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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.

OnTheBottomWithAStringOfTinsel Mon 26-Nov-12 23:15:04

I'm sure there is some way to remove those really sticky stickers (some sort of wallpaper scraper type of contraption that they use when redecorating shop windows, and perhaps nail varnish remover/acetone)?

So long as you put the sticker on the glass (and were sure it could be removed) then it won't damage the paintwork.

Of course you'd want to be sure 1) that the carer knows for definite that it is YOUR driveway and she shouldn't be on it and 2) that she wouldn't have the stuff to remove the sticker immediately to hand - after all the point is to embarrass her so that she doesn't do it again, and driving off with a humongous sticker saying "Don't park here" should do it!

BRANdishingMistletoe Mon 26-Nov-12 23:17:27

I think it's standard university issue Ryle. In my case it was doubly annoying as I had broken down, managed to push it to the side of the road so a not to block traffic and gone to the pay phone to call my Dad. It took longer to scrape off the flipping sticker than to fix the car.

HanSolo Mon 26-Nov-12 23:24:16

Your son cannot walk, and the carer is denying you access to your own drive?

Formal complaint to whomever supplies the home help.

Good luck- what an awful situation.

80sbabe Mon 26-Nov-12 23:24:52

Yes it's the same carer each time and yes she is fully aware that it's our drive and that she doesn't have permission to park there.
I have also explained to her and the neighbour the situation with DS and his wheelchair, though they have also seen him in it so they know.
If DS is having a bad day it can sometimes take him 10 minutes or more to manoeuvre out of the car so it's a time consuming process - worse if the weather is bad. I can't just pick him up and lift him out as he's 13 and too heavy for me.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Mon 26-Nov-12 23:25:12

As a community care worker myself, I would imagine what is happening here is that the old lady has told her carer that she can park on "the drive opposite", meaning her own drive & the carer has misunderstood.

After you speaking to her, she most probably told the old lady that a woman had told her she couldn't park on the drive. If the old lady was under the impression she was talking about her drive, she no doubt would have reassured the carer that she should park there.

That said, I would be every bit as pissed off as you and from the layout you describe, the carer must be being a bit thick to not realise it is actually your drive!

I would contact the care provider (the company), saying that if their carer parks on your drive again you will block her in & she will be late for all of her subsequent calls. Failing that, would a PCSO come and have a word?

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Mon 26-Nov-12 23:26:40

Sorry x-post. I now see that the carer does not misunderstand the situation.

She is a cheeky cow. Plain and simple.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:35:38

if you have asked her, and its the same woman each time then i say fair game. use the stickers.
and anything else legal. ish.

Marrow Mon 26-Nov-12 23:44:31

I rather like these stickers wink

noblegiraffe Mon 26-Nov-12 23:44:59

Put your bins in the middle of your driveway so if she wants to park there it's a faff? Might be enough to put her off.

clam Mon 26-Nov-12 23:48:58

If you were to block her in and then refuse to move, I can see that she might be able to report you. But if you do agree to let her out, albeit it taking your time about it, then she wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

I think you're being remarkably patient about this. I would have gone bananas after the first time!

CointreauVersial Mon 26-Nov-12 23:53:01

If it were me, I'm afraid a red mist would have long since descended, and I would have let rip with the inconsiderate parker. Can they not see how it's causing you problems?

TheFarSide Mon 26-Nov-12 23:55:09

I agree, OP, you have been far too understanding. If it goes on much longer, they'll be claiming right of way/custom and practice or something, so I think you need to deal with it.

brighthair Tue 27-Nov-12 00:00:31

I had a similar problem with people using my numbered parking space. I tried asking politely and putting notes on etc
Eventually I lost the plot and blocked them in, took the intercom off the hook and had a long bath. He never parked there again. Or I blocked them in and leant on my horn. Or went to the front door and told them to move now. When she refused I said I would just block her in and would be moving at 8am the next morning
I had to get harsh, my parking space was becoming a visitor one, I own it and I need access for coming home from work at 3am or I have to walk up a road with no lighting

MsHighwater Tue 27-Nov-12 00:00:32

I would certainly have consulted the police long since if an able bodied carer was knowingly and persistently blocking access for my disabled child. Or a solicitor or the local paper, perhaps. I'm certain i would have blocked her car, too. I'm astonished that you've put up with it for so long.

