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Problem with neighbour's visitors parking in our drive

(121 Posts)
80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 21:51:37

I'm wondering if anyone knows the legal stance on a neighbour using our drive for her own visitors ?
We live at the end of an open plan style cul de sac so nobody has fences or hedges. All the houses have off road garages with small drives in front of them.
We have a double garage which sits next to a single garage belonging to the bungalow opposite. It's clear on the house deeds that our house owns two garages and two driveway spaces. The boundary between the drives (which are tarmac) is and always has been marked by a thin paved line so you can see where one ends and another begins.
We bought the house from new and we also still have the original building plans and the marketing information which states the 4 bed homes have 2 garages and driveways and the 2 bed homes and bungalows have 1 garage and 1 drive each.
Last year a new neighbour (she's quite elderly and frail) moved into the bungalow opposite us and at least twice a week we return home to find she has her home help / carer parked in our drive.
This might not sound like a big problem, but our DS is physically disabled and a wheelchair user. He cannot walk at all and has very limited flexibility in his limbs. We need access across most of our double drive to open the car door wide enough to get DS out and into his wheelchair.
We have politely spoken to our neighbour, who really doesn't seem to see the issue. She sees no problem with me unloading my children (have 3 others as well as DS) on the road and parking further up the close until her visitor moves. As they refuse to move when asked I have had to do this at least a couple of times a week for a year.
It doesn't happen every day (I think her helper comes at different times and I am at work through the day) but it's really getting on my nerves and making life a bit more awkward than it needs to be.
Does anyone know if there is any legal action we can take regarding this ?
We don't want to fall out with the neighbour but don't see why we should be regularly inconvenienced by her.
Having looked around on various websites it seems there are laws against blocking someone in, but she isn't doing this, she's just preventing us getting onto our drive when we need to.
Sorry if this is a bit long but I wanted to make the situation about the layout as clear as possible.
Thanks if anyone has any advice.

choirmum Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:47

Surely they're trespassing as it's your drive and they haven't been invited to use it?

Milliways Mon 26-Nov-12 21:55:37

Can you put a "Please don't obstruct the door" on the garage door? For all they know you could have a car in the garage that they have blocked in!

Do you have a friendly other neighbour who could park in that space (& move when asked) to make a point for a while?

Or buy a parking cone?

redlac Mon 26-Nov-12 21:57:26

I would contact the home helps employer if you can find out who they are. Alternatively just park up behind her and refuse to move when she wants out - let her phone the police if she wants as she is in the wrong not you

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 26-Nov-12 22:00:48

I would try a sign and some parking comes with 'Private Parking' strung between them so it ropes off your whole driveway. That might give them a clue.

Have you asked the person who's car it is? Can you catch them rather than the old lady and explain the problem? I'm sure nobody would deliberately make it awkward for you in your situation.

shopalot Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:55

I would talk to the carer directly. The carer probably doesn't even know it is private property.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 26-Nov-12 22:02:23

Or park behind them. That's a much better suggestion.

nilbyname Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:05

Well, you have already spoken to her, and her carer/helper. I would contract a solicitor and issue a letter (£100 ish) and then see what happened. Then I would pay for a pull up/lock up bollard thing and start locking my drive. Shit that you have to do it.

Is there any millage in just being a bit firmer with the helper/woman? Blocking them in and not letting them out when they request? (childish)

Sounds awful, sorry you have to deal with that especially as you have such a need for it.

80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:36

We've put a notice up already on our garage doors saying disabled access is required at all times - they ignore it.
Our close is quite small and the other neighbours, like us are out at work so I couldn't ask someone else to help.
The cone is an idea we could try - no harm in getting one and seeing if it works however I suspect it may just be moved along a bit ! I hadn't considered a cone as I thought they were only supposed to be used "on road".

RyleDup Mon 26-Nov-12 22:06:31

I would talk to the carer, if that fails, talk to her agency. And if that fails, block her in, or clamp her grin. put a sign up saying clamping in operation with a £50 release fee!! She won't do it again.

OnTheBottomWithAStringOfTinsel Mon 26-Nov-12 22:07:03

Can you look into building a v low wall (12 to 18 ins high, just a few bricks), or fence, along the boundary line, and putting in a gatepost and a cheapish gate?

