Doesn’t it just drive you nuts when your neighbors park in front of your house? They may otherwise be the best-mannered and friendly people, always ready to lend you a helping hand, but when it comes to street parking — now, that’s a different story. I’ve personally had to put up with this kind of behavior for quite some time, and let me tell you — it certainly wasn’t fun. I tried several approaches to make this stop and, after a few weeks of trial and error, I finally won! In case you are struggling with the same issue, here are my suggestions on neighbors parking in front of my house.
A Word of Caution
Before we dive straight into my step-by-step tutorial, let’s clear a few things first. While I will mostly focus on practical ways to talk some sense into your neighbors, there could be legal and administrative measures that are also available to you. That would depend on things such as:
- Do your neighbors park in your private driveway or on a public road?
- Do they park on a sidewalk or other pedestrian zone?
- Does their vehicle block your access to your own house or street parking space?
- Do they take up a parking space that is specially reserved for you or someone else?
- Are there any specific parking regulations in force in your local area?
These, as well as many other factors, would determine whether or not you have a legal course of action open to you. So, just in case, make sure to check local regulations before dragging the authorities or police into your conflict with your neighbors.
Now, let’s continue with our tutorial!
Step 1: Talk to Your Neighbors
Talking to your neighbors should always be your first course of action. It’s the polite and respectful thing to do before taking up some more extreme measures.
Be the bigger person and give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt. They may not realize that they are inconveniencing you — believe it or not, these things happen. Alternatively, they may actually have a justifiable reason as to why the car parked in front of my house.
When talking to them, try your best not to be confrontational — that truly never works and would only antagonize your neighbors. Be friendly, smile, and use simple, logical arguments to explain your situation.
Also, give your neighbors a chance to explain themselves. Show them that you are trying to put yourself in their shoes and understand their position. This approach works wonders in any awkward conversation.
- Plan your timing well. Make sure you approach them when they are not busy or in a hurry to get to work, run errands, or cook dinner for the kids. In my experience, lazy weekend afternoons work best for this kind of conversation.
Step 2: See If You Can Come to a Mutual Agreement
Your neighbors may refuse to stop parking in neighbor parks in front of my house, especially if you don’t have a legal claim over that property line. Yes, it might be impolite, but they are perfectly entitled to do so. In that case, the next best thing would be to try and reach some sort of arrangement.
If the area is part of a public road and anyone can park there, you and your neighbors could take turns parking. For instance, you could each use the parking spaces every other week or even every other month.
Alternatively, you could try to “bribe” your neighbors in exchange for the exclusive use of the parking car. Perhaps you could volunteer to mow their lawn or take their dog for walks every now and then.
But whatever you do, please, don’t try to give them money. That’s not only a sign of bad taste but could also potentially annoy them and only make matters worse.
- If you must resort to bribery, think of a type of service or favor your neighbors would really appreciate. Maybe they’d love a babysitter for their 12-year-old so that they could go on a date night every other week. Perhaps they need someone to help their third-grader with their math homework. The possibilities are virtually endless — you just have to be creative about it.
Step 3: Put a Note on Their Car (car garage)
Let’s assume that you are in the right and have a claim to the neighbor parking in front of my house. If you’ve already talked with your neighbors, but they refuse to listen, try placing a note on their windshield.
First, make sure your note is a kind reminder. Don’t give in to the temptation to jot down a passive-aggressive rant. If you need to vent in writing, send an email to your best friend or write in your journal instead.
Then, if you choose to hand-write your note, please, make sure that it’s legible. The last thing you want is to be misunderstood or further strain your relationship with your neighbors because of your unreadable scribbles.
Now, what about the actual contents of the note? Here is a sample text that you could use as-is or amend as needed. I may or may not have used it myself in the past.
You probably remember that [last week/last month/two days ago] we discussed the issue of your parking in front of my house.
I was under the impression that we had come to an agreement, but perhaps I was mistaken. I would appreciate it if you would kindly remove your car as per our agreement.
Alternatively, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience so that we can discuss the issue again.
Thank you for your understanding.
Something along these lines should do the trick. If it doesn’t, move on to Step 4.
- Insert the note securely between the windshield wipers and the windscreen. Otherwise, the wind may blow it away, and your neighbors will be none the wiser.
Step 4: Place Warning Signs and Physical Barriers
One of the more extreme measures you could take is to paint a “No Parking” line across the pavement or put up a “No Parking” sign, traffic cones, or a fence. “No Parking” signs and cones are freely available for purchase and don’t cost a fortune.
However, this step would only work if you had a legal claim to the neighbor parking in question. Make sure to check with the local authorities that you are entitled to put up “No Parking” signs in the first place.
- When setting up your equipment, make sure that the sign is clearly visible from all directions and that the cones don’t obstruct traffic. You don’t want to become yet another neighbor with antisocial behavior!
- Consider installing battery CCTV to better monitor who parks in your space. Research and my personal experience both show that people tend to comply with “No parking spots” signs a lot more if they are accompanied by video surveillance!
Step 5: Park There First
If all else fails, abandon all efforts to be civilized. As a last resort, start spying on your neighbors’ movements and simply park on the coveted space before they do. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do and, best of all, it’s not illegal.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to try this step if you work or study full-time or if your neighbors are one of those people who never seem to leave their house.
- If you decide to try this approach, be prepared for retaliation from your neighbors. This whole thing could turn into a sour game of cat and mouse in which no one wins and everyone loses. Tread carefully.
Step 6: Contact the Authorities
Finally, if nothing else seems to work, turn to the authorities. Again, this step would only work if you have a right to someone parking or your neighbors behave in an antisocial manner.
Depending on the situation and local regulations, you may have to contact the police, local authorities, or another competent agency. They could warn or fine your neighbors or even have their vehicle towed.
- Only consider involving the authorities as a last-resort measure. The effects could be serious, and you may not want your neighbors to think that it was all your fault.
Bonus Tips: What NOT to Do
As with anything in life, when it comes to sensitive parking-space matters, knowing what NOT to do can be just as important as knowing what to do. Otherwise, you risk shooting yourself in the foot.
With that in mind, here are a few tips on what not to do when trying to set this issue straight:
- By all means, do not flat your neighbors’ tires! That is a terrible, mean thing to do. Not to mention downright illegal.
- Do not scratch their car using your car keys, a screwdriver, or your favorite bottle opener. Just don’t.
- By the same token, do not damage your neighbors’ vehicle in any shape or form. It’s just bad karma.
- Do not cover their car in the trash, banana peels, or your compost. Yuck!
- As mentioned above, do not write them passive-aggressive or threatening notes. Among other things, that could also amount to harassment.
- Do not confront your neighbors or members of their family in an aggressive manner. Remember always to stay calm and collected.
I hope that my little tips and tricks gave you an idea of how to approach neighbors — or anyone really — that neighbor keeps parking in front of my house. This issue is important to me, as I’ve had some unpleasant situations that could have been avoided had I known some of the advice here.
Finally, I would advise you to carefully consider whether a parking spot is worth ruining your relationship with your neighbors, especially if it is not your own driveway or designated parking area. Who knows — you may need your neighbors one day, and it’s generally best to remain on good terms if possible.
If you enjoyed my article, please let me know in the comments and share it with friends — or even your neighbors! They might just get the hint.