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Wednesday 28 September 2022
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What can I do about a neighbour blocking my garage in France?

If the neighbour does not agree to park elsewhere, it is possible to escalate the issue to the authorities 

You should first try to approach the neighbour informally about the issue to explain the problems it is causing Pic: mirbasar / Shutterstock

Reader question: A neighbour regularly blocks my garage entrance with his car. How should I deal with this problem?

You should first try to approach the neighbour informally about the issue to explain the problems it is causing.

If that does not work, there are stronger measures you can take.

First, there is nothing stopping you calling the municipal police and reporting the blockage. If they agree to visit, they are likely to issue a fine for stationnement gênant (inconvenient parking). 

This is only €35, but if the owner is absent and/or refuses to move the car, the police may order it to be taken to a pound, with further fees for retrieving it.

Alternatively, or if the neighbour persists, you could send him a formal warning letter by lettre recommandée avec avis de réception (registered post with receipt slip), stating the inconvenience caused and making reference to article R417-10 of the Code de la Route highway code, points II.5 and III.1.

These relate to preventing access to another vehicle or blocking it from leaving, and to parking in front of vehicle access points at neighbouring properties.

Remind him or her that, legally, he could be ordered to pay damages to you for the inconvenience.

If nothing changes you can apply to the tribunal judiciaire court. This can be done with or without a lawyer to represent you. 

It is best in this case to gather proof of the offence, such as having a huissier (bailiff) take official note of the situation (at a cost of around €200), taking and dating photos, and asking for written testimonies from neighbours. 

You should explain the harm caused to you by the parking – how it affects access to and from your property as well as, for example, if you have missed important appointments because of it.

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