Parking Wars And The Etiquette Hell Parking Ticket

by admin on May 1, 2013

I just had an encounter with a neighbor’s significant other that’s left me angry and shaken.

It started on the first of this month (it’s now the 24th). I finally had gotten a parking spot in the lot adjacent to my apartment building. I live in a large city and the neighborhood I live in is very densely populated, so parking is tough. I had been told when I signed my lease that I’d have a parking spot (an additional fee of $130 a month) but then after I moved in, I was told there were none open. So needless to say I was really happy when one finally opened up three months after I moved in.

One night I returned home to find someone parked in my spot. I have to call the building manager to have them towed, which I did. He told me to park in a different spot (belonging to a store owner who didn’t park overnight) and that he’d text me when the car was gone so I could move my car back to my rightful spot. He did so, and I moved my car assuming the other one had been towed. (Now I wonder if it ever were towed).

I should add that I am a performer, and I often travel to shows outside my city or the suburbs and return home quite late – one reason the space was badly needed as after a certain hour, parking is very hard to find.

I returned home close to midnight in the middle of a pouring rainstorm to discover the same car was there. I called the towing company, and they said the building manager was the only person who could request tows. I called him, and he said he was out of town and could not do anything. All this took about 10-15 minutes. He said to park in the store owner’s spot as long as I was gone by morning. I did so.

I also left a note on the offending vehicle. Now, I was not terribly polite in this note and called them a moron, which I do regret. But I quite clearly stated that this spot was a spot someone paid for, and said they should stop parking there or I’d continue to have them towed. I left the note in a baggie on the windshield so they’d be sure to get it.

The car was gone in the morning.

Early this week, I came home to find the car AGAIN parked in my spot. I was incensed and called my manager to report it. He was on the verge of calling the towing company when a man approached my car window, and a girl ran to the car to get inside.

This man said, “Thanks for the note, by the way.” and smirked. He clearly got the note and knew that this was a reserved space.

I said he should not get snarky with me, and that he had no right to park in a reserved spot.

He said it was just for a short time while he picked up his girlfriend (who, I should point out, was young and able-bodied. She got to the car on her own with no assistance from him so presumably, she could do so at any time).

I got mad and proceeded to repeat (at volume I’m afraid) that he had no right to park there and to do so was rude and in violation of the rules.

He kept saying I had no right to be mad, he was being “normal” and he was just parking there for a few minutes at a time (untrue as once it was at least 45) and that I should just “get over it.” He indicated he’d continue to park there. I believe he chose my spot out of spite because of the note, as several were open that he could have taken if picking up his girlfriend were his primary concern.

While it’s polite I suppose that he wishes to pick her up at her door, I think in this case basic decency should dictate that he have her meet him while he’s out front (there’s space to pull over though it’s not legal to park there in front of the building).

He made me feel as though I was being unreasonable, but I think it’s quite reasonable to expect that a spot I pay for is ALWAYS open unless I’m in it, and his entitled attitude is ridiculous.

I would enjoy hearing what others think. 0424-13

My first thought is the building manager has no authority to give you temporary access to a parking space, the store owner’s space, he has does not own.   He’s creating the potential for a very awkward situation now involving yet another person in this parking brouhaha.  When he suggested you park there, you should have told him you did not feel it appropriate to use another person’s parking space in the same manner that the interloper was using yours.   Assuming the store owner will be fine with you using his space is no different than Mr. Date Guy assuming your space was free for using.

Let’s face it, your note was not written in a way to win over Mr. Date Guy to seeing things your way.   It was, by your own admission, antagonistic and insulting and had the effect of escalating the drama.  You entrenched his behavior even further if for no other reason than to spite you now.   There will be people on this blog who will condone and encourage the ugly tone of your note as you being justified but what did it get you?   Had you written the following,  “You are parking in a privately assigned space that I pay a premium rental space each month.   Due to my odd working hours, I must have access to my parking space at the time I need it in order to safely arrive home.  Please do not park in my desperately needed parking space.  Thank you….Ms. Performer.”

