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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Parking Disputes Obstruct Neighbour

Many conflicts between neighbours arise as the result of disputes over parked cars. Of course, if you have a separate driveway then there isn’t a problem, as long as you actually park on it, but issues do arise when people park their cars on the road upon which they live.

Having off street parking not only increases the value of a property but it also reduce the risk of neighbour arguments over where to park the car. In some residential areas, often London, parking permits are charged at a premium rate and don't always resolve the parking problems, as residents think they have a right to park in front of their house since they have paid for a permit.

The Highway Code is there to explain and guide you through the rules and regulations set out in myriad pieces of traffic and road legislation.For example:

  • Drivers should all be aware that you cannot park or wait on double yellow lines at any time.
  • You must not wait or park on single yellow lines at the times stated on corresponding signs.
  • You must not wait, stop, or park on school entrance markings.
  • Unless you are entitled to, you must not park in disabled parking spaces or resident parking spaces.
  • You must also not park in front of the entrance to a property.
There are many more rules which you should read and be aware of before taking any action, you can find the full list at www.gov.uk

Many parking disputes arise over the failure to observe parking ‘etiquette’ on the street where you live. But etiquette and the law are two totally different issues, so let’s take a look at both.

What The Law Says

As long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not contravening any other traffic laws, you are allowed to park anywhere on a public highway (but not on footpaths/pavements) where it is legal to do so.

Parking Outside Your Own House

Etiquette, good manners and common sense are the main ingredients in avoiding parking disputes with your neighbours. Most people would choose to park outside their own home anyway because of the convenience, but what if you have more than one vehicle belonging to a single property and there are no driveways or you have a driveway but there is only enough room for one car?

No Automatic Right to Park Outside Your Home

Basically, it’s an unwritten ‘rule’ that people will generally tend to park outside their own home but it’s important to note that no one has an automatic right to do so. It’s not always possible and, in addition to residents, other road users also have the right to park outside your home providing they are not contravening the Highway Code.

To resolve this issue, the only thing you can do is to try to have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them why you’d prefer to park in front of your own house. You may find that they didn’t realise it bothered you and often simple courtesy and communicating your issue with your neighbour will resolve the problem.

Shared Driveways

If you share a driveway with your next door neighbour and a parking dispute occurs because of lack of space or one person’s vehicle is taking up more space, you can resolve this by checking your house deeds to find out where the boundaries lie.

Accessibility and Upkeep of a Shared Driveway

It’s courteous to share responsibilities for the accessibility and tidiness of a shared driveway. If you have children, make sure you keep any toys off the other person's part of the shared driveway. If your next door neighbour simply decides they’ve had enough and drives straight in and ‘accidentally’ runs over a children’s toy, you’ve no legal redress – it’s your neighbour’s part of the driveway and your responsibility to keep things that belong to you, on your side.

The Big Issue – Parking Directly In Front Of A Person’s Driveway

This is, by far, the single most frequent cause of annoyance and arguments between neighbours. Unfortunately though, the law does not help in this regard. It's common courtesy not to park directly in front of the driveway of another person’s property. After all, they may need to get in or out of the driveway with their vehicle. If you’ve blocked the access by parking directly in front of it, this will cause the vast majority, if not everybody, to become annoyed and to try to locate the owner of the vehicle to get them to move it. Therefore, most neighbourly people will never park directly in front of someone’s driveway.

What is the Relevant Law on Blocking Someone's Driveway?

The Highway Code, paragraph 207, asks that people DO NOT park their vehicle where it might cause an obstruction to other pedestrians or road users, and cites the example of not parking in front of another person’s driveway.

In essence, while there are certain rules and regulations under the Highway Code relating to parking on public highways, mostly it’s a matter of common decency and courtesy. Speaking calmly to neighbours and explaining reasons why you might need to park here or there, if practical, will usually result in you getting what you want. Just remember, however, that unless they are breaking the law, people are entitled to park anywhere they want to on a public highway providing they aren’t in breach of the Highway Code. If things get really bad, you could try and get a third party involved to mediate...take a look at our feature When Mediation Can Help Neighbour disputes for more information and advice.

