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Is it possible to share a driveway?


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#1 me-and-my-girls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:57 AM

This is part WDYT and part vent.

I moved into a new rental property almost 6 months ago.  It is a house but has a kind of small unit attached at the back (not a granny flat but it looks like they just attached it to the rear of the house - I hope I am explaining it clearly).  When we moved it the little unit was vacant and we were told that the owners son was going to be moving in there.  On the day we moved in, said son came over and welcomed us (son is an adult, prob in his 30's, so not a teenager or anything).  He was lovely.  Said that he will be moving in shortly but works long hours so will barely be home anyway.  He said that the backyard, carport, BBQ, clothesline, everything is ours to use and he wants us to make ourselves at home and feel comfortable.

Anyway, a few months later the real estate agent knocked on our door one morning.  He said there has been a change of plans and owners son is not moving in anymore.  He said that they have a tenant but he wanted it to be someone that we would be comfortable with.  He said that they have rented it to a lovely lady in her 70's and he thinks that we will get on well with her.  Later that day the older lady came over and introduced herself, no problems, she seems nice enough.

Fast forward about a month and I have not seen the older lady since.  Now maybe she just doesn't leave the house much or maybe she is not living there at all.  There is another female that lives there though.  Now my problem is that this person is always parking in "my" driveway.  I feel like I can't come and go from my house as I need to.  She very often parks me in and I need to go and find her and ask her to move her car so I can get out.  Also, if she has visitors they will all park behind me.  On friday night I had 2 or 3 cars parked behind mine in my driveway - I have 2 children, what if I had an emergency and needed to get out. When she has not parked me in she has gone in first and parked in the carport, so I then need to park behind her.  This has resulted in her banging on my door at all hours of the day and night asking me to move my car.  If I want to have a sleep in on a Saturday there is no chance as she will be banging on my door early in the morning.

Now I know I could park on the street but I really don't want to.  It's a narrow street and the house is close to a corner, and I would not feel comfortable leaving my car on the street at night in the dark.  Secondly, I leased this house knowing that the driveway was mine.  I mean, if it were a double driveway there would be no problem but how can 2 seperate households share a single driveway?  It's really starting to get to me.  I feel like I can't come and go from my own house as I please and I feel like I can't live in peace without worrying that I am going to hear a bang on my door asking me to move my car all the time.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing?  Please give me some perspective.

Thanks




#2 HollyOllyOxenfree

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

I'd talk to the real estate agent and get clarification on whether the driveway is included on both leases. To be honest it sounds like some sort of dodgy sublet is going on, but my opinion could be coloured by my dodgy neighbours doing dodgy sublets glare.gif

#3 imamumto3

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:10 AM

can you ask the rea if they are entitled to use the driveway or not?  they might have leased the property and were told not to park in the driveway.  if so get the rea to talk to her.

#4 FiveAus

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

Can you park at the start of the driveway so that no one can get in after you and park you in?

#5 noi'mnot

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

Why don't you have a chat to your rea and find out exactly who has what rights, and then talk to your neighbour? I'm sure she's just as annoyed as you are and would like to find a workable solution as much as you do.

#6 JKTMum

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

I'm assuming the driveway is only one car width wide, so not possible for you to park your cars side by side.

If so then I'd be going back to the REA, asking for clarification as to who is entitled to use the driveway and carport (I know the owners son said you could but that was a verbal agreement when he was intending to live there). If it's both, then you need to work out an amicable arrangement, either taking it in turns as to who can park in the driveway (maybe alternate days although this would be a pain) or maybe you can come to some other arrangement. Also if you do have to share, then I'd be getting the REA or owner to put up a sign on the fence telling visitors that they are not allowed to use the drive and must park on the street (that would apply to your visitors as well as hers). Let the REA know that a younger female is living there, the grandmother may have taken out the lease if her grand-daughter had issues getting a rental, so the REA might not be aware of the fact that the older lady isnt living there.

