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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am a retired lady and I live in a 3 bedroomed semi detached

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I am a retired lady and I live in a 3 bedroomed semi detached bungalow (formerly 2 bedroomed). My neighbour's property has a similar layout. The properties have a garage and a driveway which accommodate 3/4 cars, they also have a small garden at the front and larger garden at the rear. I own my property. Both properties are in a small cul de sac on a residential estate. The 6 other properties in the cul de sac are owned by elderly incapacitated neighbours. A concrete block wall marks the boundary at the foot of the front garden with a hedge being a party boundary between our 2 properties at the front withe a 6 ft wall being the shared boudary at the rear. Some time ago, my neighbour removed 4 or 5 of the concrete blocks from the wall at the front of his property in order to widen his driveway, this making the wall narrower. My neighbour is an AA mechanic. His leisure pursuits are centred around Motorcross events. His front garden is concreted to provide extra parking. He owns 2 'Pullman' wagons each being the size of a small caravan, a 3rd Pullman wagon is larger and is equipped to provide food and beverages at the Motorcross events. Another trailer is a long open style which he uses to transport metal barriers for the venues and which can be towed by his Range Rover vehicle. All of these vehicles are parked on his drive and he uses his concreted front garden to park 2 of these Pullman wagons. Standing side by side, they are almost the width of his bungalow frontage. Recently, he has also been parking a very large old tractor on his drive. He uses this to tow one of the Pullmans. A third Pullman is parked on his drive infront of the tractor and open syle trailer and his RangeRover. In addition to these vehicles, he parks his AA transit van in front of the boundary wall. Because he removed part of the wall, his van is now partially parked in front of my property and directly over my water meter. In addition to all these vehicles, he has a partner and a lodger who park their cars in the cul de sac, since there is no room on the driveway. Recently he parked his mud splattered Range Rover which was attached to one of the mud splattered Pullmans in the cul de sac, taking up even more space and causing others to zig zag around different vehicles to access their own driveways - mine being one of them. Altogether, there are nine vehicles being used by my neighbour. Prior to obtaining the Pullman trailers, he had a large boat with trailer and a very large lorry parked on the drive/concrete. My property has been for Sale for approximately 12 months, with a number of viewings. During the past 9 years I have improved my property with extensions etc, costing a great deal of money. However, if I were a potential buyer, looking at the property from the cul de sac, I would be immediately put off by what would appear to be a scruffy vehicle parking bay in front of the immediate neighbouring property. The vehicles, are very muddy leaving trails of mud on the road. In my working life, I was a prison officer dealing with violent offenders, both male and female bullies so until now, I have maintained a cautious workable dialogue with this man, aiming to avoid any argument/dispute, but now I am at my wits end, since looking out of my front lounge window I see to the immediate right the dividing hedge and 2 Pullman trailors, the bigger of the two being the catering facility boldly advertsing "Hot & Cold Snacks" and "Hot 'n Cold Drinks". He appears to use his property as a base rather than his home, That is his business but he has no regard for other residents of our cul de sac. I suppose I should be grateful that at least the lorry and boat are no longer there. Altogether there are parked: 1 agricultural tractor, 3 Pullman wagons, 1 AA transit van, 1 long open trailer, a Range Rover and 2 cars. I do not know what to do now can you advise me of what I can do - or if I can do nothing. He seems to have no regard for other residents of this small cul de sac, because they are elderly. I despair at the thought of having to 'put up with and shut up' over this man's behaviour.

Would you summarise the facts please?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Living in a small cul de sac, my immediate neighbour aged 41(semi-detached bungalow with parking space for 3 to 4 cars) has a total of 9 vehicles: 1 agricultural tractor, 3 Pullman wagons, 1 AA transit van, 1 long open top trailer, a Range Rover and 2 cars. All parked on either his driveway/front garden area / on the road.


I have tried to communicate with him in the past to avoid a dispute but now he shows no regard for neighbours either in his attitude or actions.


- Using the cul de sac as a parking lot extending from a scruffy vehicle depot (his driveway)?


- Health and Safety issues with tractor on a residential estate?


- Health and Safety issues arising from excessive mud on the road from his vehicles?


- 9 vehicles for a 3 bedroomed semi??


What choices do I have - to take ation against him, if any??

Is there any covenant in the deeds prevent this?

Is he operating this as a business or hobby?

Have you raised the issue with him? Do other neighbours feel the same?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. As far as I am aware, the restrictive covenants in the deeds on my own property refer to the property not being used for Business purposes or for the breeding of livestock. I assume the same covenants apply to my neighbour's property.


