Neighbor parking at vacant property

24 Replies

I have a vacant property in which a tenant will be signing lease soon. Every so often I stop by the property to make sure everything is good. The neighbor has been parking their vehicle in the driveway. I have asked the neighbor on two occasions not to park there. How should I handle the situation? Should I ignore it, have the vehicle towed, or call law enforcement?

I would send her a letter via both certified and first-class mail informing her that she is trespassing and the next time she is found parking on your property she will be towed.  In the letter I would also memorialize the dates and times you have previously spoken about this issue to her.

This is a very direct way of handling this, but it sounds like your patience is gone and diplomatic means have not yielded satisfactory results.

Also, a nice load of gravel that gets delivered and dumped right behind her car whilst parked there might also make a fun story to tell at parties...

@Al Nelson , I would thank them for making my property look less like its vacant and less of a target for break-ins and vandalism.

Then I would kindly let them know when the next tenant would be moving in. So, they know when they need to stop parking there.

@Al Nelson , absolutely! Neighbors can be a big asset. I have neighbors near each of my properties who have my contact information. So, if anything goes on at the property I'll hear about it.

Neighbors have notified me of tenants sneaking dogs into the property, moving roomates into the basement, etc. That kind of feedback helps me be proactive about dealing with those things. I've had calls about me leaving lights on where they were concerned about break-ins etc as well.

When I buy a new property and meet some neighbors, I immediately tell them what I'm going to do with the property. I tell them, I don't do section 8, don't allow big dogs, and that the property will be rehabbed. Then they see that I follow through on those things and they are happy and comfortable with what I'm doing there. This is especially important if the neighbors are owner occupants and not renters because they have a vested long term interest in the neighborhood.

@Kevin Sobilo on the flipside, I wouldn't consider this one a good neighbor. Being that I had to ask on more than one occasion, I took that as a lack of respect for others. This same neighbor actually offended a potential renter by walking over and basically interrupted the tour of the property. The potential renter expressed that they did not appreciate the interuption as they had a schedule to keep. I was doing tours by appointment only due to my work schedule, so I really had to maximize the time. I believe many potential renters were put off by this neighbor and ultimately decided they were not interested in renting the place. This neighbor would be playing loud music, yard was wasn't maintained, and 4 or 5 cars parked in the street and driveway.

Good neighbors are your eyes & ears when you're not there. Get in good with as many neighbors as possible & it'll make your landlording a lot less trouble. 

HOWEVER: I'm in a similar situation with a "bad" neighbor - he's mentally unstable & I'm pretty well convinced one of these days he's going to snap. I do make sure my tenant is aware of the situation & should feel free to call the police if warranted. 

It's a tricky situation to be in - good luck to you in getting a resolution!

Originally posted by @Kevin Sobilo :

@Al Nelson , absolutely! Neighbors can be a big asset. I have neighbors near each of my properties who have my contact information. So, if anything goes on at the property I'll hear about it.

Neighbors have notified me of tenants sneaking dogs into the property, moving roomates into the basement, etc. That kind of feedback helps me be proactive about dealing with those things. I've had calls about me leaving lights on where they were concerned about break-ins etc as well.

When I buy a new property and meet some neighbors, I immediately tell them what I'm going to do with the property. I tell them, I don't do section 8, don't allow big dogs, and that the property will be rehabbed. Then they see that I follow through on those things and they are happy and comfortable with what I'm doing there. This is especially important if the neighbors are owner occupants and not renters because they have a vested long term interest in the neighborhood.

@Kevin Sobilo

Wow, (applause), you are my kind of landlord.....being respectful of neighbors is important and your openness is far beyond the norm.

@James Bergstrom , thanks!

I'm a pragmatist. I know doing things how I do won't have things work out in my favor 100% of the time. However, I'll never have to be sorry for how I treat people and in the long run I know I'll make out just fine with my investments.

People tend to get jaded by bad experiences and feel they themselves need to act badly in some instances to get a good result for themselves. Bad things will happen no matter how hard you try and what your approach is. So, why not deal openly, honestly, and fairly with people and be able to hold your head up in good times and bad.

Is your relationship good with the neighbor? You can make a joke about it as if you plan on charging him for parking.  And, at the same time let him know that you are renting the place so he won't be able to park there.

Under $5 solution.

Cut a couple of branches, drive them into the ground on each side of the driveway entrance, and stretch a piece of cloths line across them with a red rag tied on it.

 Good Luck!

@James Bergstrom , thanks!

I'm a pragmatist. I know doing things how I do won't have things work out in my favor 100% of the time. However, I'll never have to be sorry for how I treat people and in the long run I know I'll make out just fine with my investments.

People tend to get jaded by bad experiences and feel they themselves need to act badly in some instances to get a good result for themselves. Bad things will happen no matter how hard you try and what your approach is. So, why not deal openly,

Be wary of "befriending" neighbors.  I totally get what @Kevin Sobilo is trying to accomplish and I was doing the same thing for a bit. My zeal was tempered, however, when I had two neighbors (at two different properties) take my offer of contact info as a license to call me about every minor thing my tenants were doing that annoyed them and intrude their personal insanities into my life. They would call after hours, and leave long, meandering voicemails (I would never answer).

I've curbed my enthusiasm since, however, and "feel the neighbor out" for mental stability before offering my business email only.  (Only my tenants get my business number, these days.)

I learned the hard way there is a continuum of personalities, manners and lifestyles out there that differ quite radically from my own.

@Al Nelson call a local tow company and tell them your problem. They will post a sign at the property, drive by on occasion and tow anything there and charge the owner a couple hundred dollars. It should only take 1 time for that to stop. Tell them when someone moves in and that you'll give the tenant their information if someone does it in the future

@Al Nelson This happens on occassion when we do BRRRR deals here in CT. Most of these situations take care of themselves when the new tenants move in and the neighbors see people are occupying the property. If it doesn't just have the car towed and then it will definitely go away.

@Al Nelson I actually encourage my neighbors to park on the driveway of my vacant property to give appearance that house is lived in. This prevents breaking in or other nuisances. It has helped me always.

Originally posted by @Kevin Sobilo :

@Al Nelson , I can imagine. I'm fortunate that most of my neighbors are good. I still try to be on good terms with the few who are oddballs like you describe.

Kevin with your strategy it has worked! I don't think it's lucky for you to have good neighbors, you built those relationships.

Is there any bad effects this will bring you? I mean, if you hardly drive your car there, you can benefit from your neighbor. Your neighbor can park there when you're not there, and you can talk to him to help you manage your house. You can ask him to contact you under any urgencies.