The carer might not be from an agency; she could be employed directly.

Hope you get it sorted.

brighthair Tue 27-Nov-12 00:01:27

Also (and not being girlie at all here) I found a hefty looking bloke worked wonders. Don't ask them to move, tell them. "You are on my property, I need you to move your car now"

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Tue 27-Nov-12 00:03:31

How about blocking her in, and letting her wait the same amount of time as you must wait for her to vacate your property?

Any chance you can have her car towed to the car pound?

steppemum Tue 27-Nov-12 00:06:05

I think you should post a large notice saying this is private property and that parking here costs £50. Then block her in and politely say that she owes you £50, and you can't move your car until it is paid. Photograph her car there with the sign.

Then wait it out and see what happens!!

Seriously, it is time to put this is writing. If you don't want to start with solicitor, then write a polite clear letter yourself. Say clearly it is private property and she does not have the right to park there, and there are available places, state why the parking is a concern.
Then say that if the parking persists, you will be sending a solicitors letter and contacting her employer. Give a copy to the old lady and one to the carer.

Normally I would be very loathe to escalate neighbourhood disputes, but I think the issue of your ds is key here. She is being unbelievably selfish.

Viviennemary Tue 27-Nov-12 00:16:43

I have seen some people put up a kind of chain between two poles across the driveway rather than a gate or wall. Or some other way to block access. This must be extremely irritating for you. Can't believe the carer takes no notice. Good idea about finding out who the carer works for and report them.

Some people are just so inconsiderate! You mentioned having 3 more kids, perhaps they'd like to have a mud fight on your drive the next time the carer parks there? Perhaps a paint fight the next time it happens, if the mud fight didn't get the message across? I cannot imagine that the carer would have any legal recourse if YOUR children spill paint on YOUR driveway while her car happens to be illegally parked there.

FWIW I think you would still be 100% in the right even if your DS was fully able-bodied - the drive is YOUR property and you have not given your neighbour permission to loan it out to her carer! Given your DS's mobility needs however, the mind boggles at the selfishness of both the neighbour and the carer. Truly shocking, and you shouldn't be forced to put up with it!

RedHelenB Tue 27-Nov-12 07:48:05

Put a MASSIVE warning note up about clamping of vehicles on private property & clamp her!

nilbyname Tue 27-Nov-12 07:51:45

You need to block her in, have a bit of a stern word with her!

Then issue a solicitors letter. You can get her address from the drivers licence?

clam Tue 27-Nov-12 19:03:49

Do you keep your wheelie bins anywhere nearby? Could you not park them slap-bang in the middle of the drive?

Sleepyfergus Wed 28-Nov-12 08:42:05

I would speak to your local police station, see if they'll have a polite wee word with the woman and her carer. The uniform may be enough to shame them into behaving. Then if that fails, slap them with a lawyers letter. And if they ignore that, then perhaps photographs if them blatantly ignoring you, her car parked on your drive etc, to the local paper. Name and shame.

Near my mums, a resourceful neighbour once put up laminated pictures of a persistent owner of a dog that used to shit in the street and the owner never used to pick it up. Soon stopped after that!

MaxPepsi Wed 28-Nov-12 14:57:08

Another here who thinks you should block the carer in.

I'd let her call the police too, but I'm stubborn that way.

I'd also actively encourage the children to play out near the car, and throw things to each other over the top.

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Nov-12 15:00:45

what about a row of pots with plants down the border line? bit smaller than wheelie bins, but hopefulyl they wouldnt drive over them.

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