjusted just right:) My first electric car was a Nissan Leaf, that was a lease so I would be sure I was ready for all electric, let me know if you decide to get one I will give you a referral code and we will both get free supercharger miles.
My hair is not tall, it’s long. And I put the bun in the center of the back of my head. I also like to sit bolt upright (hate the chaise lounge effect of low seats) so unless I move my head forward, or do not have my back against the seat, I cannot sit in an upright good posture position. In my cars I take the headrest out, reverse it, put it back in. That way they angle slightly back instead of forward, leaving room for my bun, although does provide slightly longer distance should I actually be in an accident.
The chance of more damage by an accident is much less than the guaranteed damage by poor uncomfortable posture at all times in it.
I will definitely catch you for a referral code (as long as my memory serves then) in another 5 years or so when I should be able to afford one without debt as well.
I ended up buying a used Volt to be sure I wanted to spend on ordering a new one (which was my military retirement gift to myself). I had ordered it when I was expecting to have my military job as a civilian the day after retirement but between Obama and Trump both changing things in January 2017, That ended up not being the case.