Sleeping in a driveway (1 Viewer)

VANpelt

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Hi gang!

I'm looking to buy my first camper. Going into my 3rd year of university next year and was wondering about the legality around potentially parking a camper in friends driveways and living like that to avoid rent?

Appreciate any knowledge - am completely new to this!
 
Aug 6, 2013
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As a vaguely related aside, my family and I lived in two caravans on our own land for two years, whilst we completed a barn conversion. No issues with neighbours, or the local authority, and as for PC Plod, it was on his round for a brew and a bacon butty. Make of it what you will.
It's entirely a Civil matter in which the Police play no part and aren't interested. They turn up only if there's a dispute and possibility of a Breach of the Peace. Or for bacon butties. :giggle:

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JJ

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It's entirely a Civil matter in which the Police play no part and aren't interested. They turn up only if there's a dispute and possibility of a Breach of the Peace. Or for bacon butties. :giggle:

Are you sure you should be posting on here with knowledgeable, sensible answers based on reality from the real world?

Are you insured to do so?

Do you have the correct paperwork?


JJ :cool:
 
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From a legal perspective, it's another variation of the prevalent Beds in Sheds illegal accommodation racket.

A local BTL landlord attempted this by constructing a massive cabin / shed occupying almost half the back garden belonging to his rental ground floor flat, but was soon caught after neighbours noticed the extra cars, and daily comings and goings by strangers. Council officers put a stop to this, and it became nothing more than a very big expensive garden shed. There was no way it would get planning permission for residential use. I am even surprised the Council allowed it to remain. The shed is almost as big as the flat itself.

A driveway being part of the curtilage of a dwelling is exempt from the Caravan Sites Act, but that doesn't mean other Planning legislation and restrictive covenants don't apply. The law concerning restrictive covenants against keeping a caravan (or MH) is extremely complicated, and I disagree strongly with any presumption that only the original builder can enforce the covenant especially when the house is on an estate.

Just saying that you won't get away with living permanently on someone's drive in a campervan, using it as your dwelling. It might be tolerated for a while. Vanlife is mostly about living stealthily on the streets and industrial estates, and keeping moving to stay under the radar.
 
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Aberystwyth_V

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I have a driveway with a stunning sea view and private access to a sun terrace in West Wales I'd like to offer to campervans for short stays,any advice on where to advertise this?

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Son did similar 20+ years ago, but he was parked up at an out of the way farm.

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Aberystwyth_V

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I wouldn't . You'll leave yourself open to all sorts of problems.
Really?! Thanks for the feedback I appreciate it. I'm in a quiet area with enough private space in my drive for it not to be an issue for neighbours so it seemed like could be a useful way to provide a little extra occasional income,I'm in an extremely popular area for tourists and camp sites are often fully booked in summer
 
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Apr 19, 2019
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Be careful having a drink in the van, unlikely but an eager cop could suspect you intend to drive after drinking.
Police have no jurisdiction if it's not on the public road do they. Unless it's obvious you have just driven there. It's private land, you can do what you like so long as you don't disturb the peace. No need to leave keys in the house so long as you genuinely have no intention to drive.

This is one of those scare stories/ myths that prevail on here. I think the police have better things to do than to look for crimes that have not yet been committed.
 
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PeterCarole29

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Welcome! I am sure you can get away with it if there are no nosy neighbours. If it's on a drive and in full view of passing cars and pedestrians you could get into trouble if someone complains to the local authority.

I say this because it would I think be no different to living in a caravan on a property - you need planning permission.

You might be wise to move the vehicle regularly, especially at the end of each term and be discrete - no parties! :)
Please except this as advice and nothing personal. You do no need planning permision for a caravan as long as it is within the curtalidge(boundery of the house as long as the caravan is an extention of the fascilities of the house.
I know this personally after i sited a 35ft static caravan at my house.I had the council enforsement officer round within 10 days and presented him with these details. He said i was correct but it is not common knowledge

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Northernraider

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Really?! Thanks for the feedback I appreciate it. I'm in a quiet area with enough private space in my drive for it not to be an issue for neighbours so it seemed like could be a useful way to provide a little extra occasional income,I'm in an extremely popular area for tourists and camp sites are often fully booked in summer
You could do it ...i just would not advertise it anywhere. Too many busy bodies , stupid rules and legislations etc.
 
