• Jaffa posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    Just read an interesting article about people parking on your property and then buggering off until they are ready to return and drive off.

    Turns out you don’t have many legal options to stop this happening or removing the vehicle.

    So, what legal options do you have to make their actions as time consuming as possible?

    I thought about screwing hundreds of 1 inch screws into plywood covering a substantial part of the access and egress of the drive. I’d then find a way to secure the plywood to the ground where it could not be removed without causing criminal damage to my plywood full of screws.

    The driver is more than welcome to find a way to get over the screws without causing criminal damage to them. I’m not blocking the drive because the car can physically drive away. Is this one option of getting your own back on inconsiderate people?

    • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/12154142/Angry-homeowner-gets-revenge-on-commuter-who-parked-in-her-driveway.html

      Fair play to her.

      I assume you could just block the offender in with another car, which is what I’d be inclined to do if I was in this situation. I think you’d only be at fault if you where in turn blocking the highway, so not a lot the offender could do to extract their car?

      Some people really are twats.

    • I would have thought that if the car was actually on your (private) land, and that the drive is not a public right of way, then you would be entitled to use minimum resources to remove it from your land, just like you can use “minimum force” to eject an intruder.

      • How would you do this without damaging the clutch if in gear or the handbrake if you pushed the vehicle?

        • ou won’t damage a clutch, or handbrake by physically dragging a parked car though I wouldn’t be so sure an auto-box in park would stand for much abuse. Biggest problem is finding anywhere you can pull or push hard enough without causing damage. Tyres will suffer first if you do get it moving.

          The cleanest solution for moving immobile cars without harm is a set of wheel jacks with castors.

          I once had someone deliberately park me in because I was in ‘his space’ on a public road. Well gone midnight when it came time to leave I went to knock at the owner’s door (it was a regular problem apparently , I was pointed to the culprit by his neighbours) to be met by a sleepy woman in her dressing gown. I explained what had happened to her obvious exasperation and that if her boyfriend didn’t want to move the car my friend waiting with his Landrover and a chain would be quite happy to oblige. A minute of screaming and door slamming later she practically kicked him down the stairs and out into the street in his shorts to sullenly move the car.

      • The law is on the side of the owner of the parked vehicle.
        All they’re doing as far as the Police are concerned is trespassing – which is a civil offence and not a criminal one. Obstructing and/or damaging the vehicle concerned is a criminal offence and therefore the Police might well take an interest.
        What’s needed, apart from a law change, is a clever way to ‘punish’ the perpetrator without laying you open to criminal charges, etc.
        I’m fairly sure there must be a way via signage and barriers, etc. but it really needs someone who knows about this sort of stuff to come up with a foolproof and quick way to deal with such matters.

    • I don’t see how moving the air that is inside their tyres back into atmosphere could be construed as an offence.

      • Criminal damage. Immediately inflate again or arrest.

        • How is deflating a car tyre criminal damage – can you prove this? Its not like you are stealing air?

          And if it is considered illegal then how do they prove who deflated the tyres – tyres deflate naturally.

          • Flat tyres can crease and crack. Even if they don’t take harm arguably you’ve damaged the car as a usable entity albeit non-permanently. It’s odd but tyres don’t tend to spontaneously deflate in fours except around irritated people. Anyway, letting tyres down is a very bad idea if there’s a risk someone may drive off without noticing, I once had two of mine let down as a prank by kids, not dead flat, just low. I didn’t notice in the dark and moments later one of them rolled off the rim cornering at speed, we were lucky as of course were the kids!

            A cornish pasty used to scribble a large crudely drawn cock on the windscreen is the gift that just keeps giving every time it rains, wash it as much as you like it’ll never bead up quite the same as the rest of the glass again.

    • The police (in my experience) take the view that any sort of obstruction must be removed immediately or they will arrest the person they judge responsible.

      • Depends on the plod. Its a civil matter and you could be at risk of being accused of theft by stopping the person retrieving their property.

        You really have few rights.

      • Interestingly it is a civil not a police matter. If you lock a gate to block the car in then you may be guilty of withholding property. Similarly if you damage the vehicle. However blocking by use of soil or a car etc. is not as you may have legitimate reasons for doing so. A pile of gravel with a spade is not withholding property as they have the means to remove the gravel.