If he ignores that note, the next one says, “Your continued parking in my space leaves me no other options since I cannot continue to need my parking space and repeatedly find it unavailable due to your vehicle being parked there.  I see no other recourse than to request that your vehicle be towed whenever it is limiting my ability to use my parking space.”

And btw, keep copies of your notes and take pictures of the vehicle with license plate clearly legible.

Or you could use an old Ehell tactic, the Ehell parking ticket….

I always thought Ehell could be used to socially shame people into proper behavior.  Imagine putting this on the window of the car, taking an image of it and forwarding it to me which then gets published online.   Maybe we need a new parking ticket designed which  informs the miscreant that their rude behavior has been submitted to EtiquetteHell.com along with a photo of the dirty deed.

{Digging through the archives…..}   Look what I found!  Years ago there was an Ehell store on Cafepress and I sold postcards that looked like this:

I still have ONE unopened package of eight postcards left!   If anyone wants to try to win it, make mention of the cards in your reply and by the end of the week a winner will be randomly chosen.

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Otter May 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm

We purchased a condo with 2 parking spaces in different spots. Two different people kept randomly parking in each. I handled one spot just like the OP, with blunt aggressiveness. I got much the same response: “I’ll do what I please and move only after you ask.” My DH wrote a very polite note to the other “parker” asking if he’d like to rent the spot from us. The other guy apologized and asked how much, then declined. Guess which neighbor still speaks to us (and doesn’t report us to the HOA for every picka-ninny thing – grrr) I learned my lesson. For seeing the light, I too, would like the postcards.

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I am the OP May 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

@Asharah – unfortunately, I can’t determine who she is. I saw a glimpse of her and only know that she has long brown hair. It’s a 6-floor building with probably 12 or more apartments on each floor, so it’d be hard to find her.

The building manager does know and I think is prepared to take it more seriously, as I’ve documented 5 times in 1 month that it’s happened. I have his license plate number (it’s dealer plates so irritatingly the car sometimes changes but license is the same – he works at a car dealership I guess).

@Abby you’re right about tow trucks. At my other building, someone parked in front of the garage door of our parking lot, effectively blocking everyone from getting in and out of the building (rage). It was 1 in the morning and there were no spots, I drove around for an hour. I had called the non-emergency police number and they ticketed the car but the city was unable to get a tow truck out. I called every hour on the hour to get a tow truck out there and waited 4 hours – no truck. By that point it was almost 5 am, and I finally found a spot and parked.

I can’t relinquish the parking space, as it’s desperately needed. I know, my fault for living in such a heavily populated area, but I had to move in a hurry.

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sv May 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Ask yourself this….do you want the problem resolved, or do you want to gain the upper hand? They are two different things. If you had simply wanted the problem resolved, we all know you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar. A polite but firm note rather than a nasty one may have stopped the situation from escalating. By name calling and generally being unpleasant yourself you did not leave him any option but to respond in kind. So now it’s personal – he’s never going to back down, because he can’t do so and still save face. If you had given him the chance to avoid a confrontation by explaining your position all of this might simply have gone away.

And of course I would love to win the cards, admin!!!

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Natalie May 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Ah, hindsight is 20/20. I do not miss the days of parking lots and paid vs guest spaces. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a complex with adequate parking. There were plenty of guest spaces and each apartment was assigned two spots. More spaces or garage space could be purchased. There was one guest of someone in our building who didn’t feel he should have to park in ANY space and always parked on the lawn, even when guest spaces were open. Wish I’d had a postcard to give that guy!

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Amanda McLaughlin May 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I love the postcards, I’d love to win a pack, they’d be so handy!

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LadyPhoenix May 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Ok, the following needs to be done:
1. Contact the Manager. You should be REFUNDED and given a new spot for having to deal with this nonsense. You are getting ripped off for something you were supposed to be given, and that is obviously wrong. If the manager refuses, tell him you will take this to court. It is within your rights to do so.
2. Document the guy’s license plate number and report him to the cops. He is stealing.
3. Confront the girlfriend and tell her to educate her boyfriend about the rules and enforce them, or else you will report her too.

