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  #1  
Old 08.01.2008, 08:00
5AVeci
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Someone at my parking place

Hello,
I don't really know much about Swiss social rules thus I'd like to seek an advice. For some time I'm not regularly using my parking place (paid, numbered, open-air parking place just by my apartment, with separate rental contract). I have noticed that from time to time someone parks his/hers car on my place.

Do you have advice on dealing with such individuals? So far I have tried putting notes on the windscreen and it helped. But if I happen to encounter someone more arrogant, I'll likely have to resort to other means of solving the problem. Two things that came to my mind are:
- building administration
- the police

This can be problematic, because even if I don't use the place on regular basis, sometimes my friends visit me, and the parking becomes handy. Someone parking there is stealing both my money (not paying for the parking) and time (in case I need the place and it's occupied).
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Old 08.01.2008, 08:08
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Re: Someone at my parking place

First point of contact is the building administration.

Is there a sign indicating that it is a reserved, named parking place? Sometimes these parking places (depending on how they are planned) have a drop-down pole that can prevent someone other than the owner parking there.

I don't know how busy the Swiss police are, where I'm from they are too busy being shot at to worry about parking places.

Ask the verwaltung (who you rent your space from) or the building admin what they can do about it. Stealing your place is very un-Swiss, but at the same time very French.
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Old 08.01.2008, 08:12
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Re: Someone at my parking place

Thank you for the information.
Unfortunately this car park does not have the drop-down poles, nor the special indications that it is reserved (apart from the parking place number).

If the problem repeats itself I'll speak with the administration. And you might be right about the French, this is the Genève area...
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Old 08.01.2008, 08:14
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Re: Someone at my parking place

Tell them to put up a Reserved sign.
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  #5  
Old 08.01.2008, 08:42
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Re: Someone at my parking place

Apparently there's some sort of bill / charge you can place on the car, much like a traffic warden can, and that person is effectively fined by you. (A friend of mine tried parking in someone else's place a while ago and received one of these fines). As you have their registration number, this can be tracked if they don't pay. Unfortunately I have no links or further info; does anyone else know of this system?
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Old 08.01.2008, 08:52
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Re: Someone at my parking place

Actually the solution is very simple. Your space is marked as private and the fact that it is probably marked in yellow means that it is obvious to everyone that it is private. You are perfectly within your rights to call a tow-company. When the tow company arrives they will ask you to identify yourself and possibly provide some kind of proof that this is your car space. If they are satisfied, they will tow the car.

I've seen people stealing car spaces on many occasions, and a friend of mine who owns those spaces has to constantly threaten people (sometimes repeat offenders) with towing. In some cases she's had to stand there with the phone in her hand, dialling the tow company before people move their cars.

My advice would be to write a little note (as you say you've already done). If someone has a need and you don't use it that often, consider asking them to make a small donation to your costs if they want to use it occasionally. However, if you feel that people are blatantly abusing you by repeatedly parking there, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and have them towed.

Being towed costs 400 francs and about an hour worth of messing around (for the person who comes back to find their car missing). I know because it has happened to me. When visiting a building I had permission from someone who said that a space belonged to him to park there for the evening. When I came back my car was gone. The wife of the guy had called the tow company, and when it was pointed out to her that her husband had given permission said that she was the sole owner of the space and denied all knowledge - knowing that if she admitted to it I could have recovered the 400 francs from her.
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Old 08.01.2008, 09:12
5AVeci
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Re: Someone at my parking place

I think that these situations are always tricky... People are sometimes vengeful creatures. I don't think that the car park is under surveillance, and it is not that unlikely that the person would like to retaliate anonymously by applying some 'mysterious' scratches to my car during the night.

Thank you all for the advice. For now I'll stay with the notes, and ask the administration. If some persistent perpetrator appears, then I'll fall back to the towing company.
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Old 08.01.2008, 09:15
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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I know because it has happened to me. When visiting a building I had permission from someone who said that a space belonged to him to park there for the evening. When I came back my car was gone. The wife of the guy had called the tow company, and when it was pointed out to her that her husband had given permission said that she was the sole owner of the space and denied all knowledge - knowing that if she admitted to it I could have recovered the 400 francs from her.
Just wow... what an unpleasant surprise at the end of an evening! Certainly nothing I'd expect from a married couple!

5AVeci, you say there is no special indication except the number on the parking place - Certainly there's a sign somewhere nearby with text on it, or a tow-car on it, or simply a blue-red no parking sign?
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Old 08.01.2008, 09:20
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Re: Someone at my parking place

The car park is separated from the street with the hedge. There is one unrestricted entrance. The parking lines are yellow, each parking space has number. I'm pretty sure that there is some kind of sign at the entrance - but I can't be sure till I'll check it in the evening.
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Old 08.01.2008, 09:48
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Re: Someone at my parking place

The solution is easy, call the tow company or denounce it to the police, they'll be happy to fine the offender.