Dropped Kerbs: The Traffic Management Act 2004

If you have a dropped kerb at the end of your driveway (which in most local authorities - planning laws say that you should), the Traffic Management Act 2004 might help you. This act covers restrictions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of "assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge". There are exceptions to this including:
  • Where the vehicle is parked outside residential premises "by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises" but this exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway
  • Emergency vehicles
  • When a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading etc at the premises (has to be 'reasonable' and for no longer than 20 minutes)
  • Vehicles undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting waste on behalf of local authority, removing a traffic obstruction

If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation, first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner. In a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you'd like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 - not 999 (it's more than likely NOT an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably cooperate with you anyhow). Tell them about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out. If they say there's nothing they can do, ask them about the Traffic Management act of 2004 (referring to dropped kerbs) and what they normal steps are. They should be able to help you to take the right steps even if they won't do anything themselves immediately.

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My neighbours across the road from me currently have 4 cars and 2 transit vans, they don't even have a drive way and park right outside my house and practically take up the full street is there anything that can be done about this, they know my frustrations and think they just park right outside my house now to annoy me basically. Can something be done about this??
Em - 21-Oct-20 @ 3:32 PM
My neighbour constantly takes the space in front of my house. They have two cars and a motorbike. They insist that they have a permit to park there and have, on numerous occasions been very aggressive with enforcing this. One occasion at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. For example, this morning, both husband and wife took their cars to work but pushed husbands motorcycle out of the front garden to block the space outside my house. I have a 5 year old that has to cross the road every time he gets out of the car, I find this behaviour pety and very frustrating. Please, if there's anyone out there that can offer some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Ian - 20-Oct-20 @ 8:39 AM
My neighbour constantly takes the space in front of my house. They have two cars and a motorbike. They insist that they have a permit to park there and have, on numerous occasions been very aggressive with enforcing this. One occasion at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. For example, this morning, both husband and wife took their cars to work but pushed husbands motorcycle out of the front garden to block the space outside my house. I find this behaviour pety and very frustrating. Please, if there's anyone out there that can offer some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Ian - 20-Oct-20 @ 8:35 AM
I have an allocated parking space in a communial car park. My neighbour has starting parking a caravan in their space which sticks out into the entrance. What can be done. Any ideas. Thank you.
fedup - 17-Oct-20 @ 1:07 PM
We have a problem with a well know conway company with heavy work vehicles down our residential road they are taking to many parking spaces six to eight vehicles every night every weekevery Christmas park up for days andp not in use usingthe road as a parking yard the people that own the vehicle don't live down our road people who live down our road see what advice you can give us Rowlands Rd Rm8 3du
Lyn - 13-Oct-20 @ 7:46 PM
I live on a cul-de-sac on a development and we all have allocated parking spaces or garages for residents. In front of our houses there are additional areas on the road and corners where residents and our visitors can temporarily park. However, 3 months ago someone who used to live on the development moved 300 miles away to live, but returns to the area for work. He has started to use the roads in front of our homes as his personal car park and car storage. He parks 2 cars permanently, 1 vehicle hasn't moved for 2 months now, taking the spaces and now residents and our guests struggle to find parking spots. It is really not fair that someone living 300 miles away is now using our neighbourhood as a personal safe car park. Can somebody advise please, is there a law or anything we can do? Many thanks in advance.
George - 10-Oct-20 @ 2:30 PM
