Legal Q&A: How can we get our neighbour to stop blocking our shared driveway?

Our neighbours have put a skip on our shared driveway and refuse to move it. They have also blocked access to our garage in the past by parking on the driveway. My husband has mobility problems so this makes our lives difficult. What can we do?
Question: We own a semi-detached house with a shared driveway that leads to the garages for both properties. A skip has been put on the driveway without our permission and our neighbours refuse to move it. We have also had problems with them and their visitors parking on the driveway, making it tricky for us to access our bins. This is so difficult, as my husband has mobility problems. What can we do now?
Answer: First, look at your title deeds to establish how the driveway is owned. Either you or your neighbour is likely to own it, with the other having a right of way over it.
There are probably covenants, too, regulating and restricting the way the driveway can be used. Hopefully, there will be a restrictive covenant preventing it from being obstructed by vehicles parked on it.
As your neighbours have refused to move the skip despite your having asked them to do so, you should contact the skip hire company. Explain that their skip should not be on the driveway, and request its removal.
If that fails, formally write to your neighbour stating that you will be instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf if the situation cannot be resolved, and remind your neighbour of relevant covenants and obligations. Your neighbour should not be causing a nuisance by obstructing your driveway with either a skip or with visitors’ cars.
As a last resort, you may take court action, seeking damages and/or an injunction which will require the neighbour to remove the skip and stop any future obstructions. Do seek legal advice in this regard, however, as court action can be costly.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is a Legal Director in the private wealth group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter.
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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