2. He has told me in the pass that he organises Motorcross events.

He has also told me that the catering wagon is used to provide refreshments (burgers etc) to event goers. At the time, he was looking for a cook/chef to prepare the food and drinks. He said that the previous man he paid to cook etc had been hopeless. I presume therefore that some element of business is being operated.


This is a lifelong interest of his. He says that he won various events in his youth.


3. I have certainly raised the issue of his vehicles with him in the past, but feel that he is being blatant in his actions now and hoping that I will challenge him now. I am purposely not challenging him as I do not want to provoke a Neighbourhood Dispute with him. I want to sell my property and such a matter may go against any sale. I have raised the issue with him on numerous occasions but there have never been Nine vehicles on or near his property until now. I feel that this matter has gone further than trying to engage him in a friendly neihbourly manner now.


Other neighbours have had occasion to speak to him about parking vans etc outside their properties but they have felt intimidated by his response to them. The only time he has acted promptly to remove a vehicle was when he parked a stretched limousine (weddings, parties etc) outside one neighbours property. The property owner told him that unless the vehicle was moved within 2 hours, she would refer the matter to the Police. He came home from work and moved the limousine within 20 minutes. He is an unpleasant character with police history. It appeared that he did not want them involved with this matter. When another of the elderly home owners tackled him three years ago, this character muttered quietly to him "mind your back". This terrified the gentleman.


My neighbour is the youngest resident here. He is well aware of the frailty of other home owners here - they are all in their 80's and one lady is 96. I suspect that they do not have the 'fight' left in them to challenge him anymore.

If you don't want to confront him about this,
(understandable) and you don't want to have a neighbour dispute, how are you
thinking of dealing with it?

Does he have another job or is this his job?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. I was wondering whether the local council might have some influence here. Not sure though which department to approach. I expect they may advise me to keep a record of his behaviour. I will have to disclose any local authority interventions in paperwork regarding the sale of my property. This situation has been deteriorating over the years. At times, his property resembles a breakers yard and site office rather than a residential dwelling. I have started to keep a photographic record of his vehicles and where they are parked.

He acts as though his activities are his concern alone and uses the cul de sac for shifting vehicles about, parking them wherever he chooses, for as long as he wants.


I suppose I could try one more time, to approach him but I am sure that his response will be that on His property he can do as he wishes - he has told me this before. I am concerned that any action that I take could result in a very unpleasant atmosphere (from his side) towards me. I feel quite intimidated by his behaviour and see it as psychological bullying.


2. This is not his job. He is employed full-time by the A.A. ("the 4th emergency service") motoring organisation. I have even wondered how they would recat be to an anonymous complaint made about one of their employees.

By all means contact the Council, but I think it
unlikely that they will take much notice.

It would be different if he was running a business.
Is this another business in addition to his employment? It seems highly likely
that he's not doing this purely, for the good of his health as a little hobby.

The local authority will take notice of it if it is
running as a business, as indeed would the taxman and the VAT man.

Similarly, you can make a complaint to his
employer. If this appears to be putting the organisation in a bad light, but it
may make no difference.

If you complain to the Council or to the employer,
he may put two and two together.

If you make either of the above complaints and it
escalates, you will have to disclose it to a potential buyer is a dispute.

At this stage, provided the place is full of scrap
and is not a health or safety hazard the council will not be able to do
anything unless, as I said, he is actually running a business in addition to
his employment.

You can stop in parking on your land and in that
respect, you can take him to court and get an injunction to stop it.

There is a slim possibility, but it is not a good
claim that you would have a potential action in common law nuisance, but you do
not have that simply because he takes up all the parking on the road. His
actions have to be actual nuisance which, on these facts, I don't think they
are. Certainly, they are not pleasing to the eye but I don't think a court
would find them nuisance.

Can I help further?

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The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It seems that I am in a no-win situation! As I have said, the other property owners in this cul de sac have each at one time or another commented on his behaviour but none of them has wanted to complain about him to the council etc. As I said, if only for my own satisfaction, I am keeping a photographic dated record of the number of vehicles he is using. I would have thought that for anyone living on a small estate, NINE vehicles would have been excessive.

Thank you for your time and advice

I agree with you completely. In fact, I could not agree
more. It sounds like a nightmare to live next to.

Unfortunately, there is very little other than as I have
said above, that you can do.

It might have more effect with the Council on the
complaint front if all the residents in the cul-de-sac wrote complaining.

To be frank, I think he must be running this is a
business unless he has OCD of some description!