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lakey May 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Can you put this on the building manager by subtracting from your $130 per month for each day you aren’t allowed access to your parking space? For 5 times in one month you could subtract $26. Why should you have to pay for something you can’t use? Maybe this will encourage the building manager to fix this problem.

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sh May 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Could you ask the building manager to have something like this

http://ram-security-posts.co.uk/fold-down-paking-post/

installed? Essentially a post stuck in the parking space that folds down if the owner of the space has the key to do so.

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MichelleP May 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

While I like the postcards, I fail to see the difference between leaving that and a snippy note.

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admin May 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm

You cannot see the difference between the OP’s note in which she admits to using personal insults (“moron”) and a postcard which refers to rude behavior?

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Mlerin May 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

The postcards are awesome. I would like to be entered.

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Unsinkable May 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm

OP, since the car has dealer plates, is there any other clues on the car to see which dealership it is? If you can find out where he works, I suspect a call to his sales manager stating that you will never buy a car there (due to the behavior of his boorish a$$hat of an employee) and you will tell all your friends, might help change his behavior.

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LonelyHound May 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I had a similar problem at an apartment I rented in college. Per the contract you HAD to pay $30/month for a reserved parking space. There was one parking space per unit and all were clearly labeled. Since I had no car I let my boyfriend and a friend’s boyfriend park there when needed. My boyfriend got all access rights, but my friend’s boyfriend was only allowed to park there when my boyfriend was not there and he got to do so for free. One day my BF came to the apartment to find a car in my spot. I went to my friend’s apartment but neither she nor her boyfriend were there, meaning someone else had parked in my spot. I knocked on doors until I found the violator and had them remove their car. This happened a few more times even after telling the offender that it was a paid spot and he was an unwelcomed occupant. I also left a note. Finally, I got mad enough that the next time he parked there I told him he could stay there if he paid me. He laughed at me, of course. I then told him that my only recourse would be to call the police and file a complaint with the property management office against his friend, which could get his friend fined. His friend, now aware of the situation, promised to police his guest and not allow him to park in any of the reserved spots. It never happened again. I give credit to the tenant friend and thanked him profusely.

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Athena May 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I would like to win the cards, please.

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Marozia May 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I would love to win the postcards. They are fantastic. Need them at my workplace.
OP. Maybe you could get one of your friends either at the apartments or away from to place their car in your space. We had the same problem and we got a friend to put their car in our space. When we came home, friend left and we had space back.
Maybe building manager could mediate between you and DateGuy, if nothing else works.

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Lauren May 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I work with the public and would dearly love to win those cards. My personal favorite is when people come in a few days before a vacation and want glasses to wear for their vacation. At some stores this wouldnt be a problem, but my store handles EVERYTHING through an off-site laboratory. Complex items like sunglasses, progressive lenses and even progressive sunglasses usually take at least 10 days, frequently longer. Usually the conversation goes like this:

Customer: Oh, I’m wanting to buy some prescription sunglasses.

Me: Great! * I show them the sunglasses and explain the frame prices*

Customer: * picks out a pair they like* I want these.

Me: Okay. * we go over lens and tint options* So those should be ready in about a week to 10 days.

Customer: I’m going on vacation in three days, I want them ready before I go.