#7 qak

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

Where does the driveway go to - just the car port?  Can you park them in and go our for the day wwhistle.gif

I would talk to the agent about your problems.   What does it say on your lease - how is the house described (usually it is just the address, so you are entitled to use the whole of the property)?

It sounds dodgy - does the unit have it's own water and electricity meters - are you paying for their usage?  Apparently the water board LOVES to hear about these type of properties.

#8 emlis22

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:27 AM

It likely depends on whether the back lot is subdivided, or whether its two dwelling on the one lot. If they are on seperate titles, the drive way is more than likely "common property", meaning it benefits you both.

Given that you share back yard amenities, I'm thinking its more like a granny flat out the back type situation and therefore I would have a chat to the real estate about your rights, OR explain to this girl that she can't park you in.

#9 spottyladybug

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:28 AM

We have been dealing with this issue for 2.5 yrs. We live in a back flat (block of four) that has its own driveway right down the side so we can park next to our flat. The other three flats have driveways and carports out the front on the other side. Most of the new tennants believe it is more than okay to constantly park us in. We usually approach them first and ask if they can check if we need to go out, and if it continues have on occasion just asked the police to move a car on (not very nice approachable neighbours) or raised voice tell them to move (especially if we are in the car when they park us in). I honestly don't think our REA could care less. Most people have responded well to us asking nicely - some people just do not think or have it occur to them driveway sharing is an bit of a issue.

So try the nice approach with your neighbour - highlight the emergency part and the inconvenience. If that fails talk to the REA about it. There is every possibility it has just not occurred to her that it is an issue original.gif

Good Luck and I share your frustration!

#10 Sharlie2878

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:41 AM

My brother and his partner have a place like this, it is a house that has been converted into a duplex (3 br 'house' and 1 br unit), but has a single driveway and a 2 car single width carport.  

THey needed somewhere for his partners Mum to live and the unit was perfect for her.  She still drove at the time though so would have had the exact situation you have.  So he created a driveway around the back of the building so she could park in the back end of the carport.  It wasn't perfect as the 'house' gets the yard but the best solution for everyone really.  I believe in order to meet the local regs (in the NT) they had to do it that way to have it classed as 2 separate residences.

#11 Rachaelxxx

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

No real advice for you that others haven't already given, but what a pain for you.  I hope it sorts itself out.

#12 Holidayromp

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

Reading OPs first post I have come to assume that the carport is part of her lease and NOONE has the right to park in there.  Also anyone that is in the granny flat have to park on the street.  Also I would be referring the matter of who is actually living there to the RE - they may be very interested as it sounds like it is being sublet.
However when we were looking for a rental we came across this house that the house upstairs was the one for lease.  The downstairs granny flat was occupied by a builder.  The tiny backyard, carport was for the upstairs tenants use.  The rent was cheap even with Austar, power, water etc thrown in but we didn't take it because basically it is almost as if you have two households sharing the one property and having no say in who the other party is living with you.  It is a recipe for disaster especially when it comes to what is common ground.
You are going to have to get clarification and if any of it is being breached maybe you can get out of the lease and find somewhere else to live.

#13 Therese

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

That's very annoying.

I would have a chat to the REA and see what they say.

Good luck.

#14 Chelara

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

We had a clause in our lease when renting once that the driveway had to be kept clear to allow owner access to his shed (bottom of the drive) no problem, and we parked our car on the front lawn ( he'd covered a section in bark chips for us to do so without ruining the lawn).

#15 me-and-my-girls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Thanks for all your suggestions.

I am going to call the REA today (lovely REA, just really hard to get hold of hahaha!!!).

I'm going to ask him if the older lady is still there and how many people are living in there.  I mean, the unit is small, I mean really, really small.  It's just a toilet/shower, tiny kitchen area and an open area which would be a bedroom/living combo (no separate bedroom).  The whole unit is probably the size of an ordinary bedroom (has a nice verandah though), so I am sure it would not be possible for 2 people to be living there together.  Also, the older lady had no car so the use of the driveway was not an issue when he first told me about her moving in, otherwise I would have discussed it with him then.  I actually think he deliberately rented it to someone he thought didn't have a vehicle.

