Are you tired of arriving home after a hard day’s work to find someone parked in front of your house? Is it even legal for another person to park in front of your home? I know what you are thinking, even if it is legal, it isn’t right.
It’s even more annoying when that person is your neighbor across the street. Sometimes they even have their own parking spot and street space. The question is, can you do anything about it?
Is the Parking Space Outside My House Mine?
One of the most common misconceptions I’ve stumbled across in this debate is whether people have any rights to a parking spot outside their house. It’s not uncommon for neighbors to give each other preference over parking spots. But the question remains: is it legally your parking spot because you live there?
Unfortunately, there is no good news here. In general, you have the same legal rights to park in front of your own house as anyone else. The only exceptions to this are streets that are governed by residential parking permits. If it’s a public street, then anyone can park there as long as they’re not causing an obstruction and they remain compliant with all legal parking instructions.
Also in general, in designated areas of public parking, the law does not stipulate how long someone can park. Unless you can get the police to agree that the vehicle has been abandoned, there’s no other way to remove it.
What if My Neighbor Has a Driveway They Don’t Use?
Another question that’s very common surrounds neighbors who have perfectly functional driveways that they won’t use. They instead park on the streets taking up valuable space for everyone else.
And yet, as annoying as it may be, you cannot force someone to use their driveway, regardless of how much you need the space on the street.
What If Someone Parks Too Close to My Driveway?
However, if the person parking in front of your house parks with a wheel over a dropped curb or is blocking your driveway, then they are parked illegally.
The two most common types of dropped curves are outside driveways and ones designed to allow access for wheelchairs or strollers. If someone parks a vehicle across any dropped curb, even if it’s only partially blocked you can ask the police or local authorities to remove it.
Actions That May Have Crossed Your Mind but Are Not Advisable
I know how it is. Sometimes you get to a mental point that you feel you need to do something about it. Even when you are not sure if it will work.
The following actions may backfire on you or be just blatantly illegal:
Put a No Parking Sign Out or Obstacles on the Street
You may have thought of putting a “No Parking Sign” somewhere on the side of the street.
You can either make your own sign or purchase one from a hardware store. The more professional-looking the sign is, the more likely you will spook people off.
Or perhaps you have thought of placing traffic cones to block out any free space in front of your home.
But wait before you do any of this!
An important thing to note is that no matter how many signs or obstacles you use, people can still legally park in front of your home. While the sign and traffic cones may actually prevent people from parking in front of your house, you will very likely be violating local laws.
You cannot legally claim a space on the street using a cone or any other such device. In most cases, leaving anything on the street that causes an obstruction without express permission is illegal.
Call a Tow Truck
You may be thinking of calling a tow truck company to tow the car.
This is another risky move. Unless the car is illegally parked or is a traffic hazard of some sort, you will likely have to pay for the towing costs. And the car owner may potentially also sue you.
So, before you try this, I would call the police or local authorities to make sure that is the best way to solve the issue.
Leave Less-Than-Subtle Hints
You may also be thinking of using less risky methods to persuade people to stay away from your street precious parking spots.
Perhaps you can leave the driver a note on their windshield explaining that you don’t appreciate their parking in front of your property.
You can also start lifting up their windshield wipers every time they park there as a subtle hint to stay off your property.
The issue with this approach is that you are being the nuisance since the person has the right to park there.
Depending on who you are dealing with, you may have a serious confrontation at hand you may not be ready to handle.
So What Can I Do If Someone Parks Across My Driveway?
Kind words and diplomacy go a long way. After all, most people are nice and may not be aware that they are frustrating you with their actions.
If the people parking in front of your house are your neighbors, approach them and figure out why they are doing it. You may be surprised at their reaction. It may just be a habit, and they didn’t realize it was bothering you.
They may also have a very good reason for parking there, and you may actually be happy to accommodate their need.
If they are not neighbors, you may also want to communicate with them. Perhaps you can leave a nice note on the car asking the owner to park somewhere else because you really need that spot to park your car every night.
Most people react well to friendly communication, which may just solve the problem.
They advise you to talk to your neighbors and come to an arrangement that suits both parties. If you have questions contact your local council or police station for additional information. Please do no take the law into your own hands, this invariably ends up going wrong.