Recently moved into a neighborhood in SJ CA where there are all houses with lots of street parking. Before that there was nk issue at all until my sister moved in with me. It's been a hassle and having to talking about thesame street parking issue with my landlady/lord over and over. It feels frustrating as even the people i recent from claim to own the street parking.They say it's for their kids who are botharried and living in different neighborhoods.Like jow would you even claim a street parking as your "family parking". This issue does needs attention!!
Bella - 4-Oct-20 @ 1:06 AM
It's a problem everywhere I go, from the little village to the city. Its a very real problem, effecting a lot of us. Its not something that's going to improve over time. It's bad. It's getting worse & I don't see councils doing anything at all to help rectify or even address the issue. Sort it out, councils. Put our money to good use. Our parking is more important to us then a single use bomb. Hundreds of thousands of pounds to blow people up. When all we really want is to park outside the house, stress free.
Neverno - 30-Sep-20 @ 6:21 AM
Our neighbour has lodgers and they have two cars and a van, one of the cars should not be on the road as it’s showing as soren on the DVLA website(which they occasionally drive) and all three vehicles don’t have or show permits which you need on our road, they get tickets from the enforcement staff when they come down our road but that doesn’t put them off, we have also emailed the DVLA but nothing has happened there. All three vehicles take up the space out front so there is no room for anyone visiting us and it makes it hard to park on our drive way as it’s a narrow road. Is there anything we can do?
Dazzle - 27-Sep-20 @ 10:05 AM
We live in a cul-de-sac our neighbour is constantly parking across the footpath so when our 3 year old grandaughter visits she as to go in the road which is unsafe, talking makes no difference, please can you help me with problem
Yogibear - 25-Sep-20 @ 3:08 PM
My neighbour has a double driveway but choses to only place one car on it.He even goes as far as to move one car off the drive onto to the pavement outside his property before driving off in the other car leaving his drive empty. What can I do?Reasoning and talking with him does jot work.
Pjsc2106 - 15-Sep-20 @ 6:42 AM
We have two designated car ports to each house, just across the road My problems that my neighbour has a van parked in theirs with their car outside their house. I asked kindly that whenthey have visitors, they use the carport when possible, as it's not hard to juggle your own traffic, they dont understand that they block me in.
Kaz - 11-Sep-20 @ 12:02 AM
My parents having a major hassle with neighbours for parking in a communal street car park. Many off them decide its them park and they put bins to keep the parking for themselves. Its a comunual and we can park anywhere if you leave there I'm so feed up with that and council should do something. Its very stressful for my father. Anyone can help me with that.
Dina - 9-Sep-20 @ 6:54 PM
I have just had major hassle off a neighbour for parking in a communal street car park.Its a long street and the car park is up her end of the street.Some people have driveways and I tried to get one years ago. However the costs would have been exorbitant due to the fact I have certain mains and power things (the cost of moving said things would have been in mega thousands) in front of my house so the council at the time told me to use the communal car park. The spaces aren't numbered.They are there for everyone in the street to use including visitors.I have parked there for 2 years regularly and before that irregularly because I shared my car with my mum and I have never had a problem till today. She said I was inconsiderate and selfish and I said but I ALWAYS park inside the lines and never take up two spaces and I never park sideways like some selfish person around here does. Which I then realised might be her.She was going on and on about needing 4 spaces for her daughter and son and I was taking up their spaces.I told her my friend lives there and I have her permission to park there which is true but I don't need it because I am a resident and the council said I could park there. She demanded my friends name and when I wouldn't give it because I didn't want her involved she told me I was lying. I mean 4 cars for one tiny flat and she was shouting at me for being selfish. I felt she was harassing and bullying me and now I am very worried about my car being there.It has already been bashed before with a silver car which I now suspect was her.Am very worried.I ended up shouting back in the end which I never do I am such a quiet kind person normally but I was at the end of my tether as i have had a lot of other problems with family after my mum died in may.Its a total nightmare I just wish I could move.I now have the beginning of a migraine and i had thought it was such a nice day.I hate hassle at the best of times and try to be diplomatic normally.I am parking considerately and legally.I would gladly park outside my house if I could.I think she is being selfish taking up 4 spaces.What does anyone else think?
Mee - 13-Aug-20 @ 1:17 AM
