A relative died and someone is parked on his driveway, what can we do?
Unfortunately one of my relatives has passed away and as executors of his estate we are selling his house.
Unfortunately, someone has started parking in the driveway of his house, which prevents us from using or accessing it ourselves.
As if that wasn’t enough, someone also parked a car blocking the driveway to the property. This means we don’t have easy access to the house and it’s difficult when handymen come to work on the property. This has all been going on for weeks.
Both vehicles in question are taxed and their MOT is up to date.
What can we do about these cars? What are our rights? And can we have them clamped or removed? Via email.
Parking issues: it’s worth knowing what you can and can’t do when faced with anti-social parking (file image)
Jane Denton replies: What a horrible situation to be in. Your relative passed away and two people, who I suspect know the property is vacant, have taken it upon themselves to park in and across the driveway of your relative’s house.
I’ve heard many other stories of similar issues with people parking in driveways and blocking access to property. One has to wonder whether the prevalence of the problem stems from a decline in social norms and values.
You did not mention in your email whether you had taken any preliminary steps to try to resolve the matter.
While there is of course no guarantee of success, a starting point could be to leave notes on the cars asking them to move the vehicles.
You mentioned in your email that the two cars in question have up-to-date MOTs and tax payments. This is important, as it affects what your rights are, and unfortunately in this case it probably won’t help you in your quest to get the vehicles to shift quickly.
Derek Millard-Smith, partner at JMW Solicitors, specializing in consumer regulation and parking law, says: Where parking is not invited is motorist behavior that is unfortunately all too common on both private and public property that prompts parking enforcement.
Unfortunately, the behavior of the motorists adds to your grief after the death of your relative.
It is likely that the property’s driveway is private land and the roadway beyond is public land maintained at government expense.
Rules: It is illegal to block a dropped curb that allows access to a property (file image)
Where motorists are not invited and continue to park there, the enforcement options around the driveway are time-consuming.
In 2012 clamping on private property was banned due to parking violations, so this is not an option and it is illegal to do so.
Available options include steps to post signage informing that the land is private property and that parking or remaining on that land is prohibited.
Private homes themselves are limited in issuing parking fines on the basis of the law of obligations.
In theory you could engage a private parking operator who is able to appropriately and fairly disburse parking fees as a member of a recognized industry association such as the British Parking Association, in accordance with the relevant code of practice and in compliance with consumer protection legislation.
Alternatively, you can sue the motorist for tort, which is again a lengthy process.
A practical solution would be to put some kind of barrier on the private property, such as gates or padlocked parking triangles, provided it is done legally.
More options are available for the vehicle blocking the driveway, especially if it is public land and has a lowered curb.
Rule 243 of the Highway Code deals with fallen curbs and stopping is only permitted briefly when traffic comes to a temporary standstill.
It is illegal to block a dropped curb that allows access to a property for which the local government can issue a fine. There need not be double yellow lines.
It is advisable to report this to the municipality. Complaints can also be made to the local police via the non-emergency number 101, but your first port of call should be the council.
If the problem persists, the homeowner can request that the council place a white stripe on the road in front of the lowered curb.
However, you must have the authority as the occupier of the property, which can be a problem if ownership of the property has not yet passed through probate.
If the vehicles remain on the land for a long time, the municipality may also be asked to be present to move them as abandoned vehicles.
Since they are both taxed, the council cannot use their powers and remove them based on that.
Parking where not allowed or longer than allowed is a frustrating situation that affects many residents, hospitals and retailers, and that affects the real users of those locations.
However, most drivers comply with the rules: only three out of 1,000 parking incidents on private property result in a parking fine.
Importantly, it is essential that both parking charges and fines are set at a high enough level to prevent anti-social and selfish parking. If they are too low, people just ignore them or see them as cheap parking.
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