How to Stop My Neighbors Parking in Front of My House?
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Are your neighbors parking in front of your house? It's frustrating when a friend comes over to visit, and there's nowhere for them to park. Or maybe you don't have a driveway, you park in the street, and you can never get a spot in front of your home.
Having to walk 300 feet up the street from your parking spot to your residence is the last thing you probably feel like doing after a hard day at the office or a brutal leg workout at the gym. So, how do you stop the neighbors parking in front of your house? Let's look at a few strategies to see if we can resolve the problem.
Can People Park in Front of Your House? Yes, Legally
The first thing you need to understand is that there is no law preventing your neighbors from parking in the street in front of your house. If they were parking in your driveway, that would be a different issue.
However, if you live in a home with no driveway or garage and park in the street, you don't have the right to reserve the parking space in front of your home.
Parking in the street is a free-for-all situation, and it's first come, first served, as long as they aren't blocking your driveway or creating a traffic hazard. The road is a public space, and your neighbors have the same right as you to park anywhere they please.
7 Ways to Stop Neighbors from Parking in Front of Your House
So, what gives if the parking in front of your home is public property, and you can't reserve the space or get angry at your neighbors? How can you stop people from parking in front of your house? Relax, there are some steps you can take to resolve the issue, but unfortunately, none of them are guaranteed to work.
1) Speak with Your Landlord or Homeowner's Association
If your neighbors always steal your parking spot, speak to your landlord or homeowner's association. The landlord may know the neighbors well, and they can talk to them on your behalf, asking them to leave your spot open. It's a long shot, but it might work.
Your landlord or homeowner's association might also know who to speak to in the council or the housing estate. They might help you get a dedicated parking spot in front of your house. Homeowner's associations can set rules for parking on private roads, but not public roads.
Unfortunately, this strategy isn't going to work if you're the homeowner or if the street is a public parking spot. It's also not going to help if it's a different person parking in the bay each day, and that goes for the rest of the strategies we'll discuss. Sometimes, you just have to take the L.
2) Move Your Car After They Leave
If your neighbor has friends over at their place all the time, they'll eventually have to leave, and you can take back your parking spot. Your neighbor might also leave to go to the store or get a takeout meal, and you can snag the spot. If you're sneaky enough and do it often enough, maybe they'll get the hint and stop parking in your pot, but there's no guarantee.
Of course, you'll have to set up shop by the window and watch the space for hours on the chance they'll go out. If they do, you'll have to have your keys ready and jet down to your car and back to the space before they return.
3) Talk to the Neighbors
If your neighbors are always taking your parking and you feel infuriated with them for doing so, you can try talking to them. However, you'll need to do so with a calm demeanor. Walking up to their property and beating on their front door is a no-no, and it could get you in serious trouble with the police and the courts.
You could visit them with a nice bottle of wine, introduce yourself and ask them for a chat. Have a few drinks and explain your problem. They may listen to you and empathize with your situation. However, there's always the chance they'll slam the door in your face instead. It's not likely be the latter.
Just like defending yourself from noise complaints, simply showing the other people that you're a human with needs just like theirs is enough to make them want to avoid bothering you or at least feel a little guilt about doing what they know they shouldn't be doing anyways.
4) Investigate Handicapped Parking Spots
Are you handicapped? If so, it's even worse if you can't get the spot in front of your home. If you're physically disabled, you might qualify for a nominated handicapped parking spot in front of your home with even larger parking spot dimensions. Enquire with the council and ask them what you can do to apply for a dedicated handicapped parking spot.
If other people park in your spot who aren't disabled, you can call the police to have them tow the vehicle. However, it's important to note that you can't place a handicapped sign in your parking if you aren't handicapped.
Your neighbors will likely tell on you. If that's the case, you'll have to get a lawyer and go to court, where you could face a fine, community service, or potentially jail time, depending on the circumstances. That's not worth the shenanigans of trying to stop neighbors from parking in front of your house.
5) Investigate Residents-Only Parking Spots
In some cities and neighborhoods, homeowners can apply for a dedicated "residents only" parking spot. If you find our neighbor always has friends over, and those people park in your bay all the time, this strategy might be worth looking into. If you rent, ask your landlord if they can investigate the matter for you and find out if this applies to the property.
6) Add a Garage or Driveway
If your property had the space, you could always add a driveway or a garage to your property. As long as you comply with building code regulations and have all the plans approved by the council, nothing is stopping you from adopting this strategy. However, some city streets don't allow you to build a garage or driveway.
7) Occupy the Parking Spot
Your last option is to beat the neighbors to the spot. Ask your boss if you can change your working hours or work on flexitime to get home before the neighbors. Take a day off from work and look when your neighbor arrives home. Get home before them and secure your spot. However, this strategy won't work if it's always a different car taking the parking bay.
What to Avoid Doing When a Neighbor Parks in Front of Your House
While the above strategies may or may not produce results, there are some things you can't do if your neighbors are parking in front of your house. Avoid using the following strategies to reserve or prohibit people from parking in front of your home; you're making a mistake if you do.
Do Not Vandalize Their Car
Sure, we get it. You feel like you're about to blow a gasket when someone continually parks in front of your home. You get especially mad if you notice the same car there day after day. Why can't they find another spot or park in front of their house? Why do they always have to steal your parking bay?
It's understandable if you're ready to grab your house keys and leave a nice deep gouge across their metallic paintwork as you walk up to your house. We all have these thoughts but don't act on them. If you do, the neighbor can have the police charge you with vandalism, and you'll end up in court, where you'll likely have to pay the damages, a fine, and perhaps some jail time.
Don't Be Aggressive with Them
If you get back from work and the neighbor just pulled into your spot ahead of you, it might be tempting to pull over in the street and tell them you don't appreciate them taking your parking bay. You might feel justified, but you'll likely come off as a crazy person to your neighbor. They might ignore you and walk away, or they might confront you.
Either way, it will result in you or both of you causing a scene in the street. These volatile situations never end well. The neighbor won't see your side, and you won't see theirs. What's more likely to happen is that you escalate the scene, and a fight breaks out.
Don't Use Illegal Signs
Please don't place a traffic cone or illegal street sign on the road outside your home, saying it's your parking spot. It's against the law, and you could receive a huge fine from the police.
In some cases, you may have to go to court, where the judge could hand you hours of community service for your transgression. It's tempting, but don't do it, even if on principal that spot should be yours or should remain empty altogether.
Stay Reasonable & Calm When People Park in Front of Your House
If you arrive home after a long day at the office and find all the parking spots taken in front of your home, try to stay calm. The frustration of the situation is enough to make you want to explode in anger, but keep a cool head. Getting angry never solved anything. Like the issue with neighbors being able to see into your home, often the best answer is to avoid the problem altogether.
Look for the next available spot and park. Before you get out of the car, take a few deep breaths, and whisper a mantra to yourself to calm down. Say "I am calm, cool, and collected" to yourself while focusing on the rise and fall of your breath.
Close your eyes while breathing and saying the mantra, and you'll instantly notice you start feeling less angry. Sometimes, it's just not worth getting upset about the small things in our lives, like when a neighbor keeps parking in front of my house.