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 |  Jan 13 2012, 4:45 PM

Recently, we told you about ParkatmyHouse.com, an online site where you could rent out extra spots at your house for some extra cash. Well, in some cities it may actually cost you, because renting your parking space could be illegal.

A quick rundown – Parkatmyhouse.com lets you list extra parking spaces to renters looking for short-term parking, like for an event or airport parking alternatives, or even for long-term parking arrangements. Payments are done online, and the service takes a cut once the transaction is complete. Seems like an easy way to make a couple of bucks – in fact, a church in London, England, made $180,000 by renting out its lot just by using the online service.

But some cities, you could be breaking a bylaw. Take Toronto, Ontario, for example. According to Lance Cumberbatch, director of the City of Toronto’s investigations services, you’re breaking several bylaws if you rent out a private space to the public. Commercial garages are the only businesses that can legally rent out parking spots, and these garages have to be located in an industrial or commercial zone – not residential, where listings on ParkatmyHouse.com are usually located. On top of that, owners of commercial garages need a licence to operate.

For other businesses and companies that want to rent out extra parking spaces at its offices, they are out of luck too. In Toronto, bylaws state that parking spaces must be used for purposes associated with the building. So even when the lot sits empty after office hours, the business can’t rent them out.

Enforcement of these parking bylaws is usually made because of complaints, and if the violations go to court, fines of $25,000 can be handed down.

Check your city or town’s bylaws before you post your parking space listing on Parkatmyhouse.com – you want to make money, not spend it on tickets.

[Source: Toronto Star]