The problem is as you said, they can retaliate scratching your car.

I had my car scratched by some guy when we arrived almost together to a free parking slot in Zürich on a friday night, I was there with my light blinking waiting for the parked car to free the place and he arrived and wanted to park from the other side of the street.

I told him that I had the right to do it as I was there first and I was on the right side of the street ( he would have to make an u-turn to park on the slot ) , but he was not pleased and drove away cursing ...

next day I noticed the scratch. And as you know here repaint your car is expensive, car painters say allways that it is impossible to do a retouch, they have to repaint he whole piece costing at least 500 CHF.
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Old 08.01.2008, 10:12
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Re: Someone at my parking place

I find that a simple parking cone can be a very effective detterent - most students should be able to sort you out

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Old 08.01.2008, 10:18
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Re: Someone at my parking place

I had the same problem with my parking space in Geneva, and the regie (renting company, sorry dont know what this is in German) told me to call a tow company and have the car removed.

I was hesitant at doing this as I feared that the car owner would just take it out on my car when I wasnt around, or even worse wait for me and give me a good kicking. The regie finally resolved the issule (long story, but the result was that regie asigned me another parking space) but I felt at the time that it was a no win situation.

I know of people who have resolved similar situations by letting down the tyres on the offending cars, and even using evostick to glue an A4 letter of complaint to the windscreen of the offending car. It worked for them, but I'm not sure that I would recomend going down that road.
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Old 08.01.2008, 10:31
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Re: Someone at my parking place

If possible, parking behind the wrongly parked car and leaving a note where they can find you, thus blocking it from leaving tend to work very well.
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Old 08.01.2008, 10:47
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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If possible, parking behind the wrongly parked car and leaving a note where they can find you, thus blocking it from leaving tend to work very well.
Be careful there. I've been told that the police can come and give you a ticket for illegal parking in such situations.
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Old 08.01.2008, 11:08
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Re: Someone at my parking place

That's why I wrote "if possible" :-) You have to adjust to the circumstances of course but if it is on private ground, e.g. a private parking lot or garage there isn't much the police can say about it.

But you're right, if you block and then end up "parking" on the street or the side walk - bad idea!

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Be careful there. I've been told that the police can come and give you a ticket for illegal parking in such situations.
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Old 08.01.2008, 11:43
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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I know of people who have resolved similar situations by letting down the tyres on the offending cars, and even using evostick to glue an A4 letter of complaint to the windscreen of the offending car. It worked for them, but I'm not sure that I would recomend going down that road.
And if you glue this warning to your own car too, the parking offenders will never know which car to key.
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Old 08.01.2008, 16:08
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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Hello,
I don't really know much about Swiss social rules thus I'd like to seek an advice. For some time I'm not regularly using my parking place (paid, numbered, open-air parking place just by my apartment, with separate rental contract). I have noticed that from time to time someone parks his/hers car on my place.

Do you have advice on dealing with such individuals? So far I have tried putting notes on the windscreen and it helped. But if I happen to encounter someone more arrogant, I'll likely have to resort to other means of solving the problem. Two things that came to my mind are:
- building administration
- the police

This can be problematic, because even if I don't use the place on regular basis, sometimes my friends visit me, and the parking becomes handy. Someone parking there is stealing both my money (not paying for the parking) and time (in case I need the place and it's occupied).
Forget about the police, they are useless. I would let the air out of all four tyres.
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Old 08.01.2008, 16:27
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Re: Someone at my parking place

So is it the same car all the time? Or are people just using the spot for an hour or two? You can't really blame someone for using an empty spot for a bit if there are no others available.

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Hello,
I don't really know much about Swiss social rules thus I'd like to seek an advice. For some time I'm not regularly using my parking place (paid, numbered, open-air parking place just by my apartment, with separate rental contract). I have noticed that from time to time someone parks his/hers car on my place.

Do you have advice on dealing with such individuals? So far I have tried putting notes on the windscreen and it helped. But if I happen to encounter someone more arrogant, I'll likely have to resort to other means of solving the problem. Two things that came to my mind are:
- building administration
- the police

This can be problematic, because even if I don't use the place on regular basis, sometimes my friends visit me, and the parking becomes handy. Someone parking there is stealing both my money (not paying for the parking) and time (in case I need the place and it's occupied).
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Old 08.01.2008, 16:57
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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Forget about the police, they are useless. I would let the air out of all four tyres.
Do that and you might find out if they really are useless. Very bad advice in my opinion.
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Old 08.01.2008, 17:01
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Re: Someone at my parking place

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So is it the same car all the time? Or are people just using the spot for an hour or two? You can't really blame someone for using an empty spot for a bit if there are no others available.
Of course you can blame them when you have paid money to rent the space for your exclusive use. If I am paying 100chf or possibly a lot more) a month, I want to be able to use my parking space when ever I want.
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