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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Aug 2018 | 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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I have just had a neighbour move in, he has a car and a work van, granted he parks his van in the back but near enough everyday he moans about me or someone else parking outside his house (we live in terrace house, on a single road where there is nowhere to park most days. He threatens to put holes or damage mine and my missis car if we park there again. What can be done about this?
Blablabla - 17-Aug-18 @ 11:48 AM
Hello On my terraced road, a lot of people leave lots of space ethier side when parking. This results in them taking 2 spaces up. Leaving not enough room for everyone. This happens most days, is there anything that can be done ? Thank you
amy ozenbrook - 15-Aug-18 @ 9:40 PM
I have a garage in a row of 12. On the deeds it specifies each owner should be able to access there garage by passing over the forecourt. The issue is we have the guy next door parks a minibus outside the next door garage and it totally overs the forecourt to the pedestrian pathway so we can’t get to our garage without bumping up the kerb as the dropped kerb is the other side of the minibus. We now have a situation of the rear axle being damaged due to banging over the kerb and although we’ve asked the neighbour to not park there so we can access he doesn’t care and leaves it there for weeks on end. We’ve tried talking to the police and they don’t seem to know what to do. Neither did the land registry office when we referred to them due to the paragraph in the deeds. How do we resolve this?
Willie - 6-Aug-18 @ 6:18 PM
Supernanny - Your Question:
I live in a terraced house.there are 6 in one row.the first 3 are rented out.the yard is in a bad state outside these houses. There is a small path to each property.one neighbour is parking deliberately on the path so No one can get past.it means we have to go on the uneven yard.I have twisted my ankle and as I am an oap with brittle bone I really can't risk breaking a bone.is this legal to park on path

Our Response:
If the path gives access to all residents it's probably detailed in your title deeds. Usually these clauses will indicate that access should be clear of obstacles etc. You can drop the neighbour a letter to start with see our Lettertemplate here. If that fails, you may need to consider a solicitor's letter/legal action.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:27 PM
I live in a terraced house .there are 6 in one row.the first 3 are rented out .the yard is in a bad state outside these houses.There is a small path to each property.one neighbouris parking deliberatelyon the path so No one can get past .it means we have to go on the uneven yard .I have twisted my ankle and as I am an oapwith brittle bone I really can't risk breaking a bone .is this legal to park on path
Supernanny - 4-Aug-18 @ 12:57 AM
Neighbour has 2 vans and 3 cars on the road . Annoying everyone as they have taken up so much room. Got the other van today
Gazza - 2-Aug-18 @ 7:19 PM
We don't have driveways but each house has its own parking space and there is also several spaces that are free for visitors. Our neighbour uses his space and all these free spaces to park his 5 vehicles. Can anything be done about this or is he free to just keep taking up space with all his vehicle's?
Gray - 25-Jul-18 @ 10:12 AM
i have a disabled neighbourthey have a large drive way. ample space for wheelchair access on the drive for them to take her to the hospitalfor her appointments. plus umpteen nurses that park in front of my house when only her parents drive her boyfriend doesnt drive either.so there drive is free at all times for parking. but they block our drive and we cant get out?.i do sympathise so even though they block my drive i dont say anything and have to ask them to move if either me or my partner is going out. they dont like they leave there car there not for a bit but sometimes half a hr or more blocking our drive and we have to ask them to move it so we can get off our own drive.. plus we have a neighbour son parking outside our house and not shifting his car for days at a time. and they also have a drive for 3 cars. shes only a young girl but surley the carers parents and relatives could park on the drive instead of blocking us in.and us having to ask them to move so we can get of our own drive
peed off - 12-Jul-18 @ 9:41 PM
At my partners residence the neighbour 2 doors down has four cars plus a works van.He has a drive with a dropped curb which he doesn’t use as the cars won’t fit and hang out onto the pavement.He also has a works van which he parks on the pavement making pedestrians walk into the road.My partner has parked across his driveway before as the neighbour had left a car in front of his house, the neighbour called the police and my partner had to move his car.There is no reasoning with this man and he will call the police on the neighbours in an instant and then accuse them of being racist.I have mobility problems but not severe enough to qualify for a blue badge, not being able to park out front means I have to come through the back which is difficult for me to navigate.Is there anyway around this as it is unreasonable that someone has 5 vehicles, 3 of which are never used or moved once parked unless it’s to have the annual MOT done.Where does my partner and the rest of his neighbours stand? The man in question is unreasonable and won’t listen and then calls the police, he is in no way being threatened or harassed but is a nuisance with no common decency.
A - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:50 AM
Bert - Your Question:
Our neighbour facing has a caravan parked in the street.He parks his car next door to me his wife parks hers next door to them.I have now had his sister's car parked outside my house for 2days so my daughter cannot park outside our home.He has a large drive but parks any where.If you say anything you just get abuse.Is there anything I can do.

