Raising cash in a hurry #21: Rent out your parking space

Update May 2009: As cities suffer declining revenue thanks to the recession, expect more parking meters. This is all good news for anyone looking to rent out an off-street parking spot in a popular location.

I had two parking spaces and one car. My upstairs neighbors had two parking spaces and three cars. So when Joe asked me if he could park his truck in my "guest parking" space, good-neighbor math indicated this was the best course of action.

A couple months later, I found myself on the other side of the equation, in desperate need of a small loan to see me through until payday. I knocked on Joe's door, put on my best "cuppa sugar" smile and made my request. Joe handed me a couple sawbucks, saying, "Don't worry about paying me back. Consider it rent for the parking space."

With those words, a beautiful, mutually beneficial relationship was born. Joe and Rebecca continue to use my extra parking space and so no longer have to park their third vehicle on the street, where it was broken into several times even before the current rash of catalytic converter thefts and gas siphoning. I, in turn, get occasional bump-up to my wallet for doing something I would have done for free anyway.

I'm not sure if our handshake deal would work for others, especially among neighbors who don't already know each other. If trust has yet to be established between the two parties, a more formal contract might be necessary. In my case, though, it's been a nice benefit to getting to know the folks upstairs.

If you own some prime parking real estate, you could put some cash in your pocket and get some exercise by renting out your spot and parking further away. If you car is less convenient, perhaps you'll drive less, saving money on gas, too.


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