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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 1 Jun 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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We have a communal parking space on our street which is a public road. Our neighbour is claiming that she is buying the space, is this actually possible? How would she go about it? Etc. She us adamant that it is in the process of happening.
Mac - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:37 PM
Our property has a drive paved area directly in front of our house which we use for a drive. We haven't dropped the kerb as the drive leads directly to the road (no public footpaths or verges). Do we still need to drop the kerb?
Neighnut - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:27 PM
A friend asked to park on my driveway for a few days as he had road construction where he lives. After a week I asked him to remove his car and he refused, it’s now 6months and he has still refused to collect his car. The car doesn’t have a number plate, what step can I take now,Can the police help?
Bella - 25-May-20 @ 1:43 AM
Several comments in this thread are from people in normal residential homes where each of a couple has their own car and then they might have two or three kids of driving age also of driving age who also have their own cars. So houses that were built to deal with one, maybe two cars max might be having to cope with four or five. This is not sustainable and is bound to lead to problems. Is it time to challenge the assumption that households can have as many cars as they can afford to run?
JamieD - 24-May-20 @ 11:44 AM
My neighbours daughter when she visits, parks behind my sons van, and blocks him in..I've phoned 101 a few times they phone this person, she says she will move the car in 10 minutes,but she doesn't...30 minutes later, so I phone 101 again, and the way the call handler made me feel was awful...he said it's the highways problem.....and nothing to do with them..I told him ... my son needed to get over the hospital to pick insulin up at a certain time....he count care less to br honest....the girl moved her car 45minuite later I need help...who should I be phoning
Don 1 - 23-May-20 @ 7:06 PM
We have 4 vehicles and so we had to get a driveway put in. We had 1 car between our driveway and next doors who at the time didnt have a driveway. Now 2 years down the line they have a driveway and has put drop kerb right down to the boundary and so it makes it harder for our 3rd vehicle to park without obstructing both driveways. What can we do. They are also having an H bar put on the road similar to ours. Also the drive next door has NO boundary edge between their drive and the public footpath. Yet when we had our drive put in we was told there had to be an edge from my property to public right of way. Are they wrong by doing a full drive from property to drop kerb, without drainage grids or edging to end their driveway?? Please any advice would be very much appreciated.
M4rni4kar - 21-May-20 @ 10:13 PM
I am having issues with a neighbour (No12) over parking of my car on the road near a driveway with a dropped kerb leading to not only my house but also 2 other houses The neighbour says that they cannot get in or out this access way They are complaining saying the wife cannot "..swing.." her car out of the driveway because her car is bigger than mine They are complaining that their car or the delivery trucks or the ambulance cannot get access to their house They are threatening me by saying the wife is a lawyer and that I can get into serious trouble I have lived here for almost 35 years The neighbour has lived here for less that 10 years I have been parking my car in the same spot (on and off) for 15 years I have even started parking my car a little further away from this access way and still they are complaining I have also taken videos of their car and a delivery truck reversing in and out with no problem even the green bin lorry and the rubbish lorry reverse into this areawith no problem What are my rights Am I blocking access All I need is some advice and who I can contact to find out if I am wrongly parking my car and blocking access
ellie - 10-May-20 @ 10:22 PM
We love in a detached 3 bed house? When we moved in our children were still young but obviously now they do and we have a car each for work! We park 2 cars on the drive and 1 in front of the drive but my husband parks his over the road, let me just say this does not block the front of there house, it's the side of there house! Weve had abuse off the lady who lives there and her son who doesnt! Hes even threatened my husband, but right at this moment we have nowhere else to park, normally none of us are home during the day as we all work so it is just the evening time, they're messing with his car her mother was looking through the car window yesterday, its making my nerves bad I cant stand all the upevilbut I just dont know what to do, she doesnt mind anyone else doing it just us!
Elaine - 4-May-20 @ 7:30 AM
hello again the police can't do anything but the only option is tog et the cctv camera up and watch your neighbour also report it to the police if you got evidence to prove that
ange - 26-Apr-20 @ 3:48 PM
I have a end detached property on a terraced street.My property adjoins the back of a public house so there is a pproximately 35m of parking with no property allocation.we require 3 spaces what does the law state on parking required for this type of layout?
Kev - 21-Apr-20 @ 10:49 AM
I live in a cul-de-sac with a turning circle half way up it. 3 driveways come out into the turning circle. One of my neighbors has a driveway suitable for 3 cars, but parks both his vehicles on the road, 1 on the curb and the other parked across his entrance to his drive away, making the turning circle unusable. The 1 in the turning circle isn't even close to a curb and is just dumped there across the front of his drive. Is there anything I can do or are there any laws regarding blocking a turning circle for a cul-de-sac?
