‘Irritated’ drivers warned over legal loophole allowing strangers to park on your driveway

Furious man beeps horn at woman in his car parking space

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A number of UK households have been stuck with the issue of coming home to see someone else parked on their private property. Although it might be assumed a quick call to the authorities would solve the issue, homeowners are often faced with the unfortunate news that a legal loophole means the act can go unpunished.

When a motorist parks on someone else’s driveway, there is very little chance of the law getting involved.

Generally, councils have no authority over private property and cannot dictate or control access.

If a car is parked on a public road and blocking a driveway, the driver is committing a parking offence.

If this is the case, local authorities have the power to get involved and issue a fine to the motorist.

READ MORE: Drivers fear parking fines over councils ‘pretty stupid’ mistake

If a homeowner suspects the vehicle has been abandoned, their local council would be required to move the car regardless of its position on private or public land.

However, if the car has up to date MOT, tax, insurance and is not in a position where it could cause danger to anyone around, the council are again powerless.

A spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com commented on the legal loophole and what drivers can do.

They said: “Unfortunately, many homeowners stuck with someone else parked on their driveway are turned away from local authorities and councils as they have no authority to remove vehicles from private properties.

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“Although this act can very often go unpunished, there are some things irritated homeowners can do to help avoid this problem happening to them again.”

While there is no criminal law against a stranger parking on a driveway without the homeowner’s consent, a driveway is a part of private property so by driving on to it the unwanted motorist is committing an act of trespassing.

Trespassing is classified as a civil offence rather than a criminal offence, meaning that the police do not have the power to make an arrest.

Homeowners could pursue a civil case for trespassing to try and remove the car from the driveway, although this would involve solicitors.

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