I am not sure if the water is billed separately as I have not had an excess water bill at all.  I know the electricity is though.



#16 bakesgirls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

A few years ago, we looked at a house for lease that had a separate granny flat at the back. It was apparently already leased to someone who was living there. That was enough to turn me off the house. I didn't want people I didn't know accessing the yard and coming and going as they wished. Having kids too, made me a bit more paranoid about strangers coming and going when they wanted to, and the fact that I'd have absolutely no control over it.

TBH, the whole situation sounds a bit dodgy. It also sounds like this girl is taking advantage of the fact that you haven't spoken to the REA about her being there. I'd be concerned that I was covering her utility bills without knowing that I was actually doing it.

FWIW, I think the driveway should be for your use, not for her and her friends. I consider the driveway and carport to be a part of the main house, not the unit out back.

Please let us know what the REA says when you speak to them. I'm curious as to whether or not they know about the girl. Hope you can get it resolved original.gif  



#17 mummy.to.one

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

DH and I rented a granny flat behind a house years ago. We were told there was no off street parking, but we knew the people in the house in front so they let us park in the drvieway (which was double wide so we didn't block them in).

I would say they shouldn't be parking in the driveway but it depends what they were told as part of their lease or maybe the older lady was made aware but not the younger person living there.

#18 adl

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Agree call REA.... But sounds very dodgy and probably not in accordance with Council regulations etc your lease is probably for the whole property so have a look at paperwork, is there a separate mailbox etc...but you will probably find you have the whole property incl the granny flat as its not subdivided....

#19 erindiv

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Did you get onto the REA, OP? Definitely sounds like a dodgy sublet to me.

#20 me-and-my-girls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

I called REA. I asked him how many people live there, he said that there is only the old lady on the lease. He said that she had previously asked him if her daughter could live there too but he said that its too small, so no. He asked me how many people live there. I said that I can't be certain but I think at least 2. He was p*ssed!!!  

I told him about the car issue and he said, again, that he told old lady that daughter can't live there. REA is going to speak to old lady, see what's going on and call me back tomorrow.

Will keep you updated.

#21 erindiv

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

Knew it! I hope they get in trouble rant.gif

Good on you for speaking up, OP.

#22 Holidayromp

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

Yes....looks like there may be an eviction on the cards... dev (6).gif   Good job.  They have a hide to live there without permission and then make your life miserable in the process.  I bet you the 'little old lady' didn't see that one coming.

Oh please do keep us updated....this is gonna be good..... dev (6).gif

#23 Holidayromp

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

QUOTE (me-and-my-girls @ 21/01/2013, 08:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fast forward about a month and I have not seen the older lady since.  Now maybe she just doesn't leave the house much or maybe she is not living there at all.  There is another female that lives there though.  Now my problem is that this person is always parking in "my" driveway.  I feel like I can't come and go from my house as I need to.  She very often parks me in and I need to go and find her and ask her to move her car so I can get out.  Also, if she has visitors they will all park behind me.  On friday night I had 2 or 3 cars parked behind mine in my driveway - I have 2 children, what if I had an emergency and needed to get out. When she has not parked me in she has gone in first and parked in the carport, so I then need to park behind her.  This has resulted in her banging on my door at all hours of the day and night asking me to move my car.  If I want to have a sleep in on a Saturday there is no chance as she will be banging on my door early in the morning.


Also OP I hope that you told the RE about what you said above.  That there is even more ammunition to get it stopped once and for all.

#24 bakesgirls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

Good on you OP for speaking to the REA. Did she honestly think that she could make your life difficult and do what she wants, parking you in etc.. How arrogant of her.

I hope you get your peaceful home (and driveway) back soon. Keep us updated on what happens.

#25 Bluemakede

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

That would annoy me so much.

Funny how you'd think that if you're going to do be dodgy about your living arrangements you'd be a bit more inconspicuous about it by not impacting the neighbors living there as well lol.

Hope the RE is able to sort it out and you'll not have issues with the driveway again.




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