Owner Renting my Land As a Parking Spot

6 Replies

Curious to get some opinions on this. I own a duplex in the Bay Area that's zoned for three exterior parking spots. The adjacent property has the same lot dimensions, and it's also zoned for three parking spots. The adjacent property owner has been renting four spots out. When asked about it, he basically played dumb. I sent him the legal zoning documents, and they clearly show both properties with the same width and callouts for three spots. Basically, he's squeezing a fourth spot that's in between our two properties, so technically I own half of it.

I am obviously not happy. It's not an insignificant amount of money when you're dealing with Bay Area parking. Any ideas on how to proceed?

I agree not in compliance.. in reality for either of you to park an additional car there. 

Either work out the parking together or post a NO trespass on you part of parking area that's being trespassed,, paint with yellow stripe or something, and then tow the car that's there.

Parking is at premium in a lot of areas so for him to take possession of your land use isn't something I'd let continue. 

Easiest thing is nobody parks there and be done with the issue. of who's gonna pay who. who claims income, to much to get involved with. 

Easy answer is he should split that spots money up or bail that half of a spot soon. Explain that you can't have extra liabilities without extra return. He should understand that concept. Worse case, that car catches fire and now your involved?

Could you put a little decorative stone or concrete fence or divider between your 2 properties? If that fourth spot is halfway on each property, problem solved! If he then tries to squeeze 4 spots only on his property, not much you can do except submit a complaint probably. Now obviously if you decide to go this route you have to be darn sure your "fence" is on your side of the property line.

Guys, thanks for all the great advice. I agree 100% that I've let this go on long enough. I have a property management company, and I've already given them a stern talking to. I am only onsite once every few months, so there's definitely a lesson about taking a more active management role. If I had been, I never would have let this go on for so long.

If my two options are to tow the car or collect some revenue from the spot, I'd lean towards collecting revenue. The spot is worth $350-400, so an extra $2000-2500/year is going to help a lot with my cashflow numbers. I'm pissed that this guy has been generating the extra revenue for so long. There's also no where else to park in the area. The car owner would be in a bad place if he/she has to go find other parking. I wonder if there's any case to sue the property owner for past revenue. He has essentially admitted to renting the spot (although I don't know for how much). How can you rent property that's not yours? That sounds highly illegal. I'm not trying to be greedy, but it's really messed up. I'd consider saying something like: "we can keep the car as-is, but I want the next 12 months of parking revenue and then 50% of all parking revenue past that point." Do you guys think that's too aggressive?

If the revenue angle doesn't work, then I'd paint a stripe as close to the property border as possible and start towing. I have the architectural site drawings, and they have good references for where the border is, but in theory, the neighbor could dispute any painted boundary...which would probably cause me to need a site survey.

doubt you'd get any past revenue.

Just tell neighbor you'll rent him the space of your land for a set yearly amount.

Then if he collects or doesn't collect revenue you still get yours.

Be descriptive as to how you word the area. And measure it out. 

Otherwise paint a stripe on the pavement,  and any portion of anything parked over the line gets towed. 

if you sue him wouldn't that open you up to the chance of losing that portion of your property? If you let him use it for x amount of time (length of suit) .... can't remember what this is called off top my head though.

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