Your neighbors are working on their home, and construction people are blocking your driveway. Not only is it annoying, but it is also making you late for work! But what can you do about it? Can construction block your driveway?
Private construction crews have no legal right to block your property. However, if there is road construction that must block your driveway, they must finish as quickly as possible and allow you back onto your property.
As someone who had two years’ worth of road construction happening outside their window, I know how frustrating it is to be unsure whether or not you’ll be able to use your own driveway. So, let’s talk about what you can do about it!
This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and other stores. This means Yard Blogger may earn a commission if you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If you’re having problems with construction workers respecting your driveway, you may need to create a physical barrier to show them where your property ends. This may also be useful to keep them from blocking your driveway.
Here are three of our best ways to keep your driveway clear so that you can always access your property without a hassle:
1. Safety Cones – Use these collapsable cones to show where your property starts.
2. Security Fencing – Pull this gate closed when coming home at night to encourage construction workers to stay away.
3. Do Not Block Signage – Add a do not block sign to the bottom of your driveway to notify construction workers that you need to access your property.
Dealing with Construction Workers
It’s happened to all of us at one point; you wake up in the morning to beeping and loud machinery, only to find out that there is construction near your home. Worst case scenario, that construction is blocking your driveway.
If you work outside the home, this can be a very stressful way to wake up. What if they won’t let you out? Will you be late for work? Can construction workers block the road or block access to your property and parking areas?
If you can see the workers blocking you in, start by asking them to move their equipment so you can get in and out of your driveway. Unless they are fixing the road directly in front of your home, they must move out of the way for you.
Dealing with a People Parking in Your Driveway
If construction vehicles have parked in your driveway without permission, contact their office. Most contracted workers will have their place of employment on their vehicles, so you should have no trouble getting the number.
Inform their offices that they have parked in your driveway without permission and are blocking your way. If the office does not make them move, you can also inform the office that you will have their vehicles towed or call the police for trespassing.
If you did not okay these construction vehicles to be on your property, they are legally trespassing, and you are within your rights to have their vehicles impounded. The workers may also face trespassing charges if they use your property without permission.
Legal Rights and How to Use Them
There are a few laws that outline your rights surrounding your driveway.
For example, in Pennsylvania, there is a statute prohibiting:
“The standing or parking of a vehicle in front of a public or private driveway, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or to protect the safety of any person or vehicle or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device.”
Most states have similar ordinances, so be sure to check your local and state laws if you feel that your driveway is being illegally blocked.
There will be times when city workers obtain obstruction permits. These permits are exactly what they sound like, permits granted by your local government permitting the worker to block a street or driveway to get work done.
These are typically used for paving projects, fixing underground pipes or lines, etc. However, these are also needed when the worker is going to be blocking sidewalks, street parking, and even curbs!
Side note, private citizens may also need these permits if they will be building something on their property that ties up the roadway or sidewalk, so if you’re going to start a building project, be sure to check for all relevant permits!
A Quick Explanation of Easements
Suppose state workers, utility workers, or someone else needs to use your driveway to access utility poles or other important structures on or near your property. In that case, they should have an easement agreement allowing your property to be used.
An easement agreement may have been built into your lease, or you signed a separate agreement when you purchased the land. Without an easement, they cannot force their way onto your property except in case of emergency repairs.
You might also enjoy our post on How To Remove an Easement From Your Property The Right Way
Unblocking Your Driveway
If the construction workers are parked on the street but blocking your driveway, so you have trouble getting in and out, they’re still breaking the law. Unless they are state workers fixing the road in front of your driveway, they have no right to block your access.
However, if the work requires blocking your driveway, the company should notify you at least 24 hours in advance. This may be done by phone call, but more likely, there will be a flyer or hanger on your door letting you know of the inconvenience.
Often, these flyers or hangers will also have contact information in case of emergency. This also allows you to contact the people blocking your driveway if the work is taking longer than expected or if they damage your property during their work.
If you know you will need to access your property during the time they intend to block it off, this gives you a chance to move your vehicle.
You may decide to park on the street or ask a neighbor if you can park in their driveway overnight if you know they will block off your driveway in advance.
How to Make Them Unblock Your Mailbox
Purposely blocking a mailbox is illegal. That being said, if the block is temporary, for example, while a street is being paved, it is the carrier’s job to ensure mail is delivered. To do this, they may place packages on your porch or next to the front door.
Your mail, however, may be delayed for a day if the carrier cannot access your mailbox. If this goes on for longer than a day or two, your mail may be returned to the sender as undeliverable.
So, if you are having issues with your mailbox being blocked constantly, you may want to invest in signage informing the public that your mailbox is not to be blocked. If it keeps happening, you have the right to tow the vehicle if it’s on private property.
Having your driveway blocked is frustrating. Often, the blockage is illegal, and you have every right to insist the instigator move.
However, in the cases where obstruction permits have been granted, they should have informed you of the block in advance.
If you know construction will block your driveway, you should ask your neighbors if you can park in their driveway or in front of their house if you need to get out during the construction.
On the other hand, if the construction company did not warn you and they do not have a permit, you’re within your rights to ask them to move. If they will not comply, calling their bosses or local police will help you sort the matter out.
Remember, always try talking with the workers first before escalating. Often, they are just trying to do their jobs and have been told where to park. However, if they are belligerent, then escalation is sometimes necessary.