        Two old nails placed strategically under a couple tyres would allow the person to leave your drive when they return to their car, and probably get quite away before the tyres deflated. Naturally they could have picked up the nails at any time so there would be no direct link to you.

    • If you can, put some gates up. If it happens again, lock them.

      Otherwise, I’d get a trolley jack, Lift the back end of the car up and so far as I was able to, get it off my property – though I’d probably call the local cop shop first, explain the situation, tell them what I was going to do and that they might expect a complaint later in the day.

      • Not a solicitor but this could be interpreted as withholding the car behind locked gates.

        “With the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”.

        (1)A person appropriating property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself is nevertheless to be regarded as having the intention of permanently depriving the other of it if his intention is to treat the thing as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights; and a borrowing or lending of it may amount to so treating it if, but only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.

        (2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, where a person, having possession or control (lawfully or not) of property belonging to another, parts with the property under a condition as to its return which he may not be able to perform, this (if done for purposes of his own and without the other’s authority) amounts to treating the property as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights.

      • They’re trespassing and therefore it’s a civil offence. If you block them in (obstruction) and/or damage the vehicle it’s a criminal offence.

        • Surely their car is also obstruction in a lot of cases? If it isn’t it’s not hard to concuct a legitimate case where it is?

          The laws I have so far found on obstruction seem worded to only apply to roads, not driveways. If anyone wants to cite the law and section that does apply, that would be useful.

          • This is the bit I’m struggling with here too.

            So if, by parking on my drive, they prevent me from being able to open my garage door, then they’re committing the criminal offence of obstructing because I can’t get my motorbike out, no?

            But if I didn’t have a motorbike and tried the same argument with my pushbike, any workshy officer would point out that I could carry it out the back door and round the side of the house, so no obstruction?

            And does obstruction only count when it’s a vehicle? What if, by parking on the drive, they are preventing me from having furniture delivered or construction work carried out? Civil matter?

            • If you park your car across the drive on the highway you’re causing an obstruction. That works both ways. If you block someone in or they block you in.

              You’re not obstructing the public highway if you’re on your own land or if someone else has parked on your land.

              You have grounds for obtaining the registered keepers details from the DVLA if it’s a repeat offender and prosecute for trespass. If it’s a one off, there’s nothing much you can do if they’ve moved the car.

              Note: it’s the registered keeper and not the driver who is to blame. Which makes it easier/trickier depending on your point of view.

          • I think we really need someone who actually knows what they’re talking about to clarify things.
            But, I’m assuming ‘Obstruction’ is quite a specific definition and that once on private land most offences are covered by trespass, even if in reality they are causing an obstruction (small ‘o’).
            The law about Obstructing a driveway seems to be one of those Highway Code ‘Do Not’ cop outs and I’m guessing, the Police will get involved if they get a call to say that they’ve been deliberately stopped from joining the Highway by a property owner that refuses to move their car. The perpetrator will probably say they parked there accidently and all they want to do is leave as quickly as possible…
            Obviously, smashing windows, smearing cow shit over the car, etc. might turn out quite badly for the property owner.

      • My advice if one locks gates on a parked car would be first to apologise for locking the gates but you only did it for security reasons. Then tell that you will let them out straight away but first you have to find the key (takes ages). Having found the key loudly state that you will not keep them any longer, apologise for any inconvenience and snap pre-weakened key off in lock accidentally. Call locksmith, argue about out of hours call out fee, ask car owner if they are willing to pay call out fee as you are a bit skint at the moment. But if not it doesn’t matter as you have a friend who lives a few miles away who has a bolt cutter. Give friend a call who arrives in half an hour but forgets bolt cutter and has to go back. If owner starts to go on about calling the police say “That’s a good idea” and call the non-emergency line and tell them that some poor person is stuck in your drive, you want to let them out but the lock is broken and should you phone the firebrigade? They will probably say call a locksmith. Either way you have established that you are not trying to hold the car and only wish for them a speedy journey. If you are old enough to come across as a bit dithery all the better.

