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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 4: Ensure Proper Parking is Available

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 4 comments.

In my last entry in this series, I discussed local rental regulations, “invisible” factors which can have a huge impact on your rental experience. One type of regulation which can particularly impactful concerns parking.

4. Ensure proper parking is available.

In one local township, parking requirements for rental and residential real estate differ substantially. While almost anything goes for residential homes, for rentals, one paved off-street parking space is required for all tenants old enough to hold a driver’s license, whether or not they actually have a license or own a car. A house rented to a family of two fiftysomething adults, an 18 year old son and 20 year old daughter would require 4 parking spaces.

Other jurisdictions may institute a flat, per-property parking space requirement or even a sliding scale based on square footage, such as the city of Mankato, Minnesota:

2. One and Two-Family Dwellings in R-3, R-4, and Office Residential Districts. For rental properties licensed after the effective date of this ordinance, off-street parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit based on the following ratio of square footage of sleeping rooms to required parking stalls:

Square Footage: Parking Stalls
70 to 119 1
120 to 169 2
170 to 219 3
220 to 269 4
270 and greater 5

More and more municipalities are passing such regulations, which are often conditions for licensure. Landlords are being forced to either retrofit their properties to meet the new requirements or throw in the towel and sell, as some lots lack the space to provide sufficient paved parking. These city codes often list a maximum percentage of the lot which may be paved, as permeable ground must also remain in order to prevent flooding.

Besides meeting existing regulations, off-street parking is desirable for landlords seeking quality tenants in areas where cars are de rigeur. People who care about their cars don’t like to park them on the street, so offering a protected parking spot can help you to attract better tenants.

Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published September 4, 2007.

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About the author

Along with her partner, Sasha owns and manage six residential rental units. Sasha endeavors to support the causes and organizations she believes in through more conscientious spending practices. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous
avatar 2 Anonymous


If you’re interested, I have posted about my experiences of being a landlord and how I pick rental properties.

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avatar 3 Anonymous
avatar 4 Sasha


I’m glad you’re enjoying the series and I read your post with great interest. It seems we’re in agreement on a number of items, especially on the issue of buying at the best possible price. It’s strange to me how many people I’ve met who bought hoping the property would appreciate but couldn’t generate the income needed to go the distance. If nothing else, I hope to educate in that regard.

I’ve six more installments to post in the next two weeks with lots of details, so I look forward to further feedback from you as a fellow real estate investor.


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