At this point many customers will simply stare at me, expecting me to magically be able to make their lenses, even when I explain that we do not have an in-house lab. One lady even demanded that I make the non-powered lenses in her own sunglasses progressive for her, which is simply not possible. For goodness sake, people, you knew you were going on vacation for quite some time. Plan ahead and buy what you need long before you plan to need it! Times like this I often find myself thinking the Ehell Mantra: A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

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starstruck May 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm

i am totally sending myself to ehell for this , but there are a couple of ways i would deal with it. i just cant see you letting this guy continue to take advantage of you, especially after you’ve paid for the spot. it would be like someone taking your seat on an airplane when you get up to go to the bathroom.
and who are we kidding , asking nicely isnt gonna make him stop parking there.we all know his type so all those post saying that are wrong.
first action- leave a polite note and speak to the building manager.
(if that doesn’t work), second action-wait for them to come home one night and take a picture of them. bring it to your building manager and tell him, this is the girl who has been parking in my spot. with her boyfriend. request the manager charge some of your parking bill, to HER. that should do the trick!
third action-finally, if that doesn’t work, simply slash his tires. just kidding! :)
fouth and final action- when they come back from a date you could meet them by the car and pretend to be dating him to . his girlfriend probably wouldn’t have him over anymore. problem solved

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Andrea May 1, 2013 at 7:40 pm

If the building manager is unable to stop this happening, ask him to install a “space blocker”. These are triangle metal things bolted to the ground, which can be lifted up and padlocked at a height which can’t be driven over.

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Lesley B May 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

This is probably illegal, but it worked for my husband, before we had met. He was living in an apartment and some guy kept parking in his spot. My husband took his plates off and pushed them through the letter slot in the rental office. He left a note to that effect on the truck’s windshield and told the rental manager what had happened. The guy had to go in to get his plates, and admit he was parking in a spot that was not his. He did not do it again. The rental office was closed at the time, so he had to wait quite a while before he could drive his truck again.
There was another car that parked in his spot repeatedly, so my husband jacked up the car and took a tire off. He took the tire to his apartment and wrote a note telling the driver where he could find his tire. Hubby then gave him a bit of a talking to about parking spaces (A verbal talking to, that is not code for a physical fight). This is definitely illegal, but the guy never did park in hubby’s spot again!

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Ripple May 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I live in a condo where each unit has one assigned parking space. There are several free spaces across the driveway from the reserved spaces for those people who have two cars or for guests. One time we had a very heavy snowfall. Each resident cleared their own space and, for those who had two spaces, they would clear their second space as well, but any additional free spaces were not cleared. It was like a working block party, with people helping one another finish clearing a space. One of the residents did not own a car and did not come out to clear her space, so the people on either side of her space dumped some of their snow in her space (not nice, but there is not a lot of area to dump snow and this was a lot of snow for this area). She also ran a hair-braiding business out of her unit. Two nights in a row, I came home from work and found a strange car in my reserved, personally cleared space. I had to park in one of the free spaces that had been cleared, but kept an eye out and moved my car as soon as my space was freed. The second night, I asked my neighbor, who was the building captain, how I could get my space freed. She knew who probably was parking in my spot, so she went to talk to the other resident. Evidently, the other resident felt that, since people dumped snow in her space, she had the right to tell her braiding clients to park in any unoccupied reserved space! My neighbor explained that no, she couldn’t do that, and she should have cleared her space in the first place. I don’t know who she thought would clear it, and if it wasn’t cleared anyway, even if no one had dumped extra snow in her space, where were her clients supposed to park?

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ItsyBitsy May 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Op, I feel for you. You are between a rock and a hard place.
Generally, I don’t agree with the victim having to make overtures to their aggressor but you have nothing to lose by apologising for the tone of your earlier note, outlining your situation and trying to appeal to the guy’s better nature. I suspect it will be futile but at least your conscience will be clear.

I would also explain to the building manager that the $130 dollars will no longer be forthcoming as long as the service is not available. Get him to do his job. That’s what he’s being paid for.

Oh, and start looking for a new apartment/parking spot.

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Jelaza May 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I’d love to win the cards!

It is possible that the suggestion to apologize for the nasty note may work – the guy may simply be self-absorbed and have a retaliatory nature rather than being a complete jerk and (badword) (which is yes, not a pair or positive traits, but not necessarily a complete writeoff). Even if it doesn’t get him to stop using your spot, if you offer an apology (for the namecalling and nastiness only, not for expecting your space to be available) at least you’ll know you did your best to de-escalate the escalation caused by the note.