    • Put up a notice informing them of the car parking charges that you will apply.

      They’ll ignore it and eventually you’ll end up having to go to the high court where they’ll retrieve your money for you – for a small fee.

      Seen it all on daytime TV.

    • Not really the same admittedly, but we have a situation with our neighbour.

      Our front garden is a sort of “L” shape with one side of the “L” forming our frontage. The other side of the “L” runs for about fifteen feet along the side of the neighbour’s garden and is about ten feet across from the pavement to the neighbour’s boundary.

      His son has taken to parking in the right angle of the L with the nearside wheels on the pavement and the front of the car IN some plants and shrubs that the Mrs planted in that bit of the garden that is adjacent to the neighbour’s property.

      I have already politely asked the lad not to park such that the front of the car is overhanging out garden but he still keeps doing so.

      I am avoiding the temptation to raise objections to him parking on our frontage anyway(public road and all that) but wondering what my next move could be.

    • From reading this post, I’m surprised the owner of the drive has so little legal rights in this situation. Surely people can’t just park their car on someone else’s private property, using up their private car parking space and get away with it?

      If it was me I wouldn’t be very happy about it. If it persisted I’d leave a sign out saying cars parked in this area are at extreme risk of vandalism from local youths. That way you don’t actually have to carry out any criminal damage hopefully, the implied threat of it will be enough. and if any cocky shit tried it any way I’d key the crap out of their car then deny any knowledge and point to the sign.

    • A few lumps of rotten fish or cat urine put through the bonnet vents would be easy to do.

      All these people saying You can’t do that it’s illegal, like deflating the tyres, Do you really think the police nowadays have time for this petty stuff?

      • You would think but the police are very petty. Here’s a true story from a couple years back when I had some one park on my driveway.

        1) I put a polite note to the guy behind his wipers. He screwed it up and threw it at my front door.

        2) Asked him nicely.

        3) Wrote “Do not park here”on his windscreen. Two police arrived and said they were going to arrest me now for criminal damage unless I removed it completely. I had a long talk with them. They were stupid and bloody minded.

    • The correct course of action if someone is parking on your driveway without your permission is to make notes and take photos of the car every time they park there.

      Place a note on the windscreen explaining they are parking on private property and to remove their vehicle as soon as possible. Also state that if they continue to park then they are trespassing and you will take legal proceedings against the keeper of the vehicle.

      Once you have all the evidence you contact the DVLC and for a small fee they will give you the keepers details.

      You then engage a solicitor and take them to court.

    • What about two big, sturdy steel stakes fixed into the ground just ever-so slightly further apart than the width of the car? They could of course get it out if they wanted to, but it would be very difficult to do without them removing a large amount of paint.

      I realize that laws occasionally have an apparent loop hole to prevent their abuse for something that the lawmakers didn’t intend. But why don’t you have the right to remove something from your property that has been parked there without your consent? What about the people that lob an old beer bottle over our garden fence on a Friday night? Do I have to look after it in case they might want it back?

      • A man smashed a side window and was searching my car in a back street when I approached. He chased me to the main road with an 18 inch blade. The police took an hour to arrive and were not really interested. But when Mr Nasty rang to say I had written on his windscreen with a felt tip pen, instead of laughing, they sent 2 officers. So why wouldn’t they come and tell you to remove your sturdy steel stakes ?

        • They very possibly would. It was not a really serious suggestion. It seems that common sense would say that if someone wilfully parks on your private property without your consent, then there would be some action which you could take. I assume there’s a good reason why not – that it would leave a loophole for someone unscrupulous to exploit, but I struggle to see what it is in this case.

          I certainly feel your pain – whilst in no way comparable, there’s someone who feels that the zig-zag lines in front of our driveway entrance don’t apply to him and is more than happy to park there. Whilst it’s not been a problem yet (i.e. we’ve not needed to access in the time he has been there), it makes my blood boil that people can be so inconsiderate. Fortunately, out town has some fairly active traffic wardens, and I might have a chat with one of them the next time I see them. I can’t imagine what rage I would feel if someone actually parked on our drive in the way they have done for you.

    • A few other thoughts.

