Can a caravan be parked on a road?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s hard to avoid caravans at this time of year. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it can help to be in the know about the legalities of owning a caravan. And, should you have neighbours who are inconsiderate in the way they park or use their caravan, you can find out more below.

Can a caravan be stored on a road?

There is no specific law that prevents a caravan from being parked on a road but it’s important to note that if it obstructs passing traffic, obscures access, or affects anyone’s general rights such as blocking views or restricting light, then a third-party may try to take legal action.

It’s also worth checking insurance details. Some policies have a clause that means caravans are not insured when parked on a road or unhitched from the towing vehicle (unless in a caravan park).

Can a caravan be stored on a driveway?

In many circumstances, yes, but it is important to check your title deeds before doing so. The more modern the property, the more likely there will be restrictions. In modern housing developments, the fashion is now for the builder’s lawyer to create title deeds for the whole estate, which can be very detailed, including limiting or restricting the storing of caravans. This is all for good reason - no one wants loud, obnoxious, or busy activities on their doorstep.

Is planning permission required to store a caravan on land other than a driveway?

Again, it’s important to refer to the deeds. Just because someone has ample land, it isn’t a given that they will be allowed to store their caravan on it. In fact, in some more rural locations, caravans are strictly forbidden and putting just a single caravan on farmland, for example, could be considered a ‘change in use’ which would require planning permission.

What if a neighbour’s caravan is blocking access or light?

Start by checking your own deeds as they are likely to be identical, if not very similar, to those of the neighbouring property. If the deeds do not allow this, action can be taken in court to get an injunction (called an interdict in Scotland) to prevent them from continuing. If the title is silent, they can continue. But if the caravan affects access to a property or has a serious impact on inside light, then there may still be grounds on a health and safety basis to make a legal challenge.

Can someone live in a caravan whilst it is parked at their home?

Having additional space can be extremely useful for overnight guests and is perfectly legal where the caravan is used as an extension of the home, for example, as an extra bedroom, or office. This is both as overspill for the odd night here or there and also as a permanent extra room. It cannot be used as a permanent residence though.

And, if the caravan affects neighbours’ general rights – i.e. if the caravan is making noise, smells, or parties are being held in it – a complaint can be made to the local authority about this anti-social behaviour, and a common law court injunction/interdict sought against them.

Can a driveway caravan be listed on Airbnb or other rental platforms?

If the caravan is used as a separate home, and not just for immediate family and their guests, then the caravan owner will need to apply for planning permission. Even if the let is on an informal basis, and there is no contract in place, planning permission would be required.

If you’re looking to store your caravan at your home or are concerned about someone else’s caravan being sited near your home, it’s usually fairly easy to check with a local authority if you’re unsure about planning regulations.

How to resolve a caravan issue with neighbours

Like all issues with neighbours, it is best to try to resolve things amicably but only raise the issue with your neighbour if you feel safe in doing so. It’s useful to keep a record of how often the issue arises, how it affects you, and what steps you’ve taken to resolve the problem. 

Rather than confront a neighbour out of the blue, it can be beneficial to email, write or text message so that you can choose your words carefully - and to ensure that nothing will be said in the heat of the moment 

If the property is rented, it may also be worth raising any problems with the landlord too.

Failing all of the above, the property owner with the law on their side can force the issue and get resolution by contacting a solicitor.

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