Can You Keep A Motorcycle In An Apartment?


Living in an apartment can come with a lot of perks because you don’t have to deal with a mortgage, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, etc. There are, however, a few drawbacks to apartment living especially if you own a motorcycle.

Living in an apartment that doesn’t have storage or a garage can be tricky when you’re trying to figure out where to store your motorcycle. Many people may wonder if it is safe or even legal to bring their motorcycle inside their apartment.

Can you keep a motorcycle in an apartment? While there are no laws specifically restricting tenants from keeping a motorcycle in an apartment, doing so causes several violations. This can cause additional fire hazards for you and the tenants around you and can give off harmful fumes. You may be given a fine either from your landlord or from the city by doing this.

Bringing a motorcycle inside your apartment is extremely tempting, especially if you’ve already been doing it for a while with no issues. I know because I’ve been there. But this is what I’ve learned about apartment living while owning a motorcycle and why it’s dangerous to bring your motorcycle inside.

Why You Cannot Keep A Motorcycle In An Apartment

There are a lot of reasons out there that would make it seem necessary to keep a motorcycle inside an apartment as it’s normal parking/place of storage. Whether that be because you live in a high traffic area, an area with a high crime rate, or you simply feel much better knowing it’s not outside, it’s important you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into by doing something like this.

There really no laws out there that specifically state it is illegal to bring a motorcycle inside an apartment. That’s probably why people feel it’s okay to do it. But while there’s no specific law regarding that, there are other laws that cover this scenario.

When a building is built, it is being held under strict rules and regulations to meet a city’s expectations. These strict rules are made so these buildings are safe to occupy. One of the biggest rules that inspectors and permit holders are especially strict about is fire safety.

Buildings must be up to code 100% in order to pass inspection and deem the building to be safe for people to enter. There are strict rules about water heaters, air conditioners, heaters, stoves, and fireplaces. That’s because these units are susceptible to causing extreme hazards.

Bringing a motorcycle inside an apartment poses a fire hazard. You may think that motorcycles rarely cause fires while they sit in a garage which may be true. However, the motorcycle is exposed to a lot more inside an apartment than it would be in a garage such as gas stoves, pilot lights, candles, etc. Motorcycles are full of flammable liquids that could easily cause catastrophic damage.

Alongside the fact that motorcycles are a fire hazard, you also need to understand that this just isn’t you and your household involved. If your motorcycle causes some sort of damage, you include all the tenants around you that had nothing to do with the cause of damage.

If your motorcycle happens to be the cause of some sort of fire or damage, you will be held liable for all of those damages, even if you have renters insurance. That includes the damages to your apartment as well as all the other apartments around you.

Because apartments are held under strict fire code rules, if your landlord or the city finds out you are storing your motorcycle inside your apartment, you could be given a hefty fine or possibly evicted. And they have the grounds to do that even if your contract doesn’t specifically talk about bringing a motorcycle inside. Most apartment contracts do include tenants promising they won’t endanger other tenants and this could fall under that category.

And let’s not forget about the fumes that your motorcycle could possibly be producing. You may not be able to smell them strongly, but just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean there aren’t harmful fumes traveling through the air. You are risking your own health by keeping a motorcycle inside your apartment.

How To Safely Keep A Motorcycle At An Apartment

I am an avid motorcycle lover and have owned several over the past few years. It’s always hard to see fellow motorcyclists get in trouble because they were unaware of the dangers involved. You may be wondering if you can’t bring your motorcycle inside your apartment, how can you safely own a motorcycle but still have to keep it outside?

Luckily I have a lot of experience with this and was able to safely keep my motorcycles while I was living in an apartment. Probably the number one reason motorcyclists want to bring their motorcycle inside is to prevent any sort of theft. Apartments tend to be a bigger target for stolen motorcycles, so it’s understandable that people are wary of this.

The first thing you’ll need to do is find the right parking spot for it. If you’re only permitted one parking spot, it’s pretty easy to park your motorcycle sideways at the top of your parking stall. In fact, this is probably the most ideal way to park because your car can hide your motorcycle pretty well.

You’ll want to make sure you put some sort of lock on your motorcycle. I recommend using a disc lock (click here to see the disc lock I recommend in my list of ways to secure a motorcycle). This is a contraption that attaches to the disc of the motorcycle wheel and ultimately makes it impossible to move the motorcycle forward or back. Plus there’s an alarm that’ll sound if it sense any movement.

And as always, it’s a good idea to use a motorcycle cover on your bike any time you’re not using it. Though a cover won’t stop a thief from taking it, it does draw attention away from potential onlookers and helps it blend in a little more. This is especially true if you’re able to park it close to your car. For more information about keeping your motorcycle safe while living in an apartment, see my other article here.

If your apartment complex simply does not allow motorcycles or you find no way around your motorcycle getting stolen, consider parking it in another place. Do you have family members or friends close by that either have a garage or shed that you could use to store your motorcycle?

Another option would be to use a storage unit. If you live in an area where there are a lot of apartments, you’ll likely have a storage unit nearby. Storing a motorcycle in a storage unit is quite easy and probably isn’t as expensive as you think it is. Click here to see my article about how to store a motorcycle in a storage unit.

What About Condos?

There may be some of you wondering if these rules apply because you either own the apartment you live in or you’re living in a condo and you don’t have a landlord to answer to. If there’s no management to answer to, the rules are different, right? Actually no.

Whether you own the apartment you live in or you live in a condo, the same rules to bringing a motorcycle inside your living facility still apply. You may not get a fine or be evicted from your landlord, but the city has every right to give you a hefty fine if they find out about what you’re doing. All it takes is for a neighbor to see what you’re doing and make a phone call complaining about it.

You need to understand, too, that you’re still putting your neighbors at risk. Even if you own your part of that building, you’re still connected to other people’s homes and therefore are risking their homes and their lives by bringing a motorcycle inside your home. It’s one thing to bring a motorcycle inside when you own a house, but it’s completely different when it’s apartment/condo living.

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