Saturday 15 April 2017

What Are Your Rights If Someone Parks On Your Drive Without Permission?


It seems like it should be clear cut, doesn't it?

You come home from work or a day out to find someone has parked on your drive.

So what can you do? You might assume that you could call the police or the council who would come out pretty quickly to remove the transgressing vehicle.

Unfortunately, it's nowhere near that straightforward and it turns out that you may have little or no legal recourse against this massively antisocial behaviour.

And one unfortunate homeowner found out the hard way when someone parked on their drive - for FIVE DAYS.

The frustrated resident, who didn't want to be named, said the police or authorities would not, or could not, help, as reported by the Bristol Post.

It's still unclear whether the car was left in the driveway deliberately or mistakenly - but it was taxed, insured and had its MOT.

And it began to emerge that getting rid of it was not as simple as you might think.

The police would not act, or even trace the owner and call them. The local council said they were not responsible in any way and the DVLA would not contact the owner or tell the frustrated resident who owned the car.

“Bristol City Council will investigate abandoned vehicles parked on public land or highway, but not on private land," said a spokeswoman.

"In order to be classified as abandoned the vehicle also needs to be untaxed for at least one month and left in the same location for a significant amount of time. There’s more information on the reporting process on our website.”

The police explained that the moment a car crosses onto your property, technically, trespassing has taken place. But it's a civil offence and holds no bearing in criminal law.

So what can you do?

It's a long and annoying process. You'll need to obtain an eviction notice from the courts. A solicitor would be able to get a civil court's permission to find out the identity of the legal owner, and a judge would then have to order its removal.

And all of this would probably cost YOU quite a lot of money. The court would process the order for removal, and that'd leave you with legal fees - perhaps thousands of pounds.

Is there an alternative?

You could simply park in front of the car, subsequently blocking in the vehicle in question. But doing this is only possible if you don't live on a main road with double yellow lines, and if your drive's big enough. It also doesn't solve your problem of how to get rid of the unwanted car.

A quick solution is to hire a private tow truck (this could cost you around £100). But if the car gets damaged, you could be liable to pay for damages (more detail of the complications below).

Certain circumstances

One Bristol resident mentioned that they had a stranger's car on their property for more than a year. They contacted the council and, via the police, it was taken away. There was a reason for this.

“Getting a vehicle removed from private land can potentially be an involved matter,” said a national police spokesman.

“If the vehicle is in a dangerous condition, for example it's leaking petrol or contains dangerous items such as gas bottles, we would suggest you contact your local police via the non-emergency 101 number or 999 if an emergency response is required.

“If you think the vehicle is abandoned, we would suggest you contact your local council. Councils must remove abandoned vehicles from both land in the open air and roads (including private roads).

“However, local council policies differ in relation to this so we would suggest you discuss the matter with them - it may help if you speak with a manager. If a vehicle is abandoned, you don't have to ask the council to move it."

So you might end up having to hope that if you do find an unwanted car on your land, it falls under the bracket above.

“Don't damage or clamp the vehicle or have it removed by a third party for destruction or storage without first seeking legal advice," the police spokesman added.

"If you do any of these things, you may commit a criminal offence or the owner may pursue a civil action against you."



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.