Whenever you’re trying to leave or return home, finding your driveway blocked is annoying.
And it is an inconvenience that many in Birmingham experience on a daily basis.
So what can you do when a reckless motorist parks in or even on your driveway?
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While it could be assumed that a quick phone call to the authorities would solve this problem, homeowners are often faced with the unfortunate news that the act can go with impunity.
A spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Unfortunately, many homeowners who are parked in their driveway with someone else are turned away by local authorities and councils because they are not empowered to remove vehicles from private properties.
“While this very often goes unpunished, there are a few things annoyed homeowners can do to keep this problem from happening to them again.”
If one driver is parking in someone else’s driveway, the chances of the law being involved are very slim. This is because the council has no authority over private property and cannot dictate or control access.
However, if the car is parked on a public road blocking an entrance, the driver commits a parking offense. In these circumstances, the local authorities have the power to intervene and to fine the driver.
If a homeowner suspects the vehicle has been abandoned, their local government would be required to move the car regardless of its location on private or public property. However, when the car is up to date and not in a position where it could endanger anyone, the advice is again powerless.
Although there is no criminal law against parking strangers on a driveway without the consent of the homeowner, a driveway is part of private property, so that the unwanted motorist commits a trespassing by driving on this street.
Trespassing is classified as a civil offense rather than a criminal offense, which means that the police do not have the authority to make an arrest.
The only way the courts can remove the car from the driveway would be if the homeowner decides to initiate civil trespassing proceedings.
This would mean that a lawyer from the homeowner’s side would get permission from the civil court to find out the rightful owner of the unknown vehicle, and the court would then have to order the removal of the vehicle.
Alternatively, the person concerned could assert a legal claim for harassment behavior. This would have to be done on the grounds that the driver disrupts the use and enjoyment of the property.
Homeowners should be aware that prosecuting legal proceedings can be a lengthy and potentially costly process if they don’t have legal expenses insurance.
In the hopes of catching the driver of the unwanted vehicle and discussing the matter properly, homeowners can park their car behind the perpetrator’s vehicle.
It is best for the driveway owner to keep calm and try not to let the situation escalate. Under no circumstances should you take the law into your own hands, as this can very often lead you to commit crimes yourself.
Otherwise, installing a locked fence around the driveway could reassure homeowners that no one can park outside their property while their vehicle is outside the driveway.
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