It is easy to keep people from parking in your driveway or on your lawn; these are often considered private spaces. Parking in these spots can often result in legal implications and hefty fines. But keeping neighbors from parking in front of your house can be a lot more challenging as the area in front of your house is likely not considered part of your private property. This might lead you to wonder how you can keep neighbors from parking in front of your house.
To keep neighbors from parking in front of your house, the best solution is to ask them not to park there. The area in front of your home is often not considered private property, which means your neighbor has the right to park there. This is a case where good manners might come in handy.
Throughout this article, you will learn:
- How to best keep neighbors from parking in front of your house
- Why you can’t actually forbid neighbors from parking in front of your house
- Reasons why you might want to keep neighbors from parking in front of your house
- How to avoid conflict when trying to keep neighbors from parking in front of your house
Tips for Keeping Neighbors From Parking in Front of Your House
Perhaps you have a great view outside your front door that you do not want to miss. Perhaps you want the space outside your house for your own vehicle or a guest. There are a number of reasons you might want to keep neighbors from parking outside of your house.
Here is how you can keep neighbors from parking in front of your house:
- Park there before they do. If the reason you want your neighbor to park somewhere else is so that you can park in front of your house yourself, try to get there before they do. The more times you do this, the more likely your neighbor will find a new “regular” spot, freeing up your spot for you!
- Ask them nicely. This seems obvious enough. In reality, your neighbor is parking on a public street. Unless the place your neighbor is parking is permitted or private in some way, he or she has every right to park there. Sometimes, asking nicely is all it takes for a well-intentioned neighbor to comply with an equally well-intentioned request to park somewhere else.
- Strike a bargain. If you really want your neighbor to park somewhere other than in front of your house, but if you only need that to occur a few days per week, perhaps you can strike a bargain or offer to take out your neighbor’s trash – anything that says you are not simply asking for something but that you are also willing to give something in return.
- Know why you are asking. Is it simply an annoyance that your neighbor is parking in front of your house? Does it obstruct a view? Does it prevent you from being able to access your home easily because you are forced to park far away from your home? Knowing why you have the request will help you to target appropriate solutions for implementation.
- Write a letter. Writing a letter to your neighbor, especially if verbal communication makes you nervous or if you are afraid they will not be receptive, is a good idea!
- Ask about resident restricted parking permits. This is a great idea if the people parking outside your house are not your neighbors but are their relatives or friends. It might also be a viable option if you suspect many of your neighbors, who have garages or driveways, are not making use of the space available to them. If your neighbors are unwilling to compromise or comply with your request, this option might be a useful one.
You Can’t Actually Forbid Neighbors From Parking in Front of Your House
It makes sense, right? You want your area in front of your house to be free of your neighbor’s car. The reality, though, is that you can’t actually forbid neighbors or anyone else from parking outside of your house. Let’s take a look at why that is:
- Parking outside of homes is usually public domain. Private property is not typically extended to the street in front of homes.
- You cannot dictate what happens on public land unless a law is being broken.
- It is illegal to put up a pseudo-official “No Parking” sign or other non-approved signage to keep others from parking in front of your house, even if it is tempting. That said, if someone is blocking your garage or driveway, a sign such as this one by SmartSign might be useful for deterring neighbors from parking where they should not.
Why You Might Want to Keep Neighbors From Parking Outside of Your House
Everyone has individual reasons for wanting to keep neighbors from parking outside of their house. Some reasons are a bit more trivial in nature, while others are quite important. Assessing why you actually want to keep neighbors from parking outside of your home is a useful first step that can then lead to a solid plan of action.
Here is why you might want to keep neighbors from parking outside of your house:
- You need a space to park yourself. Not being able to park in front of your home because someone else parks there is a nuisance.
- Your neighbor is blocking access to your home. The problem becomes a bit more serious if your home access is blocked.
- Your neighbor is parking illegally in a permitted area. Some neighborhoods require permits to park in certain areas — parking where one should not often result in fines or towing.
Avoid Conflict When Trying to Keep Neighbors From Parking in Front of Your House
It does no good to initiate conflict with your neighbors. Not only is it unwise in general, but it can also be dangerous. If the end goal is to keep your neighbors from parking in front of your house, and if we know (as we do) that you can’t legally require them to move their vehicles, it is best to use some “sugar” to get the outcome you want. As the old saying goes, “You kill a lot more flies with honey.” In short, be genuine, and be kind, and you might get your way.
Here are a few tips for avoiding conflict when trying to keep neighbors from parking in front of your house:
- Be nice. Try the approach of simply parking there first. If the problem persists, ask your neighbor, either verbally or in writing, to park elsewhere. Put up cones to deter them from parking there, especially if they are blocking your driveway.
- Find out why. Just as you have a reason for not wanting your neighbor to park in front of your house, they too likely have a reason for doing so. Try to find out why your neighbor is parking in front of your house. Does he or she need to be there? Why? Knowing why your neighbor is parking there is a key step in avoiding unnecessary conflict that might be solved with a bit of initial understanding and clarity.
- Use a camera. Using a camera might prevent bold neighbors from parking where they know they should not if they know they are being “watched.”
- If all pleasantries fail, especially if the parking prevents access to your home or blocks you in, call the city or file a nuisance complaint or police report as a last resort only. Remember that reporting should be saved when the parking is restrictive in some area or even perhaps illegal. A pesky neighbor parking in front of your home without a valid oppositional reason is not a reason to call authorities.
- Report the vehicle to police if it appears to be abandoned. That is a valid complaint and one that might be worth making.
- Never take matters into your own hands. That can be dangerous, and it is certainly not worth it. If you need help because the problem involves an uncooperative neighbor or one that is blocking your garage, driveway, mailbox, or other home area needed for entry, it is best to call the authorities.
Keeping neighbors from parking in front of your house can be an easy process or nightmare. With finesse and good manners, you might have a clear space in front of your home for whatever you desire – space or your own vehicle.
Here is a quick rundown:
- You can’t legally keep neighbors from parking in front of your house.
- You likely have valid reasons for wanting the space, and they have valid reasons for needing it.
- Avoiding conflict by negotiating is a solid way to get what you want and keep neighbors from parking in front of your house.