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Subject: Easement on Private Driveway
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EricaS2
(New York)

Posts:3


11/12/2018 8:03 PM  
Hi,

I live in Queens, NYC and we are trying to form an HOA to deal with issues that are upsetting the homeowners in the area. One of the biggest problems we have is not enough parking, which results in driveways being blocked on a consistent and regular basis.

The problem is there is a homeowner that has an easement on the private driveway(to be shared with another homeowner as the first homeowner's driveway is the only way that the second homeowner can get their cars out)in which the other homeowner cannot park in, stand in or block said driveway at any time.

They have no problems with each other and there have been no issues with the driveway.

Enter homeowner number 3, who just purchased a house two doors away from homeowner number 1 about three weeks ago but homeowner 3 has no driveway at all and has no rights to park his vehicle(s)in any space on the block except for a legal space(which is the very coveted and almost impossible to find NYC street parking).

Homeowner 1 has just filed a complaint a half hour ago that homeowner 3 keeps blocking the driveway with the easement on it while he is performing construction(without a permit - but that's another story)and having materials/supplies delivered to his home.

Homeowner 1 spoke to homeowner 3 about this multiple times over the last week alone and yet he keeps parking his service vehicles across the base of homeowner 1's driveway/allowing other vehicles to do it too with no regard for what homeowner 1 told him. He indicated that he understood(I believe that they are Mexican but seemed to understand English, so there is no language barrier).

Remember, he lives TWO doors away from Homeowner 1/2's driveway and he seems not to understand why homeowners 1 and 2 keep complaining at him(They've confronted him while the vehicles are still parked across the base of the driveway and took pictures for proof).

Now, what is the best way to handle this(ie. a letter? Send the NYPD - most good homeowners are part of the community affairs meetings with the NYPD which furnishes Neighborhood Coordination Officers(NCOs)that can be called to handle community issues for non-emergency situations such as loud parties, blocked driveways, etc.

Can you imagine having to get out of your backyard and someone has parked a car/truck across the bottom of the driveway - trapping you - and they are not in the car or nearby at all?

No one has time for this and definitely, they should not have to go through this when the driveway should not be blocked ever. We can already tell that homeowner 3 is going to be a nightmare because he is already doing too many things wrong and he JUST started coming around to do work on the house before they move in.

Corona, which is the next neighborhood over from ours is a slum ghetto and East Elmhurst(on our block)is right at cutoff between the two neighborhoods, so we get a lot of issues in the block such as bad homeowners or worse, former renters who have never owned a home before, coming into the area with a lot of the stuff I named below.

They really are clueless at how to be good homeowners and good neighbors. This is an established neighborhood, one in which my own family has lived in our house for 71 years. I am the third generation. Most others have 30-50 years here and we have had an influx of 'new' people coming to the country and buying up homes and simply being ignorant on how to behave.

We already have a civil lawsuit against one really out of control family on the block(loud parties, blocking driveways because they've got four cars, public urination, illegally burning trash, littering, and the list goes on and on) Any advice? Thanks!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8413


11/12/2018 8:28 PM  
Not sure what a HOA would accomplish for you. It's not an enforcement group. They are very limited on how they can implement punishments for failing to follow the "rules". Their purpose is to keep homes attractive to potential homeowners by having restrictions in place.

I would say call the police or have a contract with a towing agency. Didn't Madonna just go through a similar situation in NYC with her townhome with a parking space? Remember hearing a story that is similar to yours with her. Supposedly a neighbor was parking in front where there was no parking. Blocking the private entrance. You may find out about that story and see what was done in that case.

It's most likely very different there in NYC with the parking situation. So just recommending to look at a story I saw in NYC that dealt with something similar.

Former HOA President
EricaS2
(New York)

Posts:3


11/12/2018 8:53 PM  
Thanks for the reply. I will check that out. We may just send the NYPD there if it happens again and we get another complaint from the homeowners.

Thanks!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8413


11/12/2018 9:03 PM  
Can they post private driveway?

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3301


11/13/2018 5:24 AM  
As you said, NYC has many ways to solve this that other cities do not have. But I will say this.... if I drove out of my driveway and someone was blocking it repetitively, I would call tow truck.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:739


11/13/2018 5:30 AM  
Get Alec Baldwin to settle this parking beef for you, Otherwise call NYPD traffic division.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8561


11/13/2018 8:59 AM  
Not an HOA issue.
TimM11


Posts:287


11/13/2018 9:11 AM  
Forming an HOA? Heck no; I'd be cashing out and moving, in light of recent developments in your area. Get ready for the gold rush.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1429


11/13/2018 12:38 PM  
An HOA is normally created by covenants/deed restrictions on the property. This is normally done when the developer creates a subdivision. If you create an HOA now, it would be voluntary, you can't force others to become members.

I agree with others that this would not be an HOA issue unless the streets where owned by the association. Since they are city streets your best enforcement methods will be via civil action (which you are already doing apparently) and the municipal authorities. According to this page:
https://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1217/vehicle-blocking-driveway-complaint

you can call the police to write a ticket, once a car is ticketed you can call a towing company to tow the car at the owner's expense. I would think that after being towed a couple of times they will be more careful.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
EricaS2
(New York)

Posts:3


11/13/2018 1:51 PM  
Thanks for all the great advice everyone. We are in the process of getting the homeowner to get a detailed copy of the easement on the driveway from the Department of Buildings. We advised them not to say anything else to the homeowner since we are now working with the complaint. I am planning to address him myself. Our block association consists of a Block Captain for each block that homeowners can file anonymous complaints to and we work with the NYPD or other city offices to help resolve the issue. I am the BC for my block and I have personally seen this person blocking their driveway, so I knew that it was a matter of time before homeowners 1 and 2 complained. And they have a right to, so. Hopefully, we will get it straight.
I am actually hoping to leave this area soon, myself, but my Mom is having issues with leaving since she's been here since she was 4. She's now 75! I understand. It's a lot of work to deal with bad homeowners and neighbors that just don't want to do right. I will post later with results.

Thanks again!

JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4168


11/13/2018 8:50 PM  
No you do not want to form an HOA. You just want to deal with the NYPD regarding individual property rights. If anyone is illegally blocking any driveway then NYPD can have their vehicle towed ... the same if the vehicle is potentially illegally parked on “private property”. They get their vehicle towed enough and pay big $$$ ... guess what ... they will stop violating.
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