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Old 03-22-06, 09:40 PM   #1
bigfatdud
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Apt. manager says to remove bike rack

I live in an apartment, and today I received a notice from the apartment office that says..

"...your vehicle with bike rack is interferring with street and foot traffic. You lease states that entrances, hallways, walks, lawns and other public areas shall not be obstructed or used for any purpose other than ingress and egress.
Please be advised if the item is not removed within 24 hours of the date of this letter, we will dispose of them and may seek to recover the expense from you..."

I am enraged! I could deal with them when they laughed at me when I suggested whether they have a plan to put some bike racks in the complex... But this is totally unfair... I have a Altima with the bike rack, and obviously there are numerous pickups and huge SUVs that have the body length well over the overall length of my vehicle even with the bike rack.

But I just don't want to fight with them, I just want to reason... I'll try to talk to the manager tomorrow. But I'm just wondering, if reasoning doesn't work, what should I do?

FYI, I use my rack fairly frequently that I regard it as a permanent attachment to my vehicle. For God's sake there should be some law or something that can back me up!

Please advise!

Thank you.
BFD
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Old 03-22-06, 09:56 PM   #2
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If it is true that there are vehicles larger than your car and rack combined, there should be some regulation set against those, and not just singling you out. I say you have all right to be upset, that or the parking situation in the parking complex is just flat-out horrible. If a car/truck/bike rack is going to obstruct view to those with large vehicles, those planning out the building of the complex did a horrible job. Honestly, I say that whole notice is BS; you shouldn't have to reason with someone who is going to target you and not everyone else with large vehicles.

If you do plan on talking to the manager, I would just mention the situation with the other vehicles who share the lot, who equally obstruct the view more than yours does.
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Old 03-22-06, 09:58 PM   #3
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Time for the ELF to make an appearance...
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Old 03-22-06, 10:00 PM   #4
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Body Corporates can be a PAIN but thats the way it goes. What is the grounds of there complaint? Are you backing into a carspace and is the low rack a tripping hazzard thats hard to see?

Maybe you could park your vehicle in a way that causes less issues however there letter does sound over the top.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 03-22-06, 10:09 PM   #5
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If you are parking hood first into parking place; start backing the car in (or vice versa).
Talk to the manager, ask him/her: I wish to speak to the person who has authority to fire you . . .
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Old 03-22-06, 10:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG
Body Corporates can be a PAIN but thats the way it goes. What is the grounds of there complaint? Are you backing into a carspace and is the low rack a tripping hazzard thats hard to see?

Maybe you could park your vehicle in a way that causes less issues however there letter does sound over the top.

Regards, Anthony
+1. I live in a condo with assigned parking. I try to be careful to either park pulled in close to but not over the sidewalk, keeping my rack in as far as possible, or if I back in, I make sure that I haven't backed the rack over the sidewalk at all. So far no problems.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:11 PM   #7
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If it is not OK for you to have your rack on your car/truck, then it is not OK for anyone to have a rack or reciever hitch on their car. I would even include brush gaurds and extended mirrors. Anything that hangs past the normal demensions of a vehicle. Tell the manager whenyou talk to them that if all these things are removed from every other vehicle on site, then you will comply. Otherwise you are being singled out and you will need to bring your lawyer on board. Be prepared to hire a lawyer, often a short call from them will shut up the kind of people that focus on this petty stuff.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies... But doesn't hiring a lawyer cost a lot of money.... I mean, if I could afford a lawyer, I wouldn't be living in an apartment complex...

By the way, the way how we park...

Basically our assigned lot is facing a lawn (nothing there, no sidewalk or anything) and is under the carport. We park our car hood in, so I see that our bike rack does stick out when you compare it with the vehicles right besides ours... However that's still a lot shorter than those ford rangers and Tacomas and what have you... By the way, our vehicle is a Nissan Altima, which is a little bit smaller than a Honda Accord, a little more smaller than Toyota Camry. My bike rack is a Yakima Roc4.

Expecting more advices... Keep'em coming!
Thanks again! At least I feel a lot better now.

