Even Ivanka Trump Gets into Parking Feuds: Learn to Win this All-Too-Common Word Battle Here
Even the daughter of the nation's president encounters problems with neighborhood parking! A recent article published by Realtor.com narrates how Ivanka Trump has caused tensions among neighbors in the high-end suburb of Kalorama which she shares with fellow VIPs former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Reports indicate the neighbors' dissatisfaction about how security detail for the presidential daughter has cordoned off sections of the sidewalk (forcing pedestrians to dangerously walk on the street) and how "No Parking" signs appeared in front of neighbors homes adjacen to the Trump-Kushner residence.
After a ton of complaints and emails sent to city officials, the Secret Service has since backed off, but the issue as old as the invention of the automobile remains: how do you solve parking disputes with neighbors?
The eternal street parking dispute: What do homeowners actually own?
It led us to wonder: What kind of legal rights do homeowners have to the parking spots near, or even directly in front of, their own homes?
In an urban or suburban setting where the street outside the street is public property, the short answer is: not many. So the Trump security detail did indeed overstep its bounds.
"You cannot own parking spaces adjacent to your home that are located on a public street," explains Robert Pellegrini, an attorney and president of Pellegrini Keogh Law in Boston. "Sometimes, when talking about a condominium, a parking space may be included with the deed, but those spaces must be located on the condo's property, not on the public street."
Perhaps you've encountered a quandary like this in your own life. A neighbor—who's lived there for decades—claims the spots across from his house are exclusively for him and his guests.
"This is not based on anything legal; it's just tradition," he says. But in a purely legal sense, as long as the street is public, the parking spots on it are actually open on a first-come, first-serve basis.
What should you do if a dispute arises?
All of which means that if your neighbors give you grief about how the spot in front of their house is theirs and theirs alone, this "claim" won't stand up in court.
If your dispute becomes a problem, there are a number of steps you can take to resolve it. First, establish who actually owns the area outside their house by asking for paperwork as proof.
"Nicely request to see the document that is the basis for their ownership," says Jo Benson Fogel, an attorney in Maryland. "You can also call the public safety administration that is responsible for maintenance of the roadway and find out if they have any legal designations of the spaces outside your neighbor's house."
Pellegrini recommends involving city officials early on. "If your neighbor insists they own public property, the city might be willing to straighten the neighbor out, as far as the law is concerned," he says.
And just in case things get ornery, document all of your communication with your neighbor over the dispute, including written notices, emails, or text messages. Hopefully things can be settled amicably. But let's face it: Sometimes good parking spots make people do bad things.