Lawlink – What can I do about a neighbour putting a motorhome in their driveway taking away my view?

Photo: Hanson Lu/Unsplash

Q. I live in a small, relatively newly built housing estate on the southside of Limerick. It’s a quiet development and most people know their neighbours. Recently my neighbour’s house went up for sale and new owners purchased it. They have now parked a huge and very unsightly motorhome in their driveway and, while it is not on any of my property, it certainly takes from the view of my house. More worryingly it appears that sometimes people are sleeping in the motorhome. I approached the new neighbour to ask if the motorhome was going to be there on a long term basis and he basically told me it was none of my business. It is extremely unsightly and does impact on my property insofar as it seriously takes from the aesthetics of my property. Is there anything I can do legally to force him to move the motorhome?

Dear Reader,

This is quite an unfortunate situation, as is your new neighbour’s attitude towards you.

That said, you may have some rights here as usually in developments like yours there are limits to what an owner can do with their property and this issue neatly illustrates the point.

Generally in housing estates, on buying the property every purchaser frequently signs up to ‘covenants’ which bind each owner in relation to the use of their property. What is termed as ‘estate transfer deed’ will contain obligations applicable to each homeowner within the estate.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Usually these covenants contain a clause stating that the owner is only permitted to park a private car and a bicycle or motorcycle in their driveway. The purpose of this clause is to prevent exactly your type of problem.

Therefore, if your neighbour is in breach of a covenant to the estate transfer deed, you can seek to enforce this covenant. If there is a management company on the estate, you could bring it to their attention. You could bring the breach to the attention of your neighbour yourself and try to sort matters out amicably, by pointing out that he is not allowed to store his motorhome in the drive.

If this does not succeed then a letter from your solicitor pointing out that your neighbour is in breach of covenant often does the trick.

A further option that could be explored, especially if the motorhome is being used by people to sleep in, is to bring this to the attention of the local authority and report the matter to them.

An owner who believes that he has unlimited rights to use his property as he wishes may be restricted due to the covenants he signed up to when he purchased his property.