Last edited by bigfatdud; 03-22-06 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:23 PM   #9
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Expecting more advices... Keep'em coming!
reverse into your parking spot from now on and make sure the nose of the car isnt obstructing any foot traffic... then tell him to shove it up his a$$
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Old 03-22-06, 10:26 PM   #10
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Tell him you worship bicycles. Then tell him that you're suing based on religious discrimination!
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Old 03-22-06, 10:29 PM   #11
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Measure the extension of all vehicles. Bring this with you when you talk to the manager, tell him if all vehicles will be required to be less then the length of your vehicle/with rack, you will be more than happy to comply, otherwise they will need to talk to your lawyer. Be prepared to actually hire a lawyer. A lawyer can be pretty cheap, he is not going to charge the crazy rates we in the LBS do Call around and ask for thier pricing.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Measure the extension of all vehicles.
That's what I would do. Measure yours (front bumper to end of rack) then go around your complex and find the monster trucks/SUVs and measure them, and then show that to the dude.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:42 PM   #13
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If you're leasing your parking spot and the rack isn't extending past any imaginary line that could reasonably be construed to be the rear border of the spot then it's not a public area. After all, no one else can park there.

The best thing would be to complain and if they insist that you comply then do so. After a few weeks, unrelated incidents of vandalism begin to occur. If there's a tenant union in your city or town you can also file a complaint with them. Also, there may be administrative agencies that you can complain to. Lastly, you can check to see if they comply with all fire and municipal codes and rat on them if they're not. Two can play this game.
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Old 03-22-06, 10:44 PM   #14
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Forget about talking to a manager, sounds like he/she is a complete ahole. Try to get in touch with whomever owns appartment complex.
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Old 03-22-06, 11:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
you could probably get a house for the same price as that apartment... and have something you could sell later on.
bahahahaha.....no wait...bahahahahhaha, yeah, if it were just that easy



Anyway, keep us updated on this, I have friend that was in a similar situation, however, he just ignored the manager and the problem went away. Something tells me that your manager won't let it be though , Rev's suggestion sounded pretty good, Good luck!
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Old 03-22-06, 11:16 PM   #16
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It does depend on local pricing, However, my house is twice the size of my last aprtment, with a 400 square foot shop and a acre and a half for $200 a month less than the apartment cost.
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Old 03-22-06, 11:27 PM   #17
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Measure then take some pictures to hold onto when you present your case. Back your car in more so everyone else's cars look like they're sticking out.

Merton's advice is about as useful as an ice cube in hell in NYC though. Rent may run 1500-2000/mo and that's it but include everything like utilities, food, tax, etc for a house and you're looking at a $6000+ monthly payment. I sure as hell don't have $6000/mo after tax income a month.
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Old 03-22-06, 11:30 PM   #18
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It does depend on local pricing, However, my house is twice the size of my last aprtment, with a 400 square foot shop and a acre and a half for $200 a month less than the apartment cost.
Yes, your house may cost less, but what is the location, down payment, interest etc. Is it possible that you may have gotten very lucky on your house or was your apt was charging way too much?

For equivalent locations, apartments are always cheaper. Out of the six canadian cities i've lived in, apts that were 10min walking distance to the Univ/hospital were always sub 800$ cdn. To try getting a house in the same area for that kind of mortgage is laughable. Never mind the down payment, lawyers fees, inspections, and other misallaneous costs.

Anyway, we digress.
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Old 03-22-06, 11:45 PM   #19
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I wonder if someone complained to the manager; why would he go through the hassle in the first place?

Bike racks can be quite dangerous; my own hitch-mounted rack when no bikes are mounted can cause serious cuts when walking into it, that happens sometimes with myself since I am usually looking down at the ground and the rack is at head height.

So make sure it is not hazardous by hanging some safety ribbon or whatever from it when parked, and make sure the car is in as far as it will go so that the rack is really out of the way. In Australia it is actually illegal to drive around with an unloaded bike rack.

Finally, check what the law wrt bike racks say. If you're OK, fall back on those laws. With a lawyer. If he is really difficult AND legally you're OK, promise him you will charge him with grand theft if he removes your car without permission.

[edit] Could you simply remove the rack? All racks I know of are easily removed.

