Your rights if someone blocks your driveway

Your rights if someone blocks your driveway

I find this extremely annoying but you can do something about it…

If you’re blocked in your driveway by another car should you leave a note on their windscreen? Or maybe trap them in that space for a few days with a bag of gravel? Yes this really happened!

Julie Geue, 48, was about to have the drive of her house in East Sussex gravelled when a man parked his car in front of her house, which meant the work could not be done.

Julie was angry that she would have to send the builders away, she asked the builders to dump the tonne of gravel meant for the drive behind the car.

Julie posted a note, attached to a trowel left in the gravel, saying: “Happy digging, at least it’s not raining.”

The car was blocked in for two days before the owner eventually managed to move it.

So what are we allowed to do if a car blocks our driveway?

Charlotte Dixon who is a solicitor at DAS Law said; ”The first step with any anti-social parking problem is to contact your local authority or the police; however there is little the law can do to support home owners – even if a car blocks your driveway,The Highway Code can only help if the parked car is causing an obstruction to the road but not in relation to private land.”

”One option that’s available is to pursue a legal claim for nuisance on the grounds that the driver is interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property – but to do so you’d need to know the identity of the offending vehicle’s driver”

However, you can take a little bit of revenge…

Making sure you don’t cause an obstruction to the road or damage the offending car, you could position your own car or other property to block the offending vehicle in, after all there’s no way you can be done for trespassing on your own property.

Legal facts about blocked driveways

  • If a vehicle is parked on your driveway without your permission, they would be trespassing. As trespass is a civil and not criminal offence the police will not always get involved. They can send an officer to try and determine the owner of the vehicle and ask them to move.
  • Trying to keep a parking space available outside your home using cones or some other obstacle could be viewed as obstruction and liable to prosecution – unless your local authority has granted you the right to do so for something like a funeral.
  • Vandalising a parked car is a criminal act and can be prosecuted. Even if just spraying chip fat on the windscreen or blocking the exhaust, these acts could still be classed as vandalism.
  • A homeowner has no special legal right to park directly outside their property. All road users have the same right to park anywhere on the public highway as long as they do not contravene parking restrictions.
  • There is no time limit on how long a vehicle can remain parked in the same space on a road. The exception to this is if the vehicle is thought to have been abandoned, in which case it can be removed by the police.
  • If someone has parked on your driveway and you were to block them in, be careful not to cause an obstruction to the public highway as this is a criminal offence. If you do, the owner of the vehicle could call the police on you.
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