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Neighbour blocking shared driveway and access to garages

(46 Posts)
Fifinella Sun 09-Aug-15 15:20:18

Sorry if this has been discussed before (I expect it has), or if I've done something wrong in the post, this is my first thread.

Me, my DP and our 2 DC have just bought and moved into a house three weeks ago with a shared drive to two garages at the back, one ours and one our neighbours. The drive is only wide enough for one car - I think it's a normal 1930s set up. We don't have a car but we bought the house intending to use the drive as access to our garage and so to the back of the house with our double pram/s and our dog. The double pram won't fit through the front door so it's pretty crucial access.

Since we moved in three weeks ago the neighbours have regularly parked in this gap effectively blocking our access to our garage. They have 3 cars they regularly block us in with, including a black cab (we're in London and the male neighbour's a cab driver) which he takes apart and regularly works on in the space.

The title deed of our house says "The property benefits from a right of way over the side passageway" and we own half of the side passageway each, so I'm pretty sure they shouldn't be parking on it and blocking it.

My DP went today to ask them to move their car and stop parking there (they do also have a car space in front of their house, which was empty at the time and often is). At first they said they'd move the car whenever we wanted, but when he asked them not to park there because obviously we don't want to have to ask them to move their car every time we want to leave the house (I'm a SAHM so that might be often!) he was told to fuck off and the daughter threatened him with her two older brothers (my DP is 33 and he's very mild mannered).

The fact they got heated so fast, swore at him, said they'd been doing it 40 years and he could fuck off, and just jumped on the defence indicates to me that they know what they're doing it wrong, but I don't know what to do about it. They said the lady we bought the house from didn't have any official disputes with them she failed to declare and so it's obviously not something she'd raised with them. The neighbours had been sweet as pie in the previous three weeks we've lived here ("what a pretty DP, what lovely eyes") so they've turned fast.

We're logging every time they park there, taking photos and looking into solicitors, but i wondered if anyone had any advice? Advice that's not "you shouldn't have bought a shared drive property in the first place" though - we can't afford to move now, we stretched to buy the house as it was.

Sorry this post is so long but someone please help? We've only been here 3 weeks and I'm wishing we'd never moved here :-(

Fifinella Sun 09-Aug-15 15:23:08

A "pretty DC" not DP! That would be a bit weird... !

ilovelamp82 Sun 09-Aug-15 15:25:50

Can you put a picture up of the problem? i'm not sure I understand it.

MrsFrancisUnderwear Sun 09-Aug-15 15:26:38

Oh dear. Neighbours from hell by the sounds of things. Unfortunately you get people who are difficult and enjoy being difficult. Totally unreasonable and sounds like you'll have to get a solicitor's letter to them to point out your access rights.

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 15:29:22

Yes you will have to get a solicitor on to this.

Fifinella Sun 09-Aug-15 15:38:42

Oh, a reply! Thank you!

Here's a picture - they've literally just moved the car from the drive, which I would take as a good sign, but seeing how aggressive they were about it I don't think it's the end of it of all. The previous pictures we've taken are too close up and have the neighbour in, looking surly, so I don't think i should post them, but hopefully you can see the problem from this one. When their car is parked in the drive it blocks the whole access.

The daughter also uses the drive in front of our house, bare as it is, to manoeuvre into the space in front of their house (she literally waved to us through our front window in the first week when we still didn't have curtains) but that's another issue.

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 15:43:31

Are you on the right?

Fifinella Sun 09-Aug-15 15:47:30

No, we're on the left.

notapizzaeater Sun 09-Aug-15 15:48:01

Did the previous owners def tick the no issues box ? Can you check with the council - not that it helps much. Think you need your solicitor on it though. Have you got legal cover on your house insurance ?

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 15:50:06

Park your car upto half way across the joint land in front of your house, then they can't park across it all.

AspieAndNT Sun 09-Aug-15 15:52:24

First of all I would stop the daughter being able to access your drive by putting some some pretty plants in heavy pots on the drive.

AspieAndNT Sun 09-Aug-15 15:53:20

HowDdo2You - as the OP said - they don't have a car

avocadotoast Sun 09-Aug-15 15:56:05

I have no real practical advice but I get what you mean. My parents' neighbours park in their shared drive but it's done by prior agreement at least!

Can you put some plants or something in pots in your front garden bit? At least that might stop the daughter using it to turn in.

As for the parking issue, I'd seek specialist advice tbh (unless someone on here is able to help!).

holidaysarenice Sun 09-Aug-15 15:56:42

Block of your own drive to stop the turning as it's not shared. Then every time they park there,, ring their bell to move. Especially late at night an early morning.

It's different parking on a shared drive but if you can't access the house then it isn't fair.

Panzee Sun 09-Aug-15 15:57:09

You have a lovely house! No advice, sorry. smile

AspieAndNT Sun 09-Aug-15 15:57:27

Or build a wall

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 15:59:12

I missed the no car, yes three huge planters.

WickedWax Sun 09-Aug-15 16:03:16

Yes to some big heavy pots dotted around your driveway to stop that being used for maneuvering.

I would make a point of asking them to move their car regularly, so as soon as they've pasked there, give them 10 minutes to get in and get settled then you suddenly find you need to get the double buggy out to walk to the shops, then they need to move it again 15 minutes later when you get back. Especially around teatime, first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Fifinella Sun 09-Aug-15 16:03:44

Thank you for all the advice so far, please keep it coming!

Long term we are going to make the front "garden" nicer, putting the wall back etc, especially as it's a busy road and it's far too open for the toddler and the dog for my liking (especially when now we have to get everyone into the pram on the wrong side of the door), but it won't be for a while because we can't afford it. Heavy pot plants are a good idea in the meantime, though I'll get tense when I think the daughter's going to smash them, I can't imagine her reacting well to us complaining about her breaking them!

notapizzaeater that's a really good idea about the home insurance, thank you, my DP is looking into it.

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 16:05:27

I would put in double gates instead of a wall, it will help with resale.

AspieAndNT Sun 09-Aug-15 16:10:06

why would she smash them?

Put fake CCTV cameras up pointing onto the drive.

GerbilsAteMyCat Sun 09-Aug-15 16:10:12

Also... Penguin bollards perhaps?;)

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 16:29:09

Oh yes penguin bollards as the Lady from the Isle of Wight, that worked.

quietbatperson Sun 09-Aug-15 16:34:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

padkin Sun 09-Aug-15 16:36:54

Our last 1930s house had exactly this set up. Room for a car each on the main drive, then a shared passage down between the houses opening slightly to two garages at the back. The passage was wide enough to park one car, but then there wasn't room to get anything past from front to back if there was a car there.

When we bought the house there was an additional legal bit added to our deeds that stated neither of the houses were allowed to bloke access to the garages or park in the space. It came about from neighbours taking each other to court in the 1970s, and was still in place. So there had obviously been trouble in the past, and to be honest we were glad there was something v clear and exact in place. As it turned out our neighbours were lovely, and it was never an issue in the 5 years we lived there, but I can imagine your frustration.

I think your only course of action, especially considering the neighbours response, is to consult a solicitor to make the situation legally clear, and warn neighbours, through the solicitor, of the action you intend to take. Or move sad

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