Monday, February 21, 2011

Neighbour Mailbag - The Vandals

Madraga writes:

I came across your blog while I was searching for ways to deal with neighbors that are "vandals". I just want to share my woes in the hopes that you'll have suggestions on how to deal with them.

I live in a subdivision. I have a neighbor that lives right across from my place who has always been greedy about parking. Their home is on a corner lot so the side I see directly across from my home is the right side of their house. We have a Homeowner's Association and there is an agreement that for houses that have corner lots, the homeowner may only choose one side as their designated guest parking spaces.

Unfortunately the association has not been that strict in the implementation of rules around here so my neighbor was parking their car in all available streets surrounding their home. They park their car directly across from my driveway so entering my garage is difficult. They also parked their cars on the cul de sac near my home which is at the back of their lot, so this over crowds the whole street, again making it difficult for me to enter and exit. In effect they are parking on all sides instead of choosing just one.

Whenever another car is parked in of their favorite spots they call security and ask that the spot be vacated. It's not like they don't have a garage. In fact, they have a 4 car garage. If you count their designated guest parking, you can park another 2. There have been discussions (well, more like heated arguments on the resolution of the parking situation) but they refuse to follow rules.

I mentioned to my neighbor that she may only choose 1 side of the street as her parking spot and that her practice of parking all over the streets surrounding her house is not allowed. She then said that she's choosing the side across from my home. I gave in since she obviously leaves the street in front of her home as free parking space. Apparently this was not good enough for her.

I had a party one time (probably a few months ago) and my cousin parked in the only available spot, which was near their front door. My neighbor left us no choice, they parked it all over the street making it impossible to find any other place to park but the vacant spot near their front door. Well, the vandals did what only vandals do... they scratched the side of my cousin's car with a key. I have a witness who saw the incident but a criminal case was never filed. They denied scratching the car. The association saw this as an opportunity to settle the issue and called in a lawyer to help in the settlement. It was then agreed that they were no longer allowed to park across from my house. Their designated guest parking will the on the street in front of their front door. They were also asked to not park their cars in the cul de sac area since that place is used as a driveway.

We never spoke to each other ever again, every now and then they'd violate the rules and park their cars in the cul de sac area but I never bother about it. They never tried to park across from my place again. I figured out a new way of parking my cars into my garage but once a car is parked from across of my house, the whole street will be clogged. It was the only way to fit my cars into my tiny garage.

I had another party the other day, the first since the date of the scratching incident, this time my guests parked across from my home. After the dinner, we discovered that my guest's car was also scratched. There were no witnesses this time. There may be doubt as to who really scratched the car but the only people who will have a motive to do it is them. The car came in perfect condition and my guest had to leave with giant scratches on their car. My guest did not park on her front door. He parked on my driveway. Apparently she's pissed that she lost the battle and is resorting to underhanded and cowardly tactics to win her battle.

I'll have my revenge soon... The next time this happens, I will definitely file a criminal action. How I wish I was a vandal as well. I could strip their car paint and slash their tires but I don't see the point in continuing the vicious cycle. I'm a lot of things but not a vandal. I guess the only solution is to wait and be ready for concrete evidence.

That's my stupid neighbor story.


Well Dear Readers, any advice to help deal with Madraga's vandal problem? I'm thinking shit-box car with some preexisting damage and a closed circuit video camera is all it would take to catch the vandals in the act. Then approach them with the evidence and/or involve the authorities.

The fact is that time and time again parking issues (from shared driveways to street parking) are one of the most common causes of conflict.


Anonymous said...

Here's an idea. Go to your neighbors car and if they have those door handles where they have to reach under, go get some dog poo (pick it up with a bag of course) and smear as much as you can underneath so that the next time those creeps go to open the car doors they will get a lovely little suprise. I have done this to some creeps before and it really works nicely... although if they get the feeling that it is you who did it they may retaliate further... damned if you do and damned if you dont.

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