Some neighbors are more difficult than others, but those that constantly park their car in front of your house might be the worst type of them all. Depending on how you handle the situation, things could escalate or be resolved without much effort. However, you might need to call the police and report them.
Here’s how to stop people from parking in front of your house:
- Talk to your neighbor
- Put up traffic cones and mark your spot
- Put notes on their car
- Install security cameras
- Take legal action
Most neighbors will be deterred with simple messages, but the more insistent type might need harsher measures. Before you tow your neighbor’s car, make sure you’ve gone through all other options and that you’re inside the law.
Talking to the neighbor parking in front of your house is the first thing you should try, as this might reveal that the situation isn’t that complicated. Maybe your neighbor needs a place to park their car temporarily for some reason or another.
- They are fixing their garage so that it can’t be used.
- They are paving their driveway.
- They are having an extra guest for a while.
If your neighbor needs a short-term solution to park their car, you could concede some space in front of your house.
Ideally, they should have asked you before doing anything, but you have to deal with what you’ve got. And in this case, you’ll find that it’s worth it to be a good neighbor. Perhaps you’ll need some favor from them in the future if they aren’t the petty type.
If your neighbor doesn’t want to listen to reason or talks their way around your questions, then consider the next steps. Sadly, there’s always the chance that your neighbor isn’t telling you the whole story or is trying to hide something from you.
Here are a couple of signs that indicate your neighbor isn’t being completely honest:
- They have plenty of extra space inside or in front of their house to park their car. If they insist on parking in front of your house even though they don’t have to, then there might be something else going on.
- It’s not your neighbor’s car, but it belongs to a friend of theirs. They should use their own parking space for those purposes, and it’s more complicated to deal with your neighbor’s friends.
Some neighbors can be more difficult than others, and they might not be available to talk or simply want to keep doing things their way. Certain people may even react with hostility to a calm conversation.
For example, our neighbors love to park in front of our driveway on the other side of the street. But when we ask or tell them to move, or when others do that on our behalf, they just use obscenities at us and ignore us.
One doesn’t get to choose their neighbors, and you might have picked the short stick on that one. If conversation fails or just isn’t an option, then it’s time to send a more decisive message, if your local law enforcement is on your side. Some aren’t and this is where you’re going to have issues.
You can start by putting up traffic cones across your parking area. A sign can also work, but it can be easier to ignore, but there’s no way around a traffic cone. If your neighbor still wants to park in your spot, they will have to get out of their car and remove them.
Simple traffic cones might not seem like much, but even a small inconvenience like that one can be enough to make someone look for another place to park.
Putting up traffic cones can also help you have the upper hand in discussion with your neighbor.
Let’s suppose that your neighbor is one of those people that like to play dumb and act as if they didn’t realize what they were doing. Moving traffic cones makes their intentions clear for everyone, and it will be harder for them to keep up the charade.
There’s an obvious downside to this option, as you’ll have to deal with moving cones in and out of the street when you or a friend wants to park there. There’s also the expense of buying traffic cones.
If you don’t want to worry about handling traffic cones or your neighbor still doesn’t get the clue, try the next option.
This one will require some work at first, but it can add another layer to your message.
You might be able to find some old yellow paint and a brush, but if you don’t have any, you can buy a can of Rustoleum. This model comes in high-visibility yellow, making it perfect for streets. Use the paint to delineate your parking spot.
You can write something like “private parking” inside it or draw a series of diagonal stripes.
People are more hesitant to park in places that clearly say they shouldn’t park in. Many neighbors will rather just look for a different spot instead of visibly breaking a rule, even if it’s a rule you’re kind of making up.
However, if the neighbor that parks in front of your house is the persistent type, you might have to be even more insistent on delivering your message.
Before putting up traffic cones or spraying paint, you need to know if your street is public or private. If your street is private, then you can put up all the cones and signs you want. However, if it’s public, then it won’t be legal to do so.
Public roads are owned and maintained by the city, not you, so you can’t put up anything in them. Public roads obey the local government’s rules. If public roads where you live allow parking, then it’s allowed for anyone to park there, including your neighbor.
And if you live on a public road that doesn’t allow parking, the law should take care of your neighbor eventually. However, most law enforcement officers don’t want to get involved in this type of dispute, because it’s not “their job” and it’s better left to the city.
At least that’s what the officer told us when we called them about the neighbor’s son consistently parking in front of our driveway.
If you’re not sure if the road in front of your house is public or private, call your city planner or tax office.
3. Put Notes on Their Car
Writing a small note can have a huge effect. Just grab a piece of paper and write a message on it.
You don’t have to be aggressive, and try to write the note in good faith. If your neighbor is the reactive type, a hostile note will only make them more insistent, and they might keep parking there just out of spite.
A simple message like “Please stop parking in front of my car” should be enough to start. If you want, you can be more elaborate and explain how and why this behavior is causing you inconvenience.
