Your immediate response to someone parking in your driveway or parking spot is, understandably, frustration and annoyance. You may be tempted to block their car in, leave a nasty note or damage the car. Fortunately, there are more logical and legal ways to deal with the situation and keep other cars off your parking space for good. Here’s what to do if someone parks in your allocated space.
Tips on what you could do
1. Talk to the Driver
Your first step should always be trying to resolve the situation amicably, especially if it is the first time it is happening.
Find the driver or owner of the car and ask them to move it. They could have honestly parked in the wrong spot without realising it.
2. Contact Building Management
If you’ve leased a parking spot from a building or if you’ve been given a designated parking spot in your flat’s parking lot, contact the building management to resolve the problem.
3. Contact the Local Council
Parking disputes are rarely a police matter. Your local council will be more helpful. They’ll advice you on what to do or they may try to locate the owner and have them move the car.
4. Call the police
Calling the police is usually not necessary. But do not hesitate to call them if:
- The parked car is causing possible danger to property and people.
- The car has destroyed property or has broken into a private property like a gate.
- The car is blocking the entrance to your property. The police will be of help here since the resident road is not considered private property and the tow company may not help.
- If there has been a confrontation between you and the offender that has escalated to violence.
5. Call a Tow Company
Call a tow company to help you get the car away from your residential or private non- residential parking slot that is registered under your name and office.
Note, however, that towing someone’s car without their permission may cause legal trouble for you especially if it gets damaged. You may be liable for damages. We recommend towing as a last resort when you can’t find the owner or the council is of no help.
On the same legal note, do not clamp the car. You could be held liable for damages if the car is scratched or damaged in any way.
6. Polite Reminders
This is a more amicable way to warn off neighbours or people you share some social relationship with. Most people will appreciate a polite warning and will stop.
If your neighbours are not home, a kind but firm note will also communicate your thoughts.
Notes are also great for repeat offenders. Be sure to let them know that the next offence will end with their car getting towed.
How to Secure Your Parking Spot or Driveway
Instead of constantly dealing with people parking in your space, it’s easier to make sure they do not park there in the first place.
Here are some tips on how to secure your parking spot or driveway.
- Erect a gate. Nothing says keep off like a locked gate. This option is perfect for homes.
- Put a warning sign. A simple but bold sign like “NO PARKING” will work. Place it on the entrance and make sure it’s visible to everyone.
- Install security cameras or alarms. Security cameras or driveway alarms are important for recording vandalism or theft. They are also quite useful at keeping people off your parking slot. Make sure you put a sign to let anyone know the place is under surveillance.
- Paint your parking slot. Yellow, road lines with an obvious message like ‘No Parking” may work to keep people away. You will need to get the necessary permits from the city building department and the parking authority forehand.
- Install a folding parking barrier. These folding barriers are inexpensive and easy to install. The metal barrier stands upright when locked, preventing cars from passing. When you unlock the barrier, it folds flat on the ground, allowing you to park.
Do you have any other tips on what to do in these situations? Please leave them in the comment section below.