I know there’s nothing that will ruin my day quicker than arriving home from work only to find that someone has already parked in my spot. It infuriates me and is my biggest pet peeve. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably looking for solutions on how to stop someone from parking in front of your house.
Let me tell you, the struggle is real. Having people park in front of your house can cause minor inconveniences or real, significant problems. Either way, it’s a hassle!
I know these are regular “first-world” problems here. You may have a pesky neighbor who always leaves their car in front of your house just because they can. Ah, the rudeness!
Or, perhaps, they direct their visitors to that nice patch of the road right in front of your driveway. Of course, there are those of us who simply live in a busy area where parking spots are scarce.
But no matter what the cause of the issue is, there are ways to go around it.
Curb vs. Driveway vs. Street
The Street Squatters
Now, in my experience, there are several different issues that you may encounter as a homeowner (or renter).
You might have a problem with people parking right in front of your house. That is probably nothing more than a minor inconvenience. It ruins your view and prevents you from quickly parking in front of your own home.
Maybe you don’t want to park in your garage, or both the driveway and the garage are taken. Either way, when someone has taken that spot in front of your house, you’ll have to go out of your way to find a place to park. What’s more, you’ll have to leave your vehicle in front of someone else’s home and potentially ruin their day just like yours was.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are no legal actions you can take. You don’t own the street, and you can’t exactly call the cops on someone just because they inconvenience you. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do (I’ll talk more about that later).
The Curb Huggers
Another problem that a lot of people have is inconsiderate drivers. They’ll park near your driveway, on the curb, but they’ll do it so sloppily or recklessly that they either block a part of your driveway or they block your view. Now, I’m not talking about the view of the scenery, but the unobstructed view that you need in order to safely back out of your driveway.
In that case, you can call the authorities. If a vehicle is blocking your driveway, you can call the police and have them issue a fine for irregular parking.
The Driveway Dwellers
You’d think that you’d have less trouble dealing with someone parking in your driveway. However, you’d be wrong. When another person’s car is on your private property, the police can do nothing but issue a trespassing charge. That sounds like a good, quick solution, but it actually doesn’t solve your problem.
In other words, you’ll still have a car on your property. That’s when you should call a towing service. If a vehicle has been on your property for more than 24 hours, even if you don’t have a “no parking” sign, you can have it towed.
On the other hand, if you have a “no parking” sign, you don’t even have to wait — a car blocking your driveway or one that’s parked in it when it clearly says “don’t park here” can be towed immediately.
How to Stop People From Parking in Front of Your House
As you can see, there are hefty solutions that allow you to quickly deal with people who are trespassing on your property or breaking the law. But how do you deal with those that are simply parking on the street in front of your house? Those that slam their car doors right in front of your breakfast nook? How do you chase away the street squatters, as I’ve dubbed them?
Be Aggressive, Pa-ssi-ve Agg-re-ssi-ve
If your only trouble is your neighbor parking in front of your house instead of their own, then you can try the most cliche solution on my list. Let your annoying neighbor know that what they are doing is wrong.
For example, you can lift their windshield wipers every time you find them in front of your house. Furthermore, you can leave them a little note that will clearly say what you think of their bad habit. Finally, you can just beat around the bush some more and throw snarky comments about the grass being greener (or the street being nicer for parking) on your side.
Of course, I don’t recommend a passive-aggressive approach if your neighbor has no other choice but to park where they did. Actually, since I’m more of a doer, I’d always rather talk everything out with my neighbor.
I recommend this to everyone out there as well. Sometimes, people can be quite oblivious to the consequences of their actions. We’re selfish and self-centered creatures, after all. However, I’ve found that once you bring an issue to someone’s attention, more often than not, they will correct their behavior.
If that doesn’t work, you can always try the “tit for tat” tactic and go and park in front of your neighbor’s house. See how they like it.
Put Up Signs
Although having a home usually comes with the perk of having your own parking space, sometimes, you need more than that. As we mentioned, you may need to park in front of the house for some reason. What’s more, you may be expecting visitors or don’t want incapable drivers to half-block your driveway.
Whatever the reason is, you can always put up “no parking” signs. That will solve the issue of people parking in your driveway or blocking it.
However, keep in mind that you can’t actually stop someone from parking in front of your house. You don’t have legal rights. But a “no parking” sign might deter them from even trying.
Furthermore, you can put cones or other obstacles to discourage drivers from leaving their cars in front of your house. If they believe that their vehicles might be towed, they are less likely to park there.
Try a Little Arts and Crafts
If you need the space in front of your home, then you should protect it. Try using water-based spray paint to mark a spot for yourself. I’d recommend doing that if people often block your driveway or your view.
Take the paint and mark the street by following the lines of your driveway. Actually, I recommend that you mark the road a bit wider than your actual driveway. That way, people won’t accidentally block you, and you’ll have no trouble backing out.
You should also look into doing that in an official manner as well. In other words, contact the city’s parking department to see if they will let you skip on the arts and crafts and come and do the paint job instead of you.
This course of action is a good idea for those of you who often struggle with this issue. If the driveway blocking is frequent, the city will step in to try and help.
If Push Comes to Shove, Instal Cameras
Honestly, security cameras are always a good investment. They can help prevent theft, burglary, petty crimes, etc. Overall, I’d recommend installing security cameras if you have the means.
If you live on a busy street or have a lot of commuters leaving their cars in front of your house and blocking your driveway, then security cameras might be able to help you out.
Video surveillance won’t solve your problem of the annoying neighbor who parks in front of your home just for the sake of it. Those people clearly don’t care about anything.
However, commuters, visitors, and other drivers will think twice before blocking your driveway when they see a camera pointed at them. What’s more, you can take everything a step further and put up a sticker, thus announcing that the drivers are under the camera’s watchful eye.
People are only willing to bend the rules when they think no one is watching. So let them know that someone always is, and you’ll probably solve your issue.
Take Legal Action
I’ve already mentioned this briefly, but there are legal actions that you can take to stop people from parking in front of your house and blocking your way out.
If a car is parked on the street legally and isn’t blocking you, there’s nothing you can do. However, you can call the authorities if the person leaves their vehicle there for extended periods of time.
If the car is parked on public property (the street) in such a way that it’s obstructing traffic (you on your way in and out or other vehicles), you can call the police. They will issue a fine to the owner and tow the car. Keep in mind that you can’t skip the step of calling the authorities and the towing service yourself.
So let the government handle it. It’s their turf. When a vehicle is on your turf, though, then you can take action. Always call a towing service to deal with trespassers.
So there’s not much that you can legally do to stop people from parking in front of your house. But you can certainly prevent people from blocking you in. If you’re a bit creative, you can rely on my clever tips to trick people into avoiding “your portion” of the street altogether. But do keep in mind that nothing will stop people from parking in front of your house if you live in a busy area that has issues with parking spaces.