As for the building manager, if it were me, I’d talk to him (in person if possible) to find out what can be done if your spot is taken, either by this guy or anyone else, in the future. And also let him know that you expect a discount or rebate for at least the one incident when he did jack-all to get the problem resolved.

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Simmi May 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I’m not going to be particularly helpful with the etiquette part, but I have got a way to get rid of him.

In Australia, we have huge hairy spiders called huntsmen. They’re not dangerous but they are huge and agile and can flatten themselves to slide under doors or through cracks in the windows. They also love trees and can fall out on a windy day onto a car parked underneath. They then hide in the engine until it gets too hot, when they go running across the windshield and scare the bejeepers out of you.

Solution:

Start talking to the neighbours about the spider boom in the nearby foliage. Mention it enough times that you’re sure it gets back to the boyfriend. Even approach him directly and ask him if he’s seen any or found any on/in the car.

Wait.

Find/buy a huge hairy spider and let it loose on the car.

Wait.

Repeat application if necessary.

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Kimstu May 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm

What I’d be tempted to do: Leave a note on the windshield saying “WOW!! I just walked out to my reserved parking space and found that someone has very generously given me a car! Thanks very much, whoever you are, you’re amazing!”

Then I’d block the trespassing car in or render it undrivable in some other way so that the “space borrower” would have to find me in order to be able to leave. I would look very disappointed when they explained that they hadn’t actually intended to give me their car.

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I am the OP May 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I just moved here three months ago so I have a lot of time to go on my lease, and plan to move out of state when it’s up.

Many have asked why I couldn’t call another tow company – the lot owners have a contract with a specific company (common in my city) and no one else will tow.

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Jade May 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

We had a problem where I work. I came out in the evening to find that someone had parked across the driveway of our garage in such a way that none of the cars could get out. The procedure in this case is that you call the council, they show up and ticket the car and then they call the police who can then call the tow truck. As it was now 6pm and the council offices were closed I skipped the first step and called the police directly. They were marvellous, sent a car out asap and put a ticket on the offending vehicle. Generally they try to contact the owner, but in this case the person was not picking up their phone. So they helped me by guiding my car out of the carpark (by driving illegally down the sidewalk and using someone elses driveway) and promised to come back in the morning.

They arrived the next morning and this time it was two strong young male policemen who effectively said ‘Right, this is ridiculous’ rolled up their sleeves and pushed the car out of our driveway and across the street into a parking space. I got a call later from the original policewomen who came around saying to call them if I saw the driver because apparently they had their license suspended and were not meant to be driving, but when I came out that evening the car and driver were long gone.

I think it’s best not to engage these people, one there are some (and this guy was obviously one of them) who will go out of their way to do something if they know you find it annoying, and two, damaging the car in any way is right out because it leaves you vulnerable to being forced to pay for repairs and more importantly these kind of people have a nasty habit of retaliating. Maybe you shouldn’t have left the note, but I can entirely sympathize with your frustration. At any rate, done is done and you can’t change what happened, you can only try to improve relations (or hope the girlfriend wises up and dumps him!)

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M May 2, 2013 at 5:05 am

Get in touch w the tow company. Explain the situation and ask if they’ll help you out by sending a truck ASAP the next time. If they can’t tow the car immediately, ask if they can send someone to boot the car to prevent the guy from escaping in the hour or so before the tow truck arrives.

Also talk to the property manager about 1) getting a refund due to his unwillingness to help you use your spot (him being out of town shouldn’t have prevented him from calling the tow company… But phrase this all more elegantly so it’s more about you not having to pay for something your neighbors are using) and 2) talk to him about identifying and reprimanding the neighbor.

If none of this works, I’d write a nice note explaining the situation. I’d include that I’m sure who is parking in my space and ask for help identifying the driver of the car. (Be careful to not sound too snarky or you’ll get a bad reputation. Keep it in terms of “I’m at a loss” and “I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t an issue of safety for me.”) Print the note and put it in every mailbox in your community. A little public shaming may encourage the girlfriend to get her boyfriend in line.