      Hang a bird feeder over the drive. Where birds will poop on the car.

      dump soil etc infront of car. When owner turns up apologise profusely for the error your gardener made. Hand them a shovel explaining that you have a bad back.

      Carefully remove the wing mirrors from your car and report them stolen to the police (do this before you do anything to a serial parker) once this has been logged you can remove the wing mirrors from the offending car. There will already be a police report that the same thing happened to you.

      Of course if you have a drive then getting a lock and chain in the first place and using it saves a lot of mither.

    • My daughter ‘wrapped an ‘offending’ car in cling film, when a car was parked on part of our drive way. She’d called the police and they stated there was nothing they could do, and warned of the criminal damage issue, around any action she took. DVLA were unable at that point to help much.

      Several 100 meters of cling film wrapped round all doors (we had a job lot), to get the message across seemed to sate her annoyance.

    • Our local authority uses the JustPark app. I see on that that you can rent out your own parking space. I haven’t looked into it, but if someone were parking on my drive (If I had one, that is. Anyway, how bloody rude, even on my virtual drive!) I imagine I could set it up on the app with a stiff parking rate. At least a tenner a day. How one polices these private parking spaces I don’t know, mind.

    • I’d be inclined to leave flowers under the wipers with a note;

      “My dearest, my primal destiny is now complete, you have come into my life just as foretold. I know you have found me now and when time, tides and stars align we will be together. For Ever and Ever and Ever. Your (insert colour of car here) chariot has delivered you, my planetary rescuer, and when we unite as one with no need for our earthly bodies our spirits will entwine and we will ride the cosmos as one. When you are ready, my rescuer, you will know, I have waited since before time and can wait a few lifetimes more, when you are ready, come to my door.”

      And gently ramp it up from there.

      An alternative might be constructing a plywood frame around the drive, with a big banner painted on it This car is driven by a freeloading trespassing twat feel free to park outside my house and block the bastard in.

    • A few years ago I used to work in stage lighting, and it wasn’t uncommon to arrive at a theatre at 6am to load in and find some git parked (illegally) in the way. The police never did anything, and even if they were willing we couldn’t afford to wait for them to tow it away. We just dealt with it, by a bunch of guys bouncing it down the road, or attaching it to the truck with a chain and dragging it. No one ever got in trouble for it, even though it would have been clear who moved it.

      The best story I heard was at a venue in Glasgow where the stage crew were legendary for showing off their strength. They picked up the car and carried it up the steps of the venue, leaving it sideways on between two pillars – so the only way to remove it would be to carry it back out. Apparently it was still there when they left at the end of the night, so we never found out how they got it out.

    • Stick a polite note on the windscreen asking the driver not to do it again and video the reaction from a safe distance. If they do it again get documentary evidence of the problem then complain to the Police. Record them saying no criminal act has been committed so they can’t do anything.

      So far so boring… now the clever* bit.

      Stick a GPS tracker under their vehicle and find out where they live, put some old banger on their drive whilst they are out and leave it there for a couple of days. The Police won’t do anything so all the other party can do is sue you for trespass, counter sue for exactly the same, with your previously collected evidence.

      Let us know if it works, I’d be interested to find out.

      * not really

    • In this country you are allowed, by law, to use “reasonable force” to eject an intruder – which is why I cannot understand why you cannot use “reasonable means” to remove a vehicle from your driveway…

    • Matty replied 1 month ago

      Hi @jaffa I thought id share a little annecdote with you.

      Maybe five years ago now, a man parked a large van on my driveway. I had been at a football match for a few hours and just got home, Anyway, I pulled up to park only to find my driveway full. So I pulled into my drive as best I could, before I began to slash the culprits tires (if you only slash three of the four his/hers insurance should not cover this).

      I went into my house to complain to our lass, who I had left home to do some haberdashery – or other lady things. when I found her mother-in-law laid out on the floor being seen to by a bunch of paramedics. I only then realized that the “van’ was in fact an ambulance.

      Due to my actions the ambulance was ruined, my mother-in-law died and my wife never managed to repair my favorite lycra leggings. I think you will agree only one of these can be seen as a positive.

      So in conclusion, public vandalism can prevent major future palliative care bills, so go for it.

      All the best!