I have just had major hassle off a neighbour for parking in a communal street car park.Its a long street and the car park is up her end of the street.Some people have driveways and I tried to get one years ago. However the costs would have been exorbitant due to the fact I have certain mains and power things (the cost of moving said things would have been in mega thousands) in front of my house so the council at the time told me to use the communal car park. The spaces aren't numbered.They are there for everyone in the street to use including visitors.I have parked there for 2 years regularly and before that irregularly because I shared my car with my mum and I have never had a problem till today. She said I was inconsiderate and selfish and I said but I ALWAYS park inside the lines and never take up two spaces and I never park sideways like some selfish person around here does. Which I then realised might be her.She was going on and on about needing 4 spaces for her daughter and son and I was taking up their spaces.I told her my friend lives there and I have her permission to park there which is true but I don't need it because I am a resident and the council said I could park there. She demanded my friends name and when I wouldn't give it because I didn't want her involved she told me I was lying. I mean 4 cars for one tiny flat and she was shouting at me for being selfish. I felt she was harassing and bullying me and now I am very worried about my car being there.It has already been bashed before with a silver car which I now suspect was her.Am very worried.I ended up shouting back in the end which I never do I am such a quiet kind person normally but I was at the end of my tether as i have had a lot of other problems with family after my mum died in may.Its a total nightmare I just wish I could move.I now have the beginning of a migraine and i had thought it was such a nice day.I hate hassle at the best of times and try to be diplomatic normally.I am parking considerately and legally.I would gladly park outside my house if I could.I think she is being selfish taking up 4 spaces.What does anyone else think?
Mee - 11-Aug-20 @ 11:04 AM
Bad parking is literally the stuff of nightmares. In my previous terraced housr, although I clearly had a dropped kerb, the number of lazy, stupid drivers who would block my car in visiting other houses became the reason I put my house on the market. Couldn't care less, never thought that blocking you in could be a problem. Utterly ridiculous.
Tolkien - 11-Aug-20 @ 6:30 AM
About 2 years ago someone moved in near me and kept blocking the drive. We then put a sign up telling people not to block the drive. However, to this day they just keep blatantly ignoring it and preventing us from coming in and out. A while after that another person moved in next door to them and they also block the drive. I found out today that someone ripped the sign off and dumped it nearby. I imagine either one of them did it.
Dellboy - 8-Aug-20 @ 12:26 PM
Live in a converted flat, semi detached house, 2 more houses until the end of block, round back each property, that's 2 flats and 2 houses, have a designated parking space. I do not have a car at present, but my 70 yr old mother does and visits regularly. The problem is, 1 house is a shared house and 1 of the occupants has 2 or more cars (cant be sure) anyway, there is always a car parked slap bang in the middle of the car park/yard preventing my mother from being able to use my space and she is having to park up the hill which is not ideal due to medical reasons I will not go into. Anyhow,have spoken to them a couple of times and been told I am disrespectful and they are unwilling to cooperate with me and park the extra cars elsewhere (not the only issue with the new tenants in this house) Is there anything I can do to get them to abide by the rules of deeds of the houses/flats and not do what they generally please?
Hels - 5-Aug-20 @ 9:06 PM
Today I was parked directly in front of my driveway, anyway silly neighbour comes home from work and rather than park on her driveway or in front of her house...parks across the front of my car! She has very aggressive behaviour. she is doing it everyday. Pls any advice. thanks
Mai - 5-Aug-20 @ 3:57 PM
I live in a cul-de-sac and I don’t have a car and my next door neighbour has two cars but he also invites his friends and family around to his house constantly and they park outside my house. My neighbour also fixes cars outside my house and he and his friends/family stand in front of my garden gate blocking it. I am absolutely fed up, especially with covid 19 knocking around. Does anyone know if it’s legal to put parking bollards outside my house? I live in a cul-de-sac so when you park outside the front of the car is facing the garden fence. Just wondering about the legality of parking bollards, on the deeds to my house I have two parking spaces, if anyone can give me advice I would appreciate it, thanks.
FedUpMan - 1-Aug-20 @ 5:06 PM
I have just moved into a house and there are 2 parking places out side for me and the neibours but the people on the other side have a dripped curb . but don't use it as she has a lit of flower pots . so she has put her 2 cars in the spaces by my home she never uses the cars and won't move them onto her drive . they have been there over 2 years and if she going out in one of the cars she gets her son to bring his car and park it so no one else can park and he doesn't live in this cul-de-sac
