Can Construction Crews Block Your Driveway? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

For most of my life, I lived on a main street of town. This meant that traffic was always something that was kind of just there. When construction happened, it was in the best interest of the towns to figure out a way to let me leave my driveway. But, this isn’t always the case, right? Can construction actually block your driveway, legally?

Unless construction crews were sent by the township that you live in and warned you ahead of time, they generally do not have the right to block your driveway without your consent. In most cities, they need to get a permit to do so.

Construction crews are known for having people that want to cut corners on paperwork, but that doesn’t mean you have to stand for it. Here’s what you need to know.

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Do You Own The Road In Front Of Your Driveway?

Here’s the kicker that most people do not want to acknowledge: you don’t own the road right outside your driveway. That is public property, which means that the city decides whether or not it can be used to let construction crews park there. So, you are not required to give permission for the use of the road outside your driveway.

Are Construction Crews Allowed To Park In Front Of Your Driveway?

The answer to this depends on where you live. Most states have laws that require construction crews to ask for a permit, but some straight up barred the act altogether. We suggest looking up local laws by calling the municipal office in your city or looking up state parking laws. Here’s what we can offer as general information:

  • Most states and cities require a permit to block a person’s driveway. With that permit usually comes the responsibility to give you a heads up.
  • If you block a driveway in most towns, it’s considered to be ticket-worthy. It’s a form of impeding traffic.
  • Many states also allow you the right to sue if you feel like they are harassing you. If you have a particular company doing this on a regular basis, then this is a potential route. However, it can be more expensive to do than what you’d get.

What Should You Do If A Construction Crew Blocks Your Driveway?

If you have a bad construction crew in your neighborhood, then you need to know what your rights are as a homeowner. There are several things you can do to find out your rights and exercise them:

  • Start by asking the men to move their cars. Usually, asking the foreman is the right move here. In most cases, they will move—even if they grumble about it.
  • If that doesn’t work, call the number on the van and escalate the situation to the office supervisor. Most crews don’t want to be in bad standing with neighbors, so they will usually force the issue.
  • When calling the crew doesn’t work, call your local zoning board or non-emergency police line. Ask if the crew in front of your house has a permit. If they do not, ask the police to come and get them a ticket. In most cases, crews will leave the area and also deal with a financial reminder not to do it again.
  • If the issue persists over the course of multiple days, you can send an official letter from a lawyer regarding the matter. Most areas would consider this to be a form of harassment. Moreover, since you may have lost wages and dealt with other issues, you can also sue for this.

Should You Sue A Construction Company That Regularly Blocks Your Driveway?

You might have the right to sue, especially if it’s a repeat issue. However, in most cases, it’s not going to be worth it. You won’t get as much money as you would probably spend on the lawsuit itself. Still, there’s something to be said about the message that it sends to the company.

In many cases, a strong letter and a summons will be enough to make construction companies stop their crappy behavior. Most people would probably want to settle out of court, especially since it can tar their reputation with people in the area. With that said, this is something you should discuss with a lawyer.

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Related Questions

Can you tow construction cars that have parked in your driveway?

If a construction crew parked in your driveway without permission, they are technically trespassing. Your driveway is your property, and that means that you have the right to decide what happens. Towing, therefore, is an option that you can pursue.In the majority of cases, it’s best to talk to the police non-emergency line before you tow their car. In some cases, they may be able to give you advice as to how to continue or they may tow it on their own. Either way, it’s a good way to teach the crew a lesson.

Can you report a construction crew for unethical behavior?

There are several ways you can report a construction crew. The easiest way to do it is to write a bad review on Yelp or Google Places detailing the issues they caused. However, you also may want to contact the local state licensure board. In many cases it’s the most effective way to sound the alarm bell, get help recovering damages, and also ensure they can’t harm anyone else. Revocation of their license is enough to bar them from legally taking jobs in your area.

How much time are city officials supposed to give you before they can block your driveway?

This depends on the local city mandates as well as what your city is trying to do. In most cases, cities will give at least two weeks’ notice before they start doing work. It’s usually given in the form of a signed letter explaining the situation and how long your road will not be usable, along with a helpline number. Don’t worry, they won’t make the project last for too long!

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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