Of course, if they just don’t care, then it’s more fuel for them to bother you.
Put the note under their windshield wiper and wait until they get to their car and read it. If your neighbor pretends the note isn’t there, keep doing it every day until they react. They can only ignore it for so long.
Unless your neighbor likes conflict or is a spiteful person, this should be enough to stop them. Our neighbors, however, are very spiteful and love to do anything to get under our skin.
See also: How to Get Back at Your Neighbors
4. Install (Fake) Security Cameras
Security cameras may seem like just another sign, like traffic cones or paint, and they technically are. It’s just that they are effective at making your neighbor feel slightly threatened.
They capture footage of your neighbor parking in front of your street. Can you use that to take legal action? Maybe, but it probably won’t make a difference. However, your neighbor will probably wonder about it and think twice before parking there.
Security cameras can be a great investment for a house for many other reasons. But if you don’t want to spend dough just because of a pesky neighbor, you could buy fake security cameras.
Now you’re playing a sort of intimidation game, and appearances are what counts. For not a lot of money, you can buy these pairs of very convincing BNT Dummy Fake Security Camera on Amazon.
They are very realistic and if your neighbors are a bit dense, they will think it’s the real thing.
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Sadly, not all neighbors can be reasoned with. If you’ve gotten to this point, you’re probably dealing with a neighbor that truly doesn’t mind stepping over other people or is seeking to be directly hostile towards you.
In these cases, it might be worth it to take legal action, which usually means contacting the local police or a private towing company. You should leave this option as a last resource, as it’s better not to ruin your relationship with your neighbors.
You might need to team up with them or ask for their help at some point in the future. But, if they are complete morons and cannot be reasoned with no matter what you’ve tried, then it shouldn’t matter.
You can tow someone else’s car off the street in front of your house as long as it is private. You can also tow it off a public street if the car constitutes a traffic hazard or if it’s misusing a public parking slot.
The thing about towing your neighbor’s car is that you need to know for sure how and why you’re doing it. You’ll want to be covered as well as possible, so you don’t have to deal with claims or retaliation later.
If the street in front of your residence is private, then it’s legal to tow a car that is parked there. However, technicalities might vary from one place to another.
In some states, a car can’t be towed without notice. That means you first have to let your neighbor know you’re going to tow their car. Sometimes, a minimum time will need to have elapsed before towing it.
Make sure to check your local law before calling any shots.
If the street in front of your house is public, there are at least two legal reasons that will allow you to tow your neighbors’ car:
- The car constitutes a traffic hazard. Traffic hazard could mean that it’s blocking one lane or impeding normal traffic flow. Even then, the law enforcement officers won’t do anything about it.
- The car is parked in a controlled parking facility. Some public parking spaces have specific uses. If your neighbor is going somewhere the parking space is not designed for or leaving their car for too long, they might be breaking the law.
Again, the specifics are dependent on the law of where you live. Check local resources before doing anything to make sure you’re in the clear.
How to Legally Tow Your Neighbor’s Car
Now that you have a clear, legal reason to tow your neighbor’s vehicle, it’s time to take action. You have three options for towing your neighbor’s vehicle:
- Calling the police. This option will leave you protected, and it might relieve you of towing costs. That is, if they actually do anything about it. Most of the time, they won’t.
- Calling a private towing company. This works just as well. However, you’ll have to pay a fee to the towing company.
- Tow it yourself. If you have the appropriate equipment, you can tow it yourself, but this is by far the most inconvenient and dangerous option. Or, if you have another neighbor with a tow truck, you might be able to convince them to tow it for you, especially if they don’t like your neighbor either.
Calling the police might be the best option if they are proactive enough to do something about it. If the towing is issued by law enforcement, then you won’t have to pay for the towing. Also, when your neighbor comes and asks where their car is, it will be much more convincing to send them to the police.
A towing company will also do the job. You’ll have to pay a fee, but the fee your neighbor will have to pay to retrieve their car will be much higher.
With both options, you’ll be held responsible for any accidental damage done to your neighbor’s car. However, if you do it yourself, you’ll have to face the consequences of any damage, which could further escalate the conflict.
Besides, you’ll also have to think about where you’d put the car. If you’re going to tow your neighbor’s car yourself, try to move it along the same street. One thing you might not want to do, but it’s an attractive thought, is to tow it to the middle of nowhere and abandon it there.
However, that’s probably not the best thing to do at this point, no matter how much you dislike your neighbor.
People Parking Infront of My House: Key Takeaways
Let’s sum up the most important points of the article:
- Try communicating first. Most issues can be resolved with clear communication. You might clear misunderstandings and save the relationship.
- If that doesn’t work, send strong messages. If talking doesn’t work or isn’t an option, send assertive messages without being hostile.
- As a last resort, tow your neighbor’s car. Do this only if everything else fails. However, if you do it properly, you won’t run into any legal issues, and it will definitely stop your neighbor from parking in front of your house.