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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    2

    Default Neighbor Keeps Blocking / Obstructing Driveway

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New York City

    We purchased a house in Queens from my in-laws. While they were living here the neighbors constantly blocked the driveway and my in-laws had to honk to get in or out of their own driveway, I spoke to my in-laws and told them it was a bad habit but it wasn't my home and unfortunately my advice fell on deaf ears and my father in law "didn't want any problems with the neighbors because he had no problem with it".

    Fast forward years later and I wound up buying the home from them.
    We don't have a garage but we have a driveway and its attached to my neighbors driveway which leads to their huge yard and 2.5 car indoor garage (we're separated by a fence in the middle of the 2 driveways).

    When I purchased the house I politely went and spoke to the owner of the home next door and asked them to tell all of his tenants to please stop blocking the driveway or I will have them ticketed, honking wasn't going to be an option at all especially when theirs a hydrants right by their home, it's just rude and disrespectful and theirs no need to block us when theirs an empty hydrant and they are "not going to be long". I don't want to be that person who's always honking to get in or out and then waiting in the rain for someone to finally come downstairs after hearing me honk for over 10 minutes nor will I ring their bell to ask them to move their car so I can leave or enter my property.
    The owner got pretty verbally rough about it and denied any wrong doing by himself or any of his tenants and always seems to try to spin it and say that I am the problem and everything bothers me and I don't want to be human with my neighbors and have a heart and share a little... he's also accused me of being a racist many times and lied to his tenants & The landscaper I used to use & told them that was a flat out racist & I threatened to call ICE on all of them which is totally untrue in fact me and the owner are the same race.

    In the last few years I've looked into buying car skates to move cars that block my driveway onto a hydrant but the wife didn't agree with that Idea and apparently neither does the precinct when I've spoken to them about my options. So I've had to annoy my local precinct with numerous 311 complaints and numerous calls to have tons of cars legally ticketed and legally towed in order for the neighbors to learn to stop blocking the driveway.

    ***Side note:
    You cannot tow any car in NYC without the NYPD putting a ticket on it first. NYPD does not consider a blocked driveway a priority and they have "up to 8 hrs to respond to the complaint" I've waited a full 24+ hrs more than once to have them send a unit over and I have the time stamps from submitting the ticket to the time that they actually closed out the ticket and issued a parking ticket so that I can have the vehicle towed. I've been forced to take a cab to work 2 times in the last year alone not counting prior to 2019.

    So things got quiet for a little while they all stood off of my driveway and things were good we even started waving at each other again... but now they decided to start playing a new game of parking their own cars in front of the home bumper to bumper on the street so that 1 car fits perfectly blocking Their empty driveway and inching up perfectly to my driveways property line to hinder my entrance and exiting of my driveway. This becomes an even bigger issue when my neighbors across the street are parked in front of their own home and I can't make the turn to get in or out of our driveway.

    As of today being that they parked perfectly on my property line I decided to do the same and park 1 inch off of his bumper to force him to knock in the morning.
    Honestly I'm tired of the games I've been nothing but nice about it, They will move cars that are parked in legal spots to now come and block their driveway to inconvenience me.

    The owner next door converted a 2 family home to now have multiple apartments plus an unknown amount of illegal basement apartments.
    I checked local laws & found out that in the city of New York it's perfectly legal for an owner of up to a 2 family home to block their own driveway.
    However it's illegal for anyone including the owner of a 3+ family residence to block their own driveway.

    I'm tired of it I want to go the legal route. Selling & moving isn't really an option right now for us.
    What are my legal options and whats the best way for me to battle this one ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Neighbor Keeps Blocking / Obstructing Driveway

    If they are illegally blocking you, you call the police and get it towed. If they are not illegally blocking you, then there is nothing for you to do. I’m not sure what your property line has to do with anything. You don’t control the street in front of your property. It’s fair game for anybody.

    If you believe they are using the home beyond it’s permitted use, report it. As it stands, since it is legally recognized as a 2 family unit, it is not illegal for them to block their drive. Illegally using it as a 3 Unit does not make it a 3 unit building and that means the rule regarding blocking the drive of a 3 unit building doesn’t apply.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,783

    Default Re: Neighbor Keeps Blocking / Obstructing Driveway

    Quote Quoting saint72
    View Post


    I'm tired of it I want to go the legal route. Selling & moving isn't really an option right now for us.
    What are my legal options and whats the best way for me to battle this one ?
    Yeah, I remember all those parking issues with neighbors when I rented an apartment in a two family dwelling in the Bronx.

    As long as the neighbors are parking up to your property line and not over it, you can't do anything about it. If you continue the tit for tat game of parking an inch from their bumper it's going to escalate to the point that your car gets damaged and you won't be able to prove who did it and the police will do nothing.

    If you are having trouble getting in and out of your driveway I suggest you learn to back in and then drive out forward. Or get a smaller car that's more maneuverable.

    I learned a long time ago that you don't win against inconsiderate neighbors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Neighbor Keeps Blocking / Obstructing Driveway

    Sorry I didn't clarify the house was originally a 2 family and now has over 4 legal units (making it a multiple dwelling) that I know of and an unknown amount of illegal apartments.
    The tenants are told not to open to buildings department. They have over 18 violations currently open on the property
    I know for sure the house has over 6 families living in it.
    How does the law of not parking in front of an over a 3 unit work ?
    PD doesn't seem to want to do much these days even when I'm fully blocked.
    Do I have any legal route I can go ?
    I tried talking to the owner this morning and again he just became very disrespectful and in my face about the issue saying he can do what he wants because he has enough people under his thumb.
    I'm not one of them and I think his abuse of the system needs to stop. The majority of our problems are coming from his illegal conversions on the home and him over congesting the area.
    Is there a limit as to how many apartments one can add onto their home on a residential street? I know every other home in the area serves a Max of 2-3 families.
    Is their a code in buildings I can look up to see what the laws are in regards to what max each house can build up to ?

    I'm Currently in the process of putting up cameras but the new game of today while the whole block was completely empty he put both of his cars exactly up to my driveway lines with not an inch more, just to keep it legal. So I guess now I'll be installing steel bumper guards as well. The entire block is empty and this is what they choose to do. This person defines the word scumbag, I know their has to be something i can do legally.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,783

    Default Re: Neighbor Keeps Blocking / Obstructing Driveway

    I know their has to be something i can do legally.
    Sorry, but short of a private nuisance lawsuit (google it) there isn't anything you can do about scumbag neighbors except sell out and move. I had to do that a few decades ago when I lived next door to scumbag neighbors.

    A lawsuit will require a lawyer who will charge you thousands. The scumbag will thumb his nose at court orders and come back and make your life even more miserable.

    Is their a code in buildings I can look up to see what the laws are in regards to what max each house can build up to ?
    You can call your city's building department for a code reference. But why bother. You already know "the authorities" aren't going to do anything. 18 violations pending and nothing is happening.

    I know every other home in the area serves a Max of 2-3 families.
    Just like my old neighborhood in the Bronx. 2 and 3 family homes so close together that there was room for only one car between the driveways. A real nightmare with alternate side of the street parking every other day of the week.

    I'm sorry I don't have better advice for you. Often, the best solution to a scumbag neighbor is to move, if that's even remotely an option.

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