Sid - 27-Jul-20 @ 8:03 AM
I live in the corner of cul de sac (T shaped road with space for 2 cars). Parking is a big problem with most houses having at least one car. The end houses have an access road at the back although it could be tight. The houses on the sides (including myself) have no access to the back. My house has room to make a driveway at the front but the other house in front of that space has a garden that is too short. They believe that I cannot put in a dropped kerb as it stops them parking there and is prepared to get solicitors involved if I put in an application with highways. They have been quite intimidating and rude about it. Obviously I would prefer my car to be off the road and it would give more room for vehicles turning at the bottom. Has anyone had an experience of putting in adropped kerb in a cul de sac? At the moment I have put the dropped kerb on hold but this is very frustrating as we are trying to do building work at the back with no way to bring materials in other than by carrying everything in by hand. Not sure where I stand legally. The neighbour is also insistant that it would devalue his house if we put in a dropped kerb. Any advise appreciated.
Frustrated - 26-Jul-20 @ 3:25 PM
i live in an end of terraced house, with a garage incorporated in my garden and a drive in front. i have a fence surrounding my garden. we have one car and it is parked on the drive. The problem we have is that as we are at the end and we are in a cul-de-sac, we have a piece of road which runs in a T shape, which at the bottom of both ends has a space for two cars parking which are always full not a problem. My problem is that we have two vans parking around my fence looking unsitely, one owner leaves in the flats at the top of my street, so he doesn't even live near us. And the other van has two other cars already outside his property, so he thinks its alright to park his van outside our house. what rights do we have. One of the van owner has already said he can park ouside his because thats his property, but when my wife approached him and asked him to move he said he could see the problem parking outside our house like we had no rights. so because we live at the end we have less rights than anybody else. Not sure what we can do. Help please. marty
marty - 23-Jul-20 @ 7:02 PM
My family and I have moved to Conwy since October. Beautiful place. We have our own drive. Unfortunately our views are blighted nearly every night and weekends by a large white gas van advertising contact details all over it. It is parked outside at the front of our house in a layby.It's so upsetting. Apparently, hes very rude if approached. Our neighbours have had past experience of his abruptness.He has two other cars. His wife makes sure she parks outside their house which is only the short block away from ours. Not sure where he parks his sports car yet. His house dosent have a drive and a huge wall overlooks the front of his house. If he parked his van, he wouldn't see his van either like we do. Please help. I feel like letting his tyres down. I'm so annoyed.
Mel - 16-Jul-20 @ 8:55 AM
I park in one place meeting highway code and get cryptic messages about irrelevant highway codes. I move to another location and get shouted at by two angry women with no manners. Let's hope space number three works, wish me luck!
Flack - 14-Jul-20 @ 3:50 PM
My Neibours's use his parking for car repair business and park his cars on my parking and other parking space . His house is on corner and he don't park in front of his house . Can he work in residence area ? Should i complaint to council ? What should i do ?
Raja - 9-Jul-20 @ 11:51 AM
We are living on a road last 2 years now and first years we haven't got car so anyone parking anywhere but next year we got the car and then I ask to my neighbour for the space first he said yes and said me you can knock my door if I blocking your space.but when I did he sent his brother and he misbehaved with me he got lot of space everyday but he still park at our space.can someone help in this matter
Janvi - 1-Jul-20 @ 9:29 PM
Hi my next door neighbour has 4 cars - he has a drive which has a car that has not moved for 7 years and then parks another in front which I have no issue with .. my issue is he has 2 other cars he parks on the pavementbehind each other and people are unable to walk and then have to walk around or walk directly on the road
Sapphire - 30-Jun-20 @ 5:09 PM
I’m fed up of where I live! So much so I want to move!! We have a turning area outside our house, people use it to park and always park outside our house! Blocking my drop kerb!! I’m fed up of it!! The people who do it don’t care they block my driveway access. The police have been involved and so is the local councillor!!
Nickib - 28-Jun-20 @ 2:46 PM
Can someone park on their grass in front of their house and right next to neighboring house, surely this is not fit for purpose can it damage my house
Kaz - 21-Jun-20 @ 2:28 PM
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