Shared driveway woes

13 Replies

Hi All,

I'm hoping others have had this situation come up with a good resolution. One of the property's that I manage has a shared driveway. This is a new property under my management, and both tenants were inherited at time of acquisition.

Both tenants have lived there for 5+ years, and while initially they were good friends, it has deteriorated significantly. Major problem is there is a long (but only one car-width) driveway, so if they both are using it, one is always blocking in the other person.

I have a few other properties that this is the case, but fortunately my tenants have all worked it out amongst themselves, however in this situation they just cannot.

I have a few ideas, but want other people's thoughts, experiences and advice.

Many thanks in advance!

In the end, these tenant problems are really not management problems, although the tenants like to make them so. I would try to throw it back in their court to work it out as adults. If you really want to try something, well, some owners charge for parking, maybe charge for use of the driveway and see who will pay. Just an idea.

wow, one driveway shared by 2 houses??????????

i thought I had it bad when i have two driveways next to each other. i had a hard time renting it.

ask each one what would make them happy. that will tell you what to do.

1st off check the leases that are in place and make sure they are following the lease. Sometime one can be assigned the driveway but it was never made overt and everyone has forgotten.

Lastly, tenant drama is not your drama. When tenants can't get along I call a meeting at the property with both present and tell them to work it out.

Last option is to send the least desirable tenant the required notice and then the new tenant gets no driveway. End of drama.

hi Rebecca, 

I did have major driveway drama at my duplex.   The driveway is single car width from the street down the side of the house, and then opens up to be 2 car widths in the back, so I allowed 1 car per tenant to have driveway access.

Well, problems have emerged because 1 car is too large, 1 tenant doesn't have the skill to pull in and around (or back up without hitting house), etc, etc.  The other issue was guests would park in the driveway overnight and block a tenant in when they needed to get to work - - creating more tension.   I procured a sign saying "tenant parking only" but that only did so much.   It appears that one of the tenants has since given up her car, so that slightly resolves the problem.

I agree that tenant problems are not management problems, but that only goes so far.  

Good luck!

-Dave

Designate the driveway for pedestrians only! Put something up at the entrance that discourages vehicle use but can be opened for use by emergency vehicles and for the occasional moving in/out of big items such as furniture.

Tell the tenants this change is a result of their not being able to work out a more viable solution between themselves. Let them know if they want to use the driveway again for their vehicles, they need to present you with a jointly agreed upon proposal as to how they can make it work.

Thank you all for the advice! While I know it's really not a management issue, I did try the 'you are adults and need to make it work' and that just didn't work at ALL. And I'm getting constant phone calls, texts and pictures (and threats to call the police). I really can't just do nothing at this point, it's escalated too far (and don't forget-I inherited these tenants and the problem already had been percolating for quite a while by the time I came onto the scene).

I am working on a few options, and heard one may be considering moving out anyways, so I am hopeful this will sort of resolve itself soon. But I'm sure it will come up again with some of my properties with a single, narrow driveway shared by multiple tenants in the same house and would love a good handle of how to curb this problem from the start...

You can designate specific parking spots. Spray paint them into the driveway. Add an addendum or rule to the lease dictating the terms of this new rule. Put up a sign to the effect of "private parking, unauthorized vehicles will be towed". Then when they threaten to call the cops, let them, I encourage it after folks can't get along, then I can take acrion easier with documented police report as opposed to a he said she said situation. Good luck.

You can designate specific parking spots. Spray paint them into the driveway. Add an addendum or rule to the lease dictating the terms of this new rule. Put up a sign to the effect of "private parking, unauthorized vehicles will be towed". Then when they threaten to call the cops, let them, I encourage it after folks can't get along, then I can take acrion easier with documented police report as opposed to a he said she said situation. Good luck.

Originally posted by @Rebecca Lebowitz :
Thank you all for the advice! While I know it's really not a management issue, I did try the 'you are adults and need to make it work' and that just didn't work at ALL. And I'm getting constant phone calls, texts and pictures (and threats to call the police). I really can't just do nothing at this point, it's escalated too far (and don't forget-I inherited these tenants and the problem already had been percolating for quite a while by the time I came onto the scene).

I am working on a few options, and heard one may be considering moving out anyways, so I am hopeful this will sort of resolve itself soon. But I'm sure it will come up again with some of my properties with a single, narrow driveway shared by multiple tenants in the same house and would love a good handle of how to curb this problem from the start...

That's absurd.

I would (assuming your city allows it) block the driveway for parking. Concrete block and no one can use the driveway.

I would make it clear that it is not my problem and is a neighborhood concern, and don't call me about this again ever- no exceptions- or your lease will not be renewed. The "no more driveway for either of you" would be my preferred approach. I would also look at their leases and any city ordinances to see if one of the duplexes was specifically assigned parking.

I also don't accept or reply to texts from tenants. Texts are for teenagers. It's phone calls or e-mails with mine.

Originally posted by @Jon K. :
Originally posted by @Rebecca Lebowitz :

I also don't accept or reply to texts from tenants. Texts are for teenagers. It's phone calls or e-mails with mine.

You are missing out on a great tool to stop any he said she said problems, I only use email or texts to record everything from the minute they apply to rent my place. The tenant can never, ever say I did not say that to me because I have a record of it and not a phone call that can't be proved. 

Thank you for all the insight, everyone!  I appreciate it.  

In the interest of taking care of the problem permanently, look into ways to add additional off street parking. Is there room in the yard, front or back, to add a parking pad? Even a graveled spot would work to start. If in the back, they would each park in the yard, and the driveway would only be used for getting in and out. In the front, you could add a parking spot to one house, and let the other use the drive.

Just thinking out loud here. Good luck!