News & Updates

Unauthorized Occupants Increase in Multifamily During COVID-19

The data WMFHA gathered shows the amount of unauthorized guests and occupants has gone up considerably since COVID.

In a year of many challenges that stem from the unexpected pandemic, the multifamily industry has been hit in several ways. At the recent 2020 Washington Apartment Outlook, WMFHA shared the onsite behavior challenges managers have faced in the last six months. In our next two blog posts, we’ll take a look at parking’s role in the unwanted effects of COVID-19 in multifamily. First, we’ll look at the issue of unauthorized guests and occupants.

The data WMFHA gathered shows the amount of unauthorized guests and occupants has gone up considerably since COVID began. It could be a result of renters subletting, couples moving in together, or friends sharing a space for a while. Whatever the reason, this makes it impossible for you to keep track of who is living in your community.

Problems with unauthorized guests shockingly jumped from 14% to 51% in one month, and has continued to increase. If you don’t know who is staying, you won’t know where they’re staying. Unauthorized occupants can result in unwanted loss of rent revenue and crime increases with an uptick of unauthorized guests. If you want to catch and even prevent unauthorized occupants, Parking Boss can help.

How you can identify unauthorized guests and occupants with Parking Boss

With Parking Boss, you can identify unauthorized guests and occupants through a parking management platform that’s customized to solve your community’s unique parking problems.

After installing Parking Boss, it didn’t take long before we saw the positive impact it had on resident compliance issues and behavior problems, in large part due to unauthorized occupants. –Lacy Devela, Director at FPI Management

Resident Parking

Identify resident vehicles with Smart Decals

It’s not easy to recognize a resident vehicle if you don’t have something to visually separate them. Even then, if you use generic stickers or hang tags, residents can order their own and park extra vehicles or bypass paying for premium parking. Parking Boss offers unique Smart Decals for resident vehicles that are registered and tracked through our software. This lets you limit the number of resident vehicles each unit has and see exactly who they belong to. Once approved resident vehicles are registered, you can identify those that are unauthorized.

Use signage to differentiate resident parking

Creating resident parking areas and marking them with clear signage directs residents where to park and tells guests where not to park.

Color code decals for resident parking zones

Color-coding the resident decals makes it easy to see if they are in the right parking zones, such as open parking spaces or carports. Smart Decals encourage accountability since residents, on-site staff, and patrol can easily identify which vehicles belong and which don’t, creating some extra peace of mind.

Parking Boss basically eliminates all unauthorized occupants living within your community. –Rachel Phinney, Senior Property Manager

Guest Parking

Limit guest parking hours with Parking Attendant

How do you know who your legitimate authorized guests are? How do you keep guests from parking too long or residents using guest spaces to store extra cars? Parking Attendant, our self-service online parking permit registration tool allows you to limit guest hours of parking on the property per unit or per vehicle.

Only let registered guests park

Anyone who parks must be registered. A unique passcode for each unit lets you know who guests are visiting and that they actually belong in the community. The Safelist displays every authorized guest vehicle, weeding out any sneaky guests or extra resident vehicles.

Make enforcement easier with guest parking zones

When you set up clear guest parking zones with signage, it gets easier to enforce and leaves no room for confusion. Visitor parking is hands-off for management since there’s no need for prior or approval or paper parking permits. You can check on guest parking status anytime from your computer and a quick walkthrough can confirm all guests are registered.

Identify unauthorized occupants

If someone repeatedly uses up guest parking time, or keeps parking in a resident zone without a decal, that’s a big red flag for an unauthorized occupant.

It helps eliminate any unwanted cars or visitors. In the past, we have also caught stolen vehicles on our property by using Parking Boss. –Ashley R. Leasing Professional


Verify guests, issue violations, and see vehicle histories

One of the reasons apartment parking issues are increasing and unauthorized occupants are getting away with it is a lack of proper parking enforcement. With the guest parking Safelist and the ability to scan and verify any vehicle on-site, it’s easy to know who belongs and who doesn’t.

If patrol finds a vehicle that isn’t registered to park or has exceeded their time, they can issue a warning which is sent to the email or phone number associated with the registration. A history of all violations and parking activity for each vehicle lets you know when to take action if needed. If things get out of hand with a guest or a resident having too many guests, you have the option to ban specific vehicles or units from registering for guest parking any longer.


COVID-19 has added an extra layer of difficulty to most things, including apartment parking management. Parking Boss gives you a way to take back control and identify unauthorized occupants in your community. With an effective parking management solution, you’ll also bring other issues related to unauthorized guests and extra vehicles under control.