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Karen May 2, 2013 at 5:30 am

I don’t really feel that you owe the interloper any courtesy. He shouldn’t park in your space, especially in an area where spaces are bought and paid for and ESPECIALLY after you have spoken to him.
I would probably just park behind him next time. “Oh you can’t get out now? Isn’t that inconvenient. About as inconvenient as me not being able to park in my legitimate space.” Chances are he will never park there again.

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Jo-Ann May 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

I, too, think the postcards are as rude as a handwritten note. When someone is as obnoxious as this guy is, nothing will work except someone in authority making it clear to him that he can’t park in a paid for spot. His type feeds off of confrontation. I’d find his girlfriend’s apartment number (do not approach her–it would just be confrontational and useless), and report her number to management and take it from there. She has a responsibility to make sure her guests do not park in other residents’ parking spots. But don’t give up–you cannot be the first and last person in this building experiencing this problem.

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Rap May 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

I’d be contacting the manager and explaining that if I have to pay for the parking spot then someone in management needs to explain to the other tenant that she’ll be fined every time her guest is found to be using reserved parking. You’re paying for the spot, end of story. If the guest issue is constant enough that its causing this kind of problem, then the building manager needs to deal with it. I imagine after a few 50 dollar fines, the girlfriend in question will convince her boyfriend that she’s ok walking a few steps.

As for the notes – I’ll be honest, I don’t see much difference between calling someone a moron and telling them they are going to hell, even just etiquetehell. If they are the sort to get incensed and retalitory, both types of notes will get them going.

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Ergala May 2, 2013 at 8:43 am

This seems to be a common occurance when parking is assigned. Our old place this happened during winter. The bad thing is there are winter parking bans so you can’t park on the street or in public parking after 10 pm. If you do you are either towed or issued a ticket. Well one of our neighbor’s had a friend staying for a week or so in Feb. That month we had an awful blizzard that pretty much shut down the town except for town and state workers. The friend decided to park in OUR spot. Guess where we had to park….yup public parking. My husband spoke to the building manager and she did call the tow company but they never showed up. She even knocked on their door and they refused to answer it. We got parking tickets because we had to park in public parking during the parking ban. We had absolutely no other choice.

I will say it got ugly because I had just had surgery so this was NOT something I needed to deal with, neither did my husband. When my husband finally ran into them in the hallway he presented them with the tickets and said they could pay them at such and such location. They laughed at him and said it wasn’t their problem. So he said fine, he’d just file a theft report since we were PAYING for that spot and the friend was STEALING it. Kid still refused to move the car….one of our neighbors went out and PUSHED the car out of the spot into public parking 10 feet away.

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Ergala May 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

Oh and a side note….at another place we had assigned parking as well. Someone kept parking in our spot during the day when we weren’t home. Well apparently they had a nasty oil leak and it was ruining the pavement. Guess who got billed for it….yup….us. Oh and the kicker, we were informed we could no longer park on the property due to the leak since maintenance said it was from OUR car. So now not only did we lose our spot we also had to park down the road and walk to our condo. Not a lot of fun with groceries and a child. Even when we presented them with a report from our mechanic stating we did not have any leaks they didn’t care. We were assigned that spot therefore it was our responsibility.

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Kay L May 2, 2013 at 10:06 am

In this case, since the guy is using dealer plates, I would go to his boss.

It’s doubtful that the OPs space is the only one he is parking in illegally. He’s probably thinking that since he is in a different car all the time that no one will be able to detect a pattern.

Failing that, block him in and call the manager for a tow and make sure he gets towed away.

The only thing that gets through to some people are harsh consequences. He doesn’t care that he inonveniences you but he will care a lot if he is inconvenienced!

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NostalgicGal May 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

Many moons ago we lived in an apartment complex that had assigned parking, and yes we paid for that slot, and we owned a pickup.

