Right of way: can my neighbour reverse over my driveway if they’ve been doing it for years?

Question: My next-door neighbour has a single car width driveway, deep enough to fit two cars.

The car in front always leaves first in the morning and reverses over part of my driveway in order to get out.

I have asked them to stop on one occasion but they said they had been doing it for ages and had a right.

Is there anything I can do or has he got me over a barrel?

Answer: You should check your title deeds to ensure that there is no documented right for the neighbour to use your driveway in that manner.

If no right is apparent, it is still possible for the neighbour to have acquired a right to use part of your driveway in order to move in and out of their driveway.

The neighbour would have to prove that they had used your driveway in that way continuously for at least 20 years.

Assuming that there is no documented right set out in the title to your property, one way of protecting your position is to put up a sign stating there is no right of way over your driveway.

You may also consider erecting a fence along the relevant boundary if the issue continues.

Check documentation such as the Property Information Form, which you should have received when you purchased the property, to see whether there is any mention of the neighbour acting in this way.

It may be something that should have been drawn to your attention by the previous owner.

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.

If you have a question for Piers King, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. Questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here.

Piers King is a solicitor in the property department of Streathers Solicitors LLP.

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