My neighbour blocks my drive when he parks his car. Can I take him to court?
MY NEIGHBOUR parks his car on the road blocking my drive, so I often have to ask him to move it. Where do I stand legally? R. R., Manchester.
THERE is a common misconception that parking in front of someone’s driveway or the entrance to their property is illegal due to Rule 243 of the Highway Code, and that any driver who does this will be faced with police action.
Unfortunately, this is generally not the case. You’ll see in Rule 243: ‘DO NOT park in front of an entrance to a property.’
Elsewhere you may see ‘SHOULD NOT’. This is simply advisory and not a legal requirement. However, it is a legal requirement where it says ‘MUST NOT’. As such, the police would not be able to help you in this case.
However, there are two scenarios that would assist you.
Firstly, Rule 242 says, ‘You must not leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road’.
So, if you feel the owner of the vehicle blocking your driveway has contravened this rule, you could call the police as this would be a criminal offence.
Secondly, if you have a dropped kerb at the end of your driveway, it would be a parking offence if someone parked in front of it. In this circumstance, you would call either the police or the local council and ask them to issue a parking ticket or a penalty charge notice (PCN).
As it’s a neighbour who is constantly blocking your driveway, you could pursue a civil legal claim for nuisance on the grounds that the driver is interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property.
This obviously involves spending money on the legal proceedings and will take some time, but if you’re successful, it should give you a long-term solution to the problem.
OUR dog needs a life-saving operation costing thousands of pounds and we don’t have insurance. Are we within our legal rights to ask the vet to spread the payments?
T. M., Cardiff.
WHILE there is no legal requirement for vets to offer credit, many do. So if your usual vet cannot offer this, call around to see if another practice can.
However, make sure you understand the risks in taking out credit and the repayments you’ll be responsible for. Often, the credit will be interest-free, but it is important to know if this is the case and, if it is not, to recognise how much the interest will be.
It is also possible to get help with your vet bills from animal charities if you are in receipt of certain benefits. The PDSA can provide assistance if you live within a certain catchment area of one of its pet hospitals.
For this, you must be receiving either Universal Credit without the housing element, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, Pension Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA — income-based only), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or must be drawing a state pension and living in council tax bands A to D.
The Blue Cross, Dogs Trust and RSPCA can also help in certain situations.
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