Neighbor Keeps Parking In My Driveway? (Here's What You Can Do)
Having neighbors means can be both a good and a bad thing. It can mean having someone to turn off your stove if it is still on and you forgot. It can mean letting the dog out if you won’t make it home for a little while longer.
But neighbors can also be a major pain. Like if they decide to take advantage of your kindness and park in your driveway. Once may be okay, but frequent parking can be a huge hassle. When a neighbor keeps parking in your driveway, there are a few courses of action. Talking to them should be the first step. But if they do not stop, you can install a security camera, put up a sign, or install a fence. If all else fails, call the police to have them intervene.
The Precarious Neighbor Dynamic
Neighbors are a funny thing. For the most part, you each stay to your own business. But invariably, you will see one another in passing. That usually includes small talk but it is possible for neighbor relationships to sway one way or the other.
In the best case scenario, neighbors can become friends. That means asking one another for small favors from time to time or even becoming closer than that. But it is possible for the relationship to turn sour. When one neighbor does something the other doesn’t like, it can sour. The same can be said when one neighbor takes advantage of the others.
How to Keep Your Neighbor Out of Your Driveway
When a neighbor keeps parking in your driveway without permission, things can turn sour. When they keep parking in your driveway, there are generally a few things that can be done. Keep in mind that, whatever you pick, will have a cost one way or another. It may be a monetary cost or it may be a different kind of cost – creating further tensions with the neighbor.
That said, here are five things in particular that you can do to keep that annoying neighbor out of your driveway.
Talk to Them
Talking to the neighbor should be the first thing that you do. Perhaps the situation started because you allowed them to park there once and they just assumed they could do it whenever. More often than not, these are simple misunderstandings.
Talk to your neighbor and let them know that you would prefer they didn’t park in your driveway on a regular basis. Reasonable neighbors will hear the request, understand, apologize, and not do it again. Then again, not everyone is reasonable. There is a chance that they will become angry, even if they agree to stop. There is always the potential for hostilities to arise from something so simple.
Put Up a Sign
Perhaps you have talked to the neighbor and things did not go well. They were either hostile about it, refused to stop doing it, or both. You still notice them parking in your driveway whenever they feel the need to do so.
You can put up a sign that says “private property” or no trespassing” if you wish them to stop. This makes a declaration that no one is allowed on the property and should be enough to qualify for trespassing in most municipalities.
Putting a sign up will likely end friendly relations between the two of you if there were any. That sign tells them that no one is welcome on the property, which should be a hint that you don’t want them parking there anymore.
Install a Camera
Most people are not home during the day. Many have jobs, school, or some other responsibility that takes them away. And it turns out that people can be petty, too. Just because you don’t see the neighbor parking in your driveway doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
If you think that the neighbor may still be using your driveway without your permission when you are not home, install a camera. Most security cameras these days are able to be accessed remotely or through a smartphone.
You can check while you are gone to see if they are still parking there. Having that footage also comes in handy. If you go to talk to them and deny it, simply show them the footage. It may be enough to deter them from parking there again in the future.
Install a Gate or Fence
This method is a lot more costly but there are more than a few benefits. For starters, you can keep anyone – not just your neighbor – from entering your driveway or property when unwanted. Just keep in mind that if you install a gate, it may only prevent vehicles from entering and not foot traffic.
Installing a gate or fence can have benefits to the property as well. Improved security and privacy is definitely a bonus. Not to mention the fact that they can provide aesthetic value to the property as well. Think of it as an investment not only in more privacy, but the property as a whole.
Just keep in mind the costs involved in installing a gate or fence. Even a basic vinyl gate can cost $2,000 or more depending on who does the installation. The more expensive the materials and the larger the area, the greater the costs. To install a gate and fully fence a property can run well into the five figures.
Call the Police
This should be considered a last-ditch effort. Maybe you have tried to talk to your neighbor. Installing a camera or putting up signs did nothing to deter them. And you definitely don’t have the thousands needed to install a gate or fence. So, what can you reasonably do?
Well, if you are dealing with a difficult neighbor who refuses to listen to your requests, then you may have to call the police. Parking in your driveway without your permission equates to trespassing. When someone trespasses on your property, you have the right to call the police.
Generally speaking, the police will want to know a few things. They will ask what type of violation is occurring, your address, and the address of the neighbor. Most of the time, they will simply come out and tell the neighbor to stop. But if they continue to trespass even after a warning, fines and even a possible arrest could follow.
Be aware that calling the police likely means a contentious relationship with that neighbor going forward. If it gets to this point, there’s a good chance that the relationship was no longer salvageable in the first place, so it is probably worth it.
Why You Should Talk to Your Neighbor First
So, you now have a few different solutions to keep your neighbor from parking in your driveway. But the one that should get the most effort is talking to them. The last thing that anyone really wants is to be feuding with a neighbor.
For one, it is just awkward. When you are feuding with a neighbor, even seeing one another can make things extremely uncomfortable. It can cause tension just coming home and walking into your house. Trying to keep things cordial is always preferable.
Secondly, you don’t really know who you are dealing with. When angry, a neighbor may be willing to take things to unnecessary heights. And if you are dealing with a truly unreasonable neighbor, things may even escalate to violence.
Try to politely tell them that you would prefer if they did not park in your driveway. Most of the time, people are receptive and understanding. They want to avoid confrontation as much as you do. Talking to them politely should be enough to resolve the issue.
Sometimes You Have to Turn the Other Cheek
Sometimes neighbors just aren’t going to be reasonable. You can try to handle the situation nicely but they will not work with you. All you can do is turn the other cheek, deescalate the situation, and call local law enforcement.
You may not have the authority to do anything to your neighbors, but the police sure do. If your neighbor is smart, they will stop after the initial warning. After that, it turns into fines and the potential for jail time. It isn’t an ideal solution but it is the best one that you can hope for.
The Final Word on the Situation
At the end of the day, neighbors should be willing to work with one another. When one neighbor does something that upsets the other, it means stopping that action when asked. The best you can do to keep your neighbor from parking in your driveway is to ask them politely to stop.
From there, it becomes about creating barriers, both physical and legal, for them. You can only do so much to deescalate the situation before it ultimately falls out of your control and into the hands of local law enforcement. But try to get along with your neighbor where you can because having a neighborly dispute is definitely uncomfortable not preferable.
Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
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