Is there anything I can do to stop parking on my property or am I going to have to resort to having the cars towed away? Can I even do that?
I live in an apartment bulding, and I keep having cars from the dance school parking in my spots. We have asked them on several occasions not to do this since my mother is older. Today, I put written notices on the cars and gave a written notice to the woman who runs the studio.The parking lot in front of her studio only holds about five cars, and my lot is bigger, however, she has about twenty cars during a session and we are left no where to park. There were no classes during the summer, but they just started back and everytime she held classes before the summer we would have to go over and tell them to move their cars. This has been an ongoing problem which is now just getting worse.
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You mention in your question that you live in an apartment building and then you refer to it as "my property". Unless you own the land or building, it is not your property, it is merely your residence. This situation is best addressed by the landlord or the person who, in fact, owns the building. Go speak to him/her and relay your concerns and frustrations. He, in turn, should first go speak to the owner of the dance hall and try to enlist her help in resolving this aggravating problem. If he does this and nothing changes (cars still park in the spots), then he should contact the local law enforcement authorities and describe the situation to them. They should then go speak to the owner of the studio and the patrons of the studio and ask them to refrain from their parking habits.
After all this transpires, if the cars continue to park in front of your apartment, your landlord can call the police and then they can charge the dance patrons with trespass.
Oh my, your question brought me back to my undergrad days at Furman University. Way back when, I lived with seven other girls right by the bell tower in the place we lovingly called "The Cottage." Good times. We parked in our five little spaces called "Lot 7"; however, on Saturday this area became what we called "Furman Park" and EVERYONE parked in our spots. This is WITH signs about permits and such. *sigh* I'm afraid the only thing that worked for us was the orange cone idea. Then again, I'm afraid we weren't brave enough (or knowledgeable enough) back then to try what "clairwait" suggested. Good luck to you! Been there!!!
The irony is that NOW I have two little girls in dance class at a studio with a small parking lot! LOL! My solution, though, is to park on the grass. ; )
You pay rent, right? Depending on your jurisdiction, part of the rent means that YOU PAY FOR spaces to park (are these numbered parking spaces?). Those spaces are likely part of your lease, which gives you equitable title to them - especially if they are numbered. Look at your lease. More than likely, it is stipulated in your lease that you are also paying for parking spots. If that is the case, and the parking spots are designated as yours by number, then most jurisdictions require that you "give notice" in order to tow at the owner's expense. So here's what I would do (you've probably done more than enough, already):
First, I would go to your landlord with a copy of your lease and demand that he post signs (if not already posted) and enforce towing. I'd say that if he doesn't do it, that you are going to post a sign in front of YOUR SPACES and then call a towing agency yourself. You have to post the phone number of where they can pick it up.
Now, if your spaces are not numbered, this is a bit more tricky. You still have a right to the parking - but you can't exactly take matters into your own hands with the towing. In this case, you will have to talk your landlord. Clearly, this is a management problem with YOUR apartment (if they were enforcing towing the dance students would know it and would stop parking there - in college, everyone knows where they can and cannot get away with parking). If your landlord is dragging his feet and this problem is a dealbreaker (for me it definitely would be) be prepared to say you want out of your lease - there is likely a breach of contract when you have no place to park. I'd also be ready to say you would make this problem known to anyone who was looking to move into this building. As a student, you are his best advertisement. Be willing to work with him - but be willing to stand your ground and demand that things get taken care of.
I hate this situation for you. If you know a lawyer, you might also contact him or her... sometimes it helps to have a legal partner if for no other reason than to show people that you mean business.
My final tip - if you want to just take the back seat on all of this and avoid confrontation - is go buy two of those large orange cones and put them in the front of your spots. Sounds silly - but even though people ignore signs, they often avoid parking where they see cones. Who knows? Personally, I'd put the pressure hard on your landlord to do his job.
The owner of your apartment building should hang warning signs throughout your parking lot that the spaces are only for use by residents of the building, and that violators will be towed. The sign should include the name and phone number of the towing company.
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