Last edited by jur; 03-22-06 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 03-22-06, 11:49 PM   #20
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Actually me and my wife have been talking about getting a house... I mean, they won't let us leave our bike on our patio, so our living room is actually functioning as a storage room... A man would be able to breathe with a garage, storage room, workshop, bike stand, tool table, etc.

Anyways, it turns out that with the bike rack, the entire length of my vehicle is 213". I have found only three SUVs that are longer than mine in our complex, Dodge 4x4 (219"), Ford F150 (230"), and Chevy Silverado (218"). Other SUVs, such as Highlander, Xterra, Jeep, all less than or around 200"! So not a very strong case comparing to other vehicles...

I tried pulling in my car (hood first) as far as I could, and now it seems that only about 6-7" is sticking out compared to the Subaru outback that's sitting right next.

I think if we park it backwards, it will be fine, however there's a long learning curve involved for my wife (and maybe a couple of scratches as well).

I'm going to talk to our manager tomorrow and try to negotiate that we'll just stick our car in (hood first) as far as we can so it won't stick out too much or park it backwards, and see where it goes from there.

I can see how the rack can be dangerous. I could remove it, but then that's really a lot of work for every other day (we live on second floor), and that hitch rack's pretty heavy for my wife when she's the only one around to put it on. I guess parking backwards is the best way to go I guess.

Thanks for chipping in. I'll let you know how it turns out.
BFD

Last edited by bigfatdud; 03-23-06 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-23-06, 12:14 AM   #21
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If you're living in the type of apartment complex that doesn't let you keep your bikes on the patio, i think you're up against the man and the man, he ain't going to blink. Better come up with plan B, but i personally think an apartment complex has NO BUSINESS telling its tenants what they can have hanging off their vehicles...this is America, isn't it?

unfortunately, americans make all sorts of concessions to their sensibilities to live with such screwed up priorities.
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Old 03-23-06, 06:18 AM   #22
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If negotiations with the management don't work, what about getting a rack that doesn't protrude so far, like a Saris? A cheaper alternative than moving or paying points on a house....

What in fact is "obstructed" by your rack?
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Old 03-23-06, 06:38 AM   #23
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^^^^ The Apt. manager needs to find something to do
to make it appear like he is really needed there. A bicyclist
would be an easier target than the angry drunk who keeps
people up 4 nites a week or the 6'5" construction worker
who has stuff hanging out of the back of his pickup. In the
worst living situation Ive ever encounted, I had to short-term
rent a room from a thief who would not let me put my bicycle
on the back porch because the 'ByLaws' specified it was a violation
and he didnt wat to draw attention to the fact that is tomato plants
had grown higher than the 'Community' limits.
Yeah...junk cars in the lot, drunks and little kids running amok but
the bike on the back porch was in violation. I get it.
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Old 03-23-06, 07:10 AM   #24
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not familiar with your type of rack...but i gather it is a hitch rack...

the first thing that came to mind is the fact that it could not be any larger (or stick out any farther) than those wheelchair hitch racks you see on the back of larger luxury cars...now if that were the type of rack and if you were confined to a wheelchair, would the manager be asking you to remove your rack bacause it was a hazard? i think not!!!

i sympathize with you and hope it all works out...but if you ask me, when the lease runs out, i would be in the market for a new building (hopefully you have more to choose from....one that may be a little more cycle/fitness friendly)

good luck!!!!
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Old 03-23-06, 07:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfatdud
You lease states that entrances, hallways, walks, lawns and other public areas shall not be obstructed or used for any purpose other than ingress and egress.
..."

IBFD

First, read your entire lease. (I'd pay particular attention to the termination provision, because it doesn't sound like a place in which I'd like to live.)

the issue appears to be whether your rack obstructs any hallway, walk, lawn or other public area. If It doesn't I'd take pictures of how you usually park it, and show the landlord that it doesn't. Ask him to explain how it does, if they continue to press their position. All take pictures of other vehicles that are larger and more obstructing.

Unfortunately, I bet there's likely a clause in your lease that gives the Landlord a right to recover attorney fees from you. Thus you need to think very carefully before you allow the situation to escalate to litigation.
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