Shared driveways: How to deal with a bad neighbour

There’s no magic wicket at City Hall to get your neighbour to stop blocking a shared driveway but you do have legal options

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From the January 2015 issue of the magazine.

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drivewayQ: My neighbour keeps blocking our shared driveway with his van. What can I do about it?

—Driven to Tears, Calgary

A: All too often neighbour spats spiral out of control, so try to stay calm and just start with gentle verbal reminders, says Toronto real estate lawyer Bob Aaron. If that fails, “unfortunately, there is no magic wicket at City Hall to get your neighbour to stop.” Your next move would be to have a lawyer write your neighbour a letter, and if that falls flats, take him to court. “Hopefully, your neighbour would look at the court paperwork before any litigation starts and decide to park elsewhere,” says Aaron. If not, you’ll have to litigate your case and get an injunction against him. The cost? Between $10,000 to $20,000 as well as two years of your time. “If the order goes against the neighbour, and he continues to park there, he will be in contempt of court and be fined—or even imprisoned,” says Aaron. So for now, try to talk through the problem. Good luck!

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3 comments on “Shared driveways: How to deal with a bad neighbour

  1. Remind me never to park in front of your driveway! Instead of spending the $10-$20k on litigation, you could almost pour an entirely new driveway. I think this response may be a little far out there… maybe “Driven to Tears” should realize that life isn’t that bad, bake their neighbour a pie and ask them nicely to park somewhere else. Pie solves everything.

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  2. I would put a fence on the property line through the middle of the driveway. That would solve your problem. Your neighbour can not dispute as the fence is on your side.of the line.

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    • Not likely the city would allow that… An easement was created when the house was built with a shared driveway… virtually impossible to change now.

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