Our issue was all the lazy(keysters) that decided the back of our pickup was the dumpster, which was about another 20 feet away, and would toss their trash in the back of our pickup with the dumpster in plain sight. It would be go through the trash, find something with the offender’s name on it, go to that unit, hand them their begrimed whatever with their name and address and suggest they get their trash out of the back of our pickup NOW. A few were like ‘slam’ door, so we’d go to the manager’s apt next with it. Within an hour we’d have the crap cleaned up, every time. It was never the same one, and usually a BF of the GF living in the apt that would get a lazy streak….

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AMC May 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

I like Lady Phoenix’s suggestion. I think you should seek a refund since parking is not being sufficiently enforced. Continue to document every incident and ask for it to be towed. Parking tickets and impound fees stack up pretty quick.

When I lived in an apartment complex a few years back, there was a ‘NO PARKING’ zone directly in front of the entrance to my building. It was kept there not only for the convenience of the residents so they could get in and out of the building easily, but also for loading/unloading and for firetrucks or ambulances that may need to park there in case of emergency. Despite it being clearly marked, people still sometimes parked there. This annoyed the heck out of me, but I ignored it if it was just a single incident. However, when the same car sat in that spot for a week straight, I had enough and reported it to the management office. It was gone shortly after and never returned.

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Lacey May 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

If you can get the building manager to actually help you, have him come out and wait by the car with you next time. Have him confront the girlfriend and tell her that she’s getting a warning and could be faced with eviction the next time she has her visitor park in another resident’s space. She’s the one you have to deal with, not him. He faces no repercussions, but she’s a resident of the building and could get kicked out or at least fined for her boyfriend’s behaviour. If the building manager won’t wait with you, I like the picture idea. But yeah, you have to focus on her, because the jerk boyfriend knows you can’t do anything to him.

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Sansa May 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

OP- First, continue to document all the times Date Guy is parked in your space. Go to the building manager again. If building manager continues to not be helpful, call the police. He is basically stealing.

You could try doing as others suggested and apologize for the note and try to appeal to Date Guy’s nice side, but he probably doesn’t have one since he knows what he is doing is wrong and an inconvenience to you, yet continues to do it. It doesn’t matter if he’s only parked there for 5 minutes or 45 minutes. You PAY for that space and it should be available to YOU 24/7/365.

Also, the suggestion by @Unsinkable (comment #62) is very good. Call the dealership, explain what is happening, that you have spoken to him to no avail and that since their name is on the car, it make their company look bad.

Our neighbors have very loud, long parties in their backyard sometimes. Their party-goers used to park on our LAWN~ just pull over the curb right in our front yard. We went over and asked them twice to tell their friends to not park on our lawn. (We would get brown spots and dead patches where oil or fluid had leak) It continued to happen. We called the police several times about their party-goers parking on our lawn and the loud music late into the night (2 am or even later). The police would eventually come after I would repeatedly call when it had been 2 hours since the original call and they still had not made it to the scene. The parking and loudness continued.

On New Year’s Eve, I finally had enough. They were being so loud, cars parked in the street, in our yard, in our driveway. Kids running everywhere, in the street, in people’s yards, just basically running wild, screaming and hollering I went inside and got a 400 shot firecracker box. I found a clear spot in the middle of the street, put the box down, lit the fuse and stood in the fence, in the backyard of my house and watched the mayhem. Once they started going off and continued, I guess people got the message because by the time it shot off the last row of firecrackers, there were no more cars in my yard, no more kids running through my yard screaming and no more loud music.

Bad form, yes but when you ask nicely and then get the police involved and it continues, you get frustrated and fight back.

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Jay May 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

If he works at a car dealership, he may have an awful hard time explaining to his boss why the car gets towed.. So i’d keep trying to get it towed.

Better if you can figure out which dealership.. often they have license plate holders that advertise themselves.

