As far as property disputes go, they don’t get much more miserable than the one between a neighbor and the owner of the land they disagree about.
While many conflicts can be resolved without too much difficulty, there’s nothing quite as stressful as having your property line over-parked by someone else who’s decided that you should mind your own business.
What makes this scenario especially tricky is that sometimes it’s difficult to prove who exactly has parked on whose property at any given time.
In order to identify which is whose, here are a few tips for helping you through this issue:
- Get a hold of a property map or plat
- Establish boundaries with signs and barriers
- Obtain the services of a reliable land surveyor
- Promptly notify the proper authorities
- Snap pics or footages as evidence using your mobile device or surveillance cam
- Locate a new neighborhood to move into
1. Obtain a copy of the property plat map
Surveyed land, property lines, and easements can be found on the property plat map.
Residents in areas not served by a plat map may need to contact their local community or township office for land records.
Property line maps can be used to determine the legal location of a property line.
As such, they can play an important role in property line disputes.
In many states, these maps are available through planning agencies or local government bodies.
Your city or county may have a map showing the property lines of all properties in the city, or you can petition them for a map relating to your specific neighborhood.
Ask for a copy of the deed or survey that shows the current property lines, as well as plat maps with past property use.
Then show the map to your neighbor, who will most likely be willing to accept it as proof that his parking is encroaching on your property.
2. Put up signs and fences
Open land boundaries, like in rural areas, can mean disputes over territorial lines and property rights.
This is why it’s important to be clear about what constitutes your land and what goes on the other side.
Setting up signs to clarify boundaries is also common and can be useful to stop quarrels over parked vehicles or your home being used as a makeshift parking space.
Doing this will make it difficult to claim that the area is yours with any kind of weapon or other forms of intimidation.
Also, erecting fences can be a good idea for protecting vulnerable crops and valuable property from unwanted intrusions.
Physical display of ownership can be used to confirm the limits of your land in front of you and whoever might give you trouble.
3. Find a good land surveyor
Your laws may vary, but land surveying is a crucial part of ownership.
You need to make sure that your land is being accurately recorded so you can defend it against future threats.
Recognized as legal arbiters, land surveyors can help by determining the boundaries and other measurements of your property.
They work with cadastral maps to determine how much ground you have available, visualize ownership and use, and calculate the value of your land.
By using tools like GPS and laser levels, they can also determine the exact amount of land.
Land surveyors also produce maps and reports which can be used as evidence in case the matter takes a court setting.
4. Involve the authorities
Amicable solutions are the best possible approach to the problem of over-parked vehicles.
But if the neighbor refuses to work with you then you should involve the authorities.
By hiring an attorney, you will be able to enjoy some legal action and this way you will also get someone to talk for you.
A lawsuit will also get the matter into a court of law, where you can make your case.
Even though your relationship with your neighbor will be harmed, you will have the backing of the law and the weight of the government.
With a police report that shows your neighbor’s negligence and a cease and desist letter, you can get a restraining order or an injunction to stop them from leaving their vehicles on your property.
5. Use your camera phone
When you don’t have the money for a lawyer or even if you do, but distrust their abilities, it’s best to take pictures of the cars parked on your property.
Sometimes all it takes to get a neighbor to stop parking on your lawn is a good set of shots of his/her car taken from above.
So when you are in doubt, use your camera phone and snap some pictures.
In addition, installing security cameras around your yard or property will go a long way toward deterring people from parking on your lawn.
24/7 surveillance is a great way to avoid having to speak with your neighbor if you feel it would make the situation worse.
If you do get a picture of his vehicle, you can use it as a reference for authorities or court if anything does come to that.
6. Seek new neighbors
If dealing with the situation is causing too much stress, then it’s time to move out.
Unless you live in a city where the government is involved in regulating parking, there isn’t much you can do other than shift to a new neighborhood.
You may find that the new neighborhood is more stable, and people are used to each other.
Over time, if you’re a responsible neighbor with etiquette, good manners and common sense, you may find it’s worth getting along with people who use sensible parking approaches.
Obviously, your new neighbors are only likely to be interested in you if you’re polite, civil and willing to listen.
7. Park in reverse
Significant learning-related benefits seem to follow from the practice of parking in reverse, as well as the general act of backing up a car.
Safety in parking lots is one of them.
This is especially true for seniors, the disabled, children, and generally, being more aware of your surroundings.
At the same time, the ease that comes with maneuverability, combined with a quick getaway is useful when your neighbor’s car is parked over the property line.
If you can avoid crashing into their parked car, you go a long way towards taking your neighbors down a notch.
Also, emergency situations could make this skill very handy.
Where immediate evacuation and having good control of your car are important, you need to be able to quickly and safely back out of a space.
If your car is already in reverse, it becomes much easier to get out.