Tensions are shifting into high gear at a South Bend apartment complex amid newly enforced parking regulations.
Last week, management at the Miami Hills Apartments began restricting tenants from having friends and family members park their cars in the complex lot overnight.
Tenants say it's all in attempt to curb a recent spike in overnight crime, often instigated by guests loitering in the parking lot. While management would not confirm that theory, residents say the entire complex is being forced to sacrifice personal relationships because of a few bad seeds.
"For those of us who that live here that don't do anything wrong and have guests over to play cards or to hang out or to watch movies, we're not allowed to do that and that's not fair to us. We're not in prison, we shouldn’t have strict times limiting when we can have visitors,” tenant Lynn Evans said.
Because of the restrictions, guests with cars can only visit between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week. Following numerous complaints, the complex issued a 14-day pass for visiting friends and relatives. While a step in the right direction, opponents say the temporary pass does little for single mothers who routinely have loved ones watch their children while they work overnight shifts. It has also hampered the dynamic in a lot of romantic long-distance relationships.
"It’s a 14-day pass within a three month period. So they're telling me that my girlfriend can come for 14 days and then after that I can't see her anymore if it’s after 10 p.m. at night? That's not fair,” Evans argued.
NewsCenter 16 contacted other area apartment complexes about their visitor parking regulations.
Edward Rose & Sons, which manages around a dozen large developments in our area, says visitor parking is allowed so long as the guest’s car is operable.
Main Street Village Apartments along Douglas Road in Mishawaka also allows overnight guest vehicles, provided they aren't an eyesore and the vehicle is properly registered.
The Pointe at St. Joseph near downtown South Bend maintains a special visitor lot right across LaSalle Street for its guests.
During a phone interview, Miami Hills’ on-site manager claimed their overnight visitor rule has been listed in every lease they've issued for years. Following that statement, NewsCenter 16 reviewed a handful of leases, none of which made any mention of the disputed rule.
If you’d like to review a lease issued by the Miami Hills Apartments, just click on the document tab at the top of this story.