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DBK

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Please except this as advice and nothing personal. You do no need planning permision for a caravan as long as it is within the curtalidge(boundery of the house as long as the caravan is an extention of the fascilities of the house.
I know this personally after i sited a 35ft static caravan at my house.I had the council enforsement officer round within 10 days and presented him with these details. He said i was correct but it is not common knowledge
This is an old thread but I'm not sure your example covers the situation described by the OP which was parking a MH, in which they intend to live on the drive of a house belonging to someone else. It might be a struggle to describe that as an extension to the house.

The last paragraph of post #37 is a good summary of the position.

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Apr 13, 2019
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Police have no jurisdiction if it's not on the public road do they. Unless it's obvious you have just driven there. It's private land, you can do what you like so long as you don't disturb the peace. No need to leave keys in the house so long as you genuinely have no intention to drive.

This is one of those scare stories/ myths that prevail on here. I think the police have better things to do than to look for crimes that have not yet been committed.
This is true, an offence can only be committed in a public place, e.g a public road or public car park ie a parking place where the public have access. If you are on a private driveway you will not be committing any offence by drinking in your van.

The charge people are referring to is "Being drunk in charge of a vehicle", this is different to drink driving. To be convicted of being drunk in charge of a vehicle, the prosecution must prove that the amount of alcohol in your blood was above the legal limit and also that you were in charge of a vehicle in a public place.

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cmcardle75

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This is true, an offence can only be committed in a public place, e.g a public road or public car park ie a parking place where the public have access. If you are on a private driveway you will not be committing any offence by drinking in your van.

The charge people are referring to is "Being drunk in charge of a vehicle", this is different to drink driving. To be convicted of being drunk in charge of a vehicle, the prosecution must prove that the amount of alcohol in your blood was above the legal limit and also that you were in charge of a vehicle in a public place.

Specifically there is a defence that you were reasonably not intending to drive. Being drunk in a vehicle in a public place is not a strict liability offence. They need to prove on balance of probabilities (not beyond reasonable doubt) that you intended to drive.
 
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I have read the above,

1) In general a pub car park is not a public place if the land belongs to the pub.

2) This thread is about parking on a private drive.

3) In a public place place the prosecution have to prove a) you intended to drive or b) you where in charge, this second part is the most difficult to defend, it involves wether you could drive e.g where are the keys?, might you access them in an emergency, could a sober person drive legally. This is why wild camping can be problematic for motorhome users. Defences can be keys locked away. Keys with someone else, are you in your pj's. Were you in bed. It is for the defendant to prove that they did not intend to drive and they did not have the opportunity to drive.

In a first hearing the prosecution have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you intended to drive or would have driven if you needed to.

At any appeal the prosecution only have prove on the balance of probabilities you would have driven.

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Apr 19, 2019
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I have read the above,

1) In general a pub car park is not a public place if the land belongs to the pub.

2) This thread is about parking on a private drive.

3) In a public place place the prosecution have to prove a) you intended to drive or b) you where in charge, this second part is the most difficult to defend, it involves wether you could drive e.g where are the keys?, might you access them in an emergency, could a sober person drive legally. This is why wild camping can be problematic for motorhome users. Defences can be keys locked away. Keys with someone else, are you in your pj's. Were you in bed. It is for the defendant to prove that they did not intend to drive and they did not have the opportunity to drive.

In a first hearing the prosecution have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you intended to drive or would have driven if you needed to.

At any appeal the prosecution only have prove on the balance of probabilities you would have driven.
Yes, this is a good summary

I can't see why the police would want to try and prove you intended to drive, if they didn't genuinely believe that you intended to drive. I don't know why people worry about it so much.

However, saying that - A friend of mine slept in his car in Inverness one night. He was blathered. The police disturbed him and arrested him. He was charged with drunk in charge. However he had taken a sleeping bag and pillow with him. He had planned to sleep in the car. The police didn't believe him. He got a solicitor. He pleaded not guilty. The magistrate dismissed the case. He got his costs back.
 
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