(the wall/fence would be so that they couldn't just pull into the neighbour's drive and then across into yours)

It might be handy to have better boundary delineations for a future sale - you could use that as an excuse if asked! and if you meet the cost yourself they can't complain about anything.

(however check your deeds etc - if it's an open plan cul-de-sac there might be something about not putting in walls)

80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:10:21

I have spoken to the carer as well as the neighbour - they have both been present when I've knocked and asked for the car to be moved. Bottom line is they couldn't care less and won't move until they are ready to go.
I know I could play dirty back and block them in but, silly as it sounds, I don't want to play tit for tat.

80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:15:51

Onthebottom yes - the deeds do state we can't build walls or put in hedges between the drives so that isn't an option.

We live near a sports stadium and on some days, there are huge parking problems on my road. One of my neighbours was out for the day of the match final a couple of years ago and when people were frantically looking for parking spots, some teenagers told two drivers to park in X's driveway, that they were out for the day. Her driveway can take three cars. They came home from their day out to find two strange cars in their drive. They parked their car in behind the other two, blocking them in. The drivers came back from the match and knocked on their front door asking her to move her car to let them out. She told them they'd have to pay €80 (the equivilant to a the clamping fee here) to be let go. They rang the police, the police came and spoke to my neighbour to see what her side of the story was and then told the two drivers that they were on private property and she could charge them anything she wanted. They both paid her the €80 (each!!!) and she let them out.

I'm in Ireland but I'm guessing the law in the UK is the same. So block in the carer's car. Drive up to her bumper and don't answer the door foe several minutes when she knocks on the door.

AnneElliott Mon 26-Nov-12 22:22:25

That is really awful of them to do this. You're much more patient than me. If I find someone across my drive I sound the horn til the offender comes out and moves their car. That or I block them in. I think your options are, solicitors letter, lockable bollard or block them in and refuse to move. I would also have word with the carers employer. You could also park on her drive or get your visitors to do this.

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 22:23:28

Oh just block her in. Then don't answer the door.

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 22:23:28

Oh just block her in. Then don't answer the door.

BRANdishingMistletoe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:27:47

Buy some sticky 'no parking' labels to stick on the driver's side of the windscreen, they are a pain to remove so she will find it less effort to park elsewhere.

80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 22:33:06

Well blocking her in does seem to be the general consensus doesn't it ?

I have knocked every time it's happened and I was working on the principle that they'd get sick of me turning up, take the hint and stop doing it.
My way clearly isn't working though so perhaps I'll have to change my mind and be hard faced back.

3littlefrogs Mon 26-Nov-12 22:36:13

Some people are so selfish.

My brother's neighbour's cleaner (if that makes sense) wouldn't move her car to let the ambulance pull up to the door in order to take my (very ill) brother to hospital.

You have to wonder whether these people have any brain cells at all.

3littlefrogs Mon 26-Nov-12 22:38:22

I would speak directly to the carer's employer and make it clear to them that she is obstructing essential access for a disabled person. They will be mortified.

MrsMushroom Mon 26-Nov-12 22:39:50

Put a cone there. Or a dustbin or some other large thing they would need to move. They'll get the picture.

VicarInaTutu Mon 26-Nov-12 22:40:59

i hate to be the bearer of bad news but blocking access to the highway is an offence and as such, if you do block her into to admittedly your drive, she could be the one calling the police.

i would look into doing what ever you can do before it comes to that.
i would call the agency the home carer works for.
i would lock the drive in any way possible - a pull up bollard or some such.
i would look at instigating legal proceedings for trespass (which is a civil matter and not criminal so you will need to consult a solicitor) but you may find that a sharply worded solicitors letter pointing out the drive is indeed your property might solve it....

it would annoy the bejesus out of me and i sympathise. but dont block her in unless youre prepared to be the one in the wrong.

Mintyy Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:17

Where should she be parking her car, out of interest?

difficultpickle Mon 26-Nov-12 22:44:44

I would go to a local solicitor and ask them to write a cease and desist letter addressed to the homeowner cc to the carer's employer.

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