TJ - 20-Apr-20 @ 8:09 PM
I share a drive with a neighbour and after having fallen out over a trivial matter he has decided to take it out on me by opening his door onto my car, thereby chipping the paintwork. Is there any action I can take?
Pete - 18-Apr-20 @ 12:20 AM
What do i do if my neighbor is using 6 car spaces and hasn’t moved one in over 4 years also we have taken a friendly approach but they responded by bringing another car also there is only 2 people that live in the house, they use the place like a garage. What am I meant to do please help?
Bob - 15-Apr-20 @ 8:53 PM
iv live in mid terrece house. And both sides neiboures got 6 vehicles 3 each.iv got a one car I tiered to get to the road between of them. Sometimes they parked drive way. What can I do like this situation. Please
pere - 23-Mar-20 @ 10:12 PM
I moved into a terrace house almost a year ago and paid for the year for resident parking not thinking for a moment there would be a problem Parking .. I was wrong..the neighbour further up‘ not even an attached to my terrace house, as there’s a gap between the houses (which he bought off another neighbour to actually park his car in .. ??) he moves his car in front of our house if he sees us go out .. Meaning we can’t park near our house’ we have to park over the road on someone’s car park who could clamp us .. we have 3 young grand children living with us just now and I struggle walking sometimes because of sciatica and arthritic knees but we have to cross a busy road to get to our car .. we can’t even hoover the car out etc As everyone else parks outstanding their houses, the only legal space for us to park in is outside our house . I have had words with him already and he spouted off that he’s parked there 14 years .. (I found out the previous home owner didn't have a car)... my landlord who lived here for a year before we let it couldn’t even park .. I have to admit I was angry and asked him when he moved into my house and when he was going to start paying my rent etc ... and I called him an ignorant plonker .. I suffer from anxiety and depression already this just makes me feel physically sick that we have neighbours who are absolutely pig ignorant and have no consideration or respect for others .
Madusa - 14-Mar-20 @ 4:26 AM
Our lovely neighbours opposite us on the crest of a crescent do not have drive ways as there is a big green in front. Council will not cut green away and therefore, they have decided to stage a mass protest park on the Inside edge of the curve. Not only does it block most people’s access to their driveways opposite, but how do emergency vehicles get past. People buy a house with no driveway and no it’s my issue - words have been said!
LC - 10-Mar-20 @ 5:08 PM
My father has just recently got a car on the motability scheme. We live in a ground floor flat on a cul-de-sac so parking is very limited. We have applied for a disabled parking bay but are still waiting to hear back. Since the car is a plug in hybrid, we charge it up on the home plug charger using an extension to reach the closest parking bay to our home. Unfortunately the spaces can easily be taken up so the odd times i've had to drive directly outside our home on the grass to charge. An old nuisance pompous neighbour believes he's Judge Dredd (he is the law) and everyone on the road should abide by his rules. He's now not happy that we've had to do that and has threatened if we do it again, he will attempt to have it towed, even though it's directly outside our home and in no way affects him as he doesn't live on our block and doesn't bother our actual neighbours in the slightest. I just want to do my homework to know if it is an actual problem as it's in a grey area or if i should just ignore him.
Pete - 4-Mar-20 @ 2:06 PM
Hello and I got a neighbour that always park so close and touching my truck also rubbing on it but we had the police around and the police said that we can’t do anything about it and it’s getting worse at night when she come back from work every evening I just keep coming home at night but she block me in with my Astra car what can I do?
Ange - 2-Mar-20 @ 12:07 AM
I live a in a cul de sac and each house has 2 allocated parking bays.The deeds come with a restrictive convenance. One neighbour has 2 cars and does not use their own parking bays they use other neighbours and parks behind my bays.Why cant police just issue fines to these people instead allow them to abuse the system?They have caused me no end of problems and ruined my life.
BeingBullied - 24-Feb-20 @ 7:18 PM
I live in a cul-de-sac and have done for about 5 years now and have one car to the property. At the end of last summer new tenants moved across the road, and they have a driveway for 2 cars which aren't in use. Recently more people have moved in (I believe they're sub-letting) so the household now holds 2 vans and 3 cars! So if I've been out of an evening I cannot park anywhere near my house, and I'm forced out of my own road. I'd like to ask them if they'd park their vans at the end of the road so I can at least park near my house, but is that unreasonable? What's the best way to deal with this problem short of begging the landlady for a driveway? Any advice is much appreciated
Emilia - 23-Feb-20 @ 12:27 AM
Neighbour takes up 2 spaces with his camper an. Is there anyways to request spaces to be painted by the council to stop this happening.