“Hi.. you have an employee (describe) who is parking your vehicles illegally, usually in my leased spot, on a regular basis. Many people who live in my building are now getting upset with him, and while I’ve asked them not to take rash action, I think you’d prefer not to find out that your cars keep getting keyed or worse, so please have a talk with him. Thanks!”

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Helen May 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

I remember this all too well. I used to live in an apartment complex in a college town. I paid $125/month for an assigned parking space. At least one night a week, I would come home from work to find a car in my parking space. Usually, it was someone’s parent who couldn’t park on the street, so opted for the lot. It was really frustrating. After a few months, I terminated my parking agreement and went with street parking (which was restricted to residents of the town).

I was really happy to move from that area! If you confronted someone about parking in your space (ever so politely), they would harp on about the ridiculousness of the residency restriction for street parking and act like it was your fault. I would politely direct them to a pay lot across the street, and they would berate me for wanting them to pay! What did they think I was doing to get that spot?!?

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Shalamar May 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm

This is only somewhat related, but I used to park in a city-owned parking lot that was close to my work. I paid a monthly fee to park in Spot #123. I didn’t use the spot for several months, because I was able to use a friend’s spot that was right outside my building. I still kept paying for Spot #123, however. When my friend’s spot was no longer available, I went back to #123 and parked there. At the end of the day, I found a very angry note on my windshield that basically said “How dare you park in MY spot? Do it again and I’ll have you towed!” The note-writer had left her license plate number as a signature, so I wrote on the back of the paper “Actually, this is my spot. I pay for it. Check with the City of you don’t believe me. Yours truly, License Plate # ABC 456.” That was the end of that. :)

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JamieC0403 May 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm

My sister used to live a block or two from the county fairground and every time there was a fair, concert or festival she would have people parking in her driveway rather than pay for parking (which was always less than $5, so not expensive). He husband and one of his friends would spend the day pushing cars out of the drive way into the street and then calling the cops about a car blocking the street.

She had to work late one night when there was a concert and he wasn’t going to be home to push cars out of her spot, so they put their trash cans blocking the drive way. She came home to discover a car in the spot and the trash can knocked over and dented up.

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SJ May 3, 2013 at 3:09 am

When this happened to my husband, he parked directly behind the offending vehicle, and we went about our day. A bit later, the guy came out to get his car and was temporarily stuck in the stolen space until my husband felt it was convenient to move his car and let the offending car leave.

My husband tends to be more justice than mercy, but no one ever parked in our spot again.

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delislice May 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

While it is unfortunate that encounters so far have been ugly, this is not an etiquette question but a legal one. You pay $130 a month for that space, it is yours, he is trespassing.

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Jo May 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

You should just do what my old boss used to do…she had a reserved spot that clients would often take upon themselves to “borrow,” as she was often driving around to different sites. When she returned to our building and found her spot occupied, she would simply park behind the offender…and go into the building. Trust me, people found HER really quickly when they needed to leave, and since they were quite obviously in the wrong, it wasn’t as though they could fight with her. While a few different people did this while I worked there, I must say, it was never the SAME person twice. They learned.

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Kim May 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I suspect if the LW stops paying for the parking spot, or pays a reduced amount, the manager will give it away to someone else only too happy to pay the fee. I don’t think that option is viable when parking is restricted in a densely populated city.

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Rachel May 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

The postcards are cool, please enter me in the contest. Thanks!

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Ashley2 May 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

@Admin

Sorry this is a bit late on this story, but if you’re still accepting comments on this then I’d like to point out what I think is bothering some about the postcard.

The flames on the E-hell postcard have images of flames on them which may come across as just as aggressive as a snippy note. A little passive aggressive as well (the flames, not the card itself)

If this was already pointed out to you then I apologize, just wanted to shed some light on that.

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Emmal2000uk May 13, 2013 at 11:01 am

Hi

Those cards look great

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Michelle May 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I’m unclear on this, but since you are renting the spot, isn’t it considered your property? If so, then call the police and have them show up every time (non emergency number of course). I own my property, but if someone parks in my driveway that is considered trespassing and they can get arrested for it.

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