Anyone Can Park On Your Drive And There's Not Much You Can Do
It's annoying enough for someone to block your car in by parking across your driveway, but in a very unexpected turn of events, it turns out that they're actually allowed to do one worse and actually park on your driveway.
That's right - as in the one parking spot you'd think you had the right for no one else to nick.
Neither the police nor local authorities have any power to move a car if it's parked on your driveway, and it's all thanks to a strange legal loophole, which sees the lines blurred between criminal and civil law.
While local authorities are able to step in when a car is parked on a public road and is blocking the driveway, if there's a car actually parked on the drive, it's technically on private property.
There are, however, certain exceptions - as proven by one resident who had a stranger's car on their property for more than a year.
The Bristol Post reports that the resident contacted the council and that, via the police, it was then taken away. The reason?
"Getting a vehicle removed from private land can potentially be an involved matter," a national police spokesman told the Bristol Post.
"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).
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"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."
According to The Sun, police can acknowledge a car as technically trespassing, but it will be classified as a civil offence - meaning the case is low on their priority list, and you'll need an eviction notice from the courts. This also means a lengthy and expensive legal process.
There are other options, though. You park your own car on the drive, in turn blocking the stranger's car, as long as you don't block any section of the public road, but that would involve waiting around all day for them to return so you can kindly ask them to shift.
You could also hire a private tow truck to get it moved - but that could cost at least £100, and if there's any damage to the car, you could end up liable to pay for it.
Whatever happens, though, it's best to seek legal advice before doing anything - try the Citizens Advice Bureau if you're not sure, as using a third party to get the car towed away isn't something the police advises.
"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."
Maybe the moral of the story is - don't live in a house with a driveway. If only it was that easy.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay