Someone parking their car at the entrance of your driveway is not only annoying but also inconveniencing. It gets you stuck between towing their car or calling the police for help. From there, you can decide whether to tow it or ask them politely to move their vehicles off your driveway. However, there are many measures you can take to prevent anyone from parking in your driveway, let alone trespassing.
Can you stop unwanted parking in your driveway?
Unwanted parking in your driveway amounts to trespassing. Some drivers may turn hostile or threaten to repeat the offense if you negotiate with them. If your neighbor develops the habit of turning your driveway into a parking lot, it’s time to react.
Here are some considerations you might want to take to stop unwanted parking:
Find out who randomly parked in your driveway and negotiate with them
Someone may park in your home’s parking spot because it is the closest to where they’re going. Perhaps your driveway has ample space, which would tempt anyone to think you aren’t utilizing it effectively. Whatever their reason for random parking in your spot, it shouldn’t be in a way that compromises your security and peace of mind.
The first thing to do is find out whose car it is, most likely your neighbor’s. Try to negotiate with them since you don’t want bad blood between you and the offending party or judging them wrongly. A reasonable person will realize their mistake, apologize, and promise not to make that mistake in the future. Their actions will determine if they’re apologetic or arrogant.
During negotiation, try to keep calm because you’re already upset. This makes it easier for you to reason out with the perpetrator. If they become rude or refuse to move their cars, it’s time to involve the police or parking authority to intervene.
Warn them using a friendly note
Alternatively, you can place a friendly note on their car’s window, asking them to stop parking in your driveway. Be firm and polite when writing a notice like this one. For example, you can say, “Hello neighbor, this is a private driveway. Kindly avoid parking here lest we call a tow company to tow your car!”
A reasonable person will realize their mistake and move the car immediately. However, this option might not be convenient, mainly if someone’s abandoned their vehicle in your driveway.
Involve the police
No one is allowed to park in your driveway unless they have your permission. Consider reporting the matter to the local police in some exceptional cases like an emergency, and someone is blocking your driveway. Legally, the police can help you by recording your statement and calling a tow company. When issuing your statement, make sure you give a detailed report of your street address and type of violation.
By involving the police, it means your efforts to negotiate with the offender have seemed futile. Perhaps you tried asking them politely to move their cars, but they were adamant. Some may abandon their vehicles in your driveway to get back at you for complaining.
In that case, the police can provide you with a document, allowing you to seek help from a towing company. The police can help you by recording your statement and calling a tow company to remove the car. They aren’t allowed to remove the vehicle because it is on private property.
Remember that the towing cost will be on you, but the storage fees will be on the offender. This will remind others that it’s an offense to park in anyone’s driveway without their permission.
Call a tow company
By the time you decide to involve a tow company, it means you’ve exhausted all options to remove the abandoned car in your driveway. It gets you wondering if the law allows you to call the tow company for an illegally parked vehicle on your private property.
You have the right to do so if you have its license plate and other details suggesting that the offender did it knowingly. This helps in serving a warning to people with similar habits.
Ways to block off driveway access
The last thing anyone needs is waking up to a car parked in their driveways. Some neighbors already know it’s wrong, but they keep parking their cars in front of your house because they seemingly have ample space. Here are a few tips to help you block off your driveway access.
1. Put up signs and traffic cones
A “No Parking Allowed Here” sign and traffic cones are some of the easiest ways of telling your neighbors about their annoying habit of parking in your driveway or blocking your access to it. Ensure the words are legible enough and visible even at night. Put the signs and traffic cones strategically, like the driveway entrance, for easy viewing.
Your warning sign should meet the following standards:
- It should be strategically placed near the entrance of the parking driveway.
- Should have clear words. Remove any barriers like plants or posts to make them more visible.
- Should state the consequences of breaching the warning. For example, you can say, “Any vehicle found parked in or at my driveway’s entrance will be towed.
You can design and print your own “No Parking” sign or purchase one. Remember, you don’t have any authority outside the private property, even if you want to claim parking space. The country sheriff or township highway commissioner reserves the right to put up a sign for public or street parking.
2. Put up a chain across your driveway
Parking in your driveway isn’t the only problem you might face. Sometimes, someone can use your driveway when reversing their car. Prevent that by putting up a chain. While it may not effectively keep people from trespassing your private property, it’s a good start to ending the menace of curious neighbors.
Having a chain across your driveway and placing signs go hand-in-hand. The law might not protect you if someone rummages through your driveway. Ensure the “No Parking” or “No Trespassing” sign is strategically located to avoid putting others at risk.
3. Erect a plastic post and chain fencing around your driveway
Most people prefer recycled plastic posts and chains as driveway blockers because they are robust and durable. These materials will never rot or require frequent maintenance, saving you time and money. When installing such a fence, find out from your township commissioner or local code enforcement officer if you require a building permit. Again, your state’s rules determine what type of fencing and blockers you need.
Ensure it has a rounded, smooth finish so that there is no chance of anyone hurting themselves on the post. This will physically stop them and any stranger from parking in your spot.
4. Install a CCTV pointed toward your driveway
CCTV cameras are designed to provide footage in real-time. Besides helping you identify who the main culprits of trespassing are, video footage can work as tangible evidence if vandalism or car theft occurs near your house.
Naturally, people wouldn’t dare trespass, let alone park, in a place with CCTV. Once you’ve installed it, put up a “24/7 CCTV Surveillance Here” sign warning people that you’re watching them round-the-clock.
5. Paint a line for your driveway
Another way of reminding people to keep off your driveway is by painting a line. Here is a step-by-step guide for doing it:
Step 1: Reach out to your local city building department to survey your driveway. They’ll tell you exactly where your driveway starts and ends.
Step 2: Mail or hand-deliver a copy of the letter to your local parking authority to paint the lines. Doing it by yourself might attract fines because it is the authority’s obligation.
Step 3: Buy the yellow street paint whose marked-off section has a “Tow Away Zone” sign in the middle. Anyone tempted to park there will immediately abandon the idea after seeing the sign.
6. Install a grilled gate secured with a padlock
Installing a gate in your driveway is one way of guaranteeing your privacy and reducing the random parking menace. Unlike a “Don’t Park Here” sign that most people might ignore and feign on lack of visibility, a properly installed gate is the best way to end the blame games. However, you can only install a gate if your local law allows it.
If you’ve been given the go-ahead to install a gate, ensure you lock it with a padlock. Any person found rummaging in or break into your property and parks their car in your driveway might be punished by the law. If you have video footage or proof of them owning the vehicle, you might have a strong case against them.
Your driveway should be your first point of access to your home. Anyone parking on it without your authorization amounts to a trespasser. You have the option of blocking access to your driveway or using the law to your advantage.