Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My super is parking cars for cash. Is this kosher?


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I found out my super, who I really like, is parking cars for my neighbors for some extra cash. Is this kosher? Signed, Car Curious


Dear Car Curious,

With many monthly garage spots in New York City costing as much as a studio apartment in Des Moines, parking cars for an extra couple of hundred dollars a month is not an unusual sideline for city supers. But it's potentially problematic on several levels. If your super is freelancing as a valet when he should be working, neither the union, your property manager nor your board ought to be pleased. Then there are liability issues to consider. He’s probably not properly insured, as a valet company employee would be, so if there is an accident, your building could be drawn in if, for example, it could be argued his activities somehow fell within the scope of his employment, or that your board or property manager were aware but looked the other way.

Since you really like this person, perhaps you could speak with him privately and tell him that he needs to stop. He should think of the consequences of his actions and what could happen if he damages the cars he is parking or hurts someone. If he tells you that he is going to continue, tell him that you have no choice but to report him to the board president.  

I would also refrain from asking him to park your car.

Ms. Demeanor

Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.