Gregzc - 19-Jan-20 @ 12:25 PM
I have two parking spaces behind my house it's leading off over 50 private road there r no ends of hassle with them telling people who park in my space that they are over line were do I stand on this matter
Trotty - 17-Jan-20 @ 10:31 AM
We live in a medieval village and roads are narrow. Our house is on the corner of a main road and side road, we can only park on the side road but it narrows that much outside our house that it is not possible to park outside our own home. The neighbours are able to park outside their houses because it doesn’t become narrow until it reaches our property. My problem is that we have to park outside properties that have their own driveways further down the street. We don’t block driveways but get hassle about parking. I would like to know if I have a legal right to park anywhere that is not obstructing anyone’s driveway, as if I parked outside my own house no one would get past us.
Shelbop - 9-Jan-20 @ 9:46 AM
Basically our neighbours have there own drive but don’t use it they keep parking outside my house. The problem I have is being able to view the road when I reverse my car off my drive. I have a restricted view. It’s so annoying as they are just plain too lazy to put the cars on there own drive
Tattyhead - 9-Jan-20 @ 6:43 AM
Hi i live on a slight corner. In housing estate there is two blue badge holders at my address for my kids we have a drive way it goes straight out no quick turns or turning point and if its straight out we are bumping the kerb across from us because of the narrow road. Which means we have to drive up and turn our car around if we get space that is. Anyway the house across from us seems to always park right up to the corner. Then two others parked behind and in front ive asked them to move car which i got cursed at for asking politely. The thing is i don't mind them visiting or staying over when the visit the person they are seeing but there is no reguard for us trying to get out if theres an emergency. Even ambulance had difficulty parking when they were called out to me as I too have a disability. I don't know what to do about this especially when I have already approached them. I just want a wee bit of consideration on their behalf. I don't think im unreasonable.
Alley - 4-Jan-20 @ 12:29 AM
Hi, I share a driveway with my neighbour with a clear boundary to show the individual spaces. He parks his car at an angle and is always on my space. We have spoken about this numerous times and he continues to park this way. Does anyone know the legal standpoint on this? We live in flats and I own my flat (and the parking space) and the developers who we purchased the flat from say they are unable to help. I don’t know what to do as some days my car won’t fit in the space as he has parked so badly and he is not listening to me when I ask him to move and park in his own space. He’s been sent letters from the developers but that’s as involved as they will get. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated as this is causing me bad anxiety and I bought a property with a space for a reason - so that I don’t have to worry about street parking!!!
Ahhhhh - 1-Jan-20 @ 7:54 PM
I live in a semi which has a low wall between mine and my neighbour. He has a large rust heap of a transit van which is never used and parked so close to low wall and my lounge window that the only view I have when sitting in my lounge is the van. I keep my blinds down so I don’t see the van, however, I’m not getting much daylight in my lounge. The van is not taxed or insured. Is there anything I can do about this?
Big George - 29-Dec-19 @ 9:45 AM
Last year I sold my rental home my home where I live is just next door of my rental home I live on dead end, when we built our home we also built the long driveway.now, since I sold the rental home we’re sharing now the driveway that we built, now the problem the the one who bought my rental home started to do car repair and parking several cars in front of their yard and sits there for long time until the cars fixed, I am stressed out because since my house at the end of the driveway, it’s going to devalue my home when in fact when I built this house I made the neighboring home value up. This area is a single family residential area not a business area.
Be - 18-Dec-19 @ 9:19 PM
My neighbour has 2 cars, driveway space for at least 3 cars, she keeps parking in front of my house on road just to inconvenience me. They own their house and I'm council. They think they're better then me!?! To encourage her to use her driveway I want to drive up their driveway and onto my garden grass (which I know will drive him insane) but they will call council on me so il get a parking ticket as I know we not meant to park on grass. But I'd only stay on grass for an hour or so to prove a point. So, would stevenage council workers come out in evening to ticket my car?? Any ideas??
Goodneighbour - 15-Dec-19 @ 9:26 AM
I live in rented accomodation.There are 6 flats and six parking spaces.One tennant has 2 cars and takes up 2 spaces.one tennant doesn't work and his car is there 24/7 the tennant with 2 cars has a big land rover so he actually takes up 2 and a hal spaces with his wife's car parked next to his car.so one space is useless no one can get in it.Then right next to the flats is a bungalow.The guy who owns it has a drive for one car.He is Irish and has a big family and has a lot of visitors and uses the flat parking spaces for his own personal use. So half the time I get home from work I can't park my car anywhere near my home. Occasionally The Irish neighbour gets his visitors to park half on the pavement and half on the road behind my car which is nice of him but because my space is by the kerb I have a right game getting out avoiding scraping my alloys on the kerb and avoiding the car parked behind me.Any advice?
Stevo - 27-Nov-19 @ 9:54 AM
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