Our Response:
You can't really prevent the neighbours from parking anywhere on the street, assuming no other parking restrictions are in place, but your local council may have rules about a caravans parked on the public highway or even permanently on a residential drive. Talk to your planning and highways departments.
ProblemNeighbours - 5-Jul-18 @ 12:48 PM
We had a drive put in 15 years ago. At the time our neighbours were angry as it was taking parking way from the. In the street. They told us that they were going to park where ever they liked. The police were called out after a few months as they would constantly block our drive. After years of them mostly compromising they have started parking across the drive again and yelling at us that we need to learn to drive and use the driveway. Bit difficult when they have blocked it. It always happens when we are out in the car. Tried to approach them but they get very verbal and aggressive. Police are aware but not doing anything.Is there anything else I can do?
Honeybear - 4-Jul-18 @ 11:16 PM
Our neighbour facing has a caravan parked in the street .He parks his car next door to me his wife parks hers next door to them .I have now had his sister's car parked outside my house for 2days so my daughtercannot park outside our home.He has a largedrive but parks any where .If you say anythingyou justget abuse .Is thereanything I can do.
Bert - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:19 PM
My neighbour has a driveway but they refuse to use it and this has been the case for over 30 years, and we moved in11 years ago and neighbours advised us of this, however they have one car and we have 2 cars.We have politely requested they use their driveway or if they dont want to can I park on their driveway?Initially they agreed to their parking on their drive, and we had a temporary better situation, however after my husband was hospitalised for a month seriously ill, his car remained parked there for the month.Now he's using it daily for hospital treatment they are back to none use of driveway causing the frustrating situation again.I'm now applying for the driveway to be extended but the council via phonecall have advised it may be unlikely approved as by dropping kerbs this reduces the amount of road parking spaces.There is never a space to be used as neighbour wont allow it!They move the car back onto the drive at 10.30pm ish but put it back on the road approx 7.00am the next day, so quite spitefully ensuring no parking space.
Harrassedfromheath - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:51 AM
M - Your Question:
We recently had some new people move on our street (travelers) we now have 2 houses full of travelers on our street and since they moved in even tho they both have driveways what are full of cars they also have about 10 vehicles csrs and vans parked all up the street leaving no room to get around at all. People asked them to move and in response they got screamed at by all the men. This is my street ill park what I want were I want. What can we do???

Our Response:
If you think the vehicles are being used for commercial purposes it mightbe worth contacting the council; some areas have regulations about these in residential areas. Other than that, as long as there are no parking restrictions on your road and they are not obstructing anyone's driveways, there is not much you can do.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Jun-18 @ 10:04 AM
Gem - Your Question:
Hi there I wondered if you can help, there is a driveway out side my house but belive it maybe for pedestrians to use coming out of oit of mone and my neighbours house as it's not directly outside my house but I can drive onto my driveway at an angle using the drop kerb.the residents parking mark finishes just after this drop kerb.is there anything I can do to stop people parking overy the 3yards of access I need to mount the drop kerb and get on my driveway?

Our Response:
You will need to contact your highways department to ask about this. They will take a look at the property and decide whether it's feasible for you to drive on/drop the kerb.
ProblemNeighbours - 18-Jun-18 @ 11:14 AM
We recently had some new people move on our street (travelers) we now have 2 houses full of travelers on our street and since they moved in even tho they both have driveways what are full of cars they also have about 10 vehicles csrs and vans parked all up the street leaving no room to get around at all. People asked them to move and in response they got screamed at by all the men... This is my street ill park what i want were i want.... What can we do???
M - 18-Jun-18 @ 12:39 AM
Hi there I wondered if you can help, there is a driveway out side my house but belive it maybe for pedestriansto use coming out of oit of mone and my neighbours house as it's not directly outside my house but I can drive onto my driveway at an angle using the drop kerb..the residents parking mark finishes just after this drop kerb..is there anything I can do to stop people parking overy the 3yards of access I need to mount the drop kerb and get on my driveway?
Gem - 16-Jun-18 @ 8:01 AM
My neighbour keeps coming out to me if I park in front of there lounge window that is 10 meters away from a standard size pavement, my wife put her car there as the babysitter was on our drive, I came out to pop to the shops and she came out to have a very rude 1 sided conversation saying the builders are coming and don't I know she is trying to get her house together, its the first time we have put the car there in months. My car is normally there but I leave the back end forward enough so she can't see it every day! I just hope shebmoans at everybody else that may park there for an hour and block her lovely view of the houses opposite
Cragus - 30-May-18 @ 10:22 PM
I live in a cul du sac, At the end 4 houses share an accessway. For 10 years we have been under the impression that next door owned where they parked 2 cars, obstructing my access to my drive for 2 cars. We have asked him not to park there and offered to compromise but still he refuses to move. I have Got solicitor to get involved who confirms that it's an accessway and nobody should block any neighbour lawful access of their property.The solicitor has also written to him explaining the situation still he ignores our request. What else can I do?
PJ - 30-May-18 @ 2:30 PM
Hi I live in the end property of a housing association house and they also own the street and all the houses on it.Our child is disabled and all the residents were informed of this before they moved in. Unfortunately our neighbours have decided they can park outside our property whenever they feel like it, even though there are double yellow lines all down the street as there is no place to park, and they have a driveway which can accommodate 2 cars. We don't have a driveway we have a garage for our child, and they insist on parking outside it even though we have politely asked them not to, asked the housing association to ask them, and they still do it, even after receiving a parking ticket from the company that patrols the estate from time to time. I am really worried that if an emergency vehicle needs to get to us or our child that they won't be able to have access because of these ignorant antisocial idiots. Why do they feel like they have permission to park illegally and dangerously when all the other residents on the street follow the rules?
Bubbles - 29-May-18 @ 9:05 PM
I work for a housing association and we have a block of flats that has its own car park - gated and locked for use of residents only. We have received complaints from residents that someone in the block has given a copy of the key to the landlord of the pub next door who now accesses and uses the car park. There is only 1 parking space per flat so this 'visitor' is taking a space allocated to a resident. I have written to all residents letting them know this is not acceptable and the key should not have been given to anyone else and I am in the process of writing to the pub owner saying similar - private car park and to find an alternative space for his vehicle. I have a feeling my letter will be ignored as when challenged by residents the pub owner has been rude and dismissive and continued to use the car park. If this continues to happen is there any further action that can be taken against the pub owner?
Carol - 29-May-18 @ 4:00 PM
Hi, I live down a private road with allocated parking spaces out the front and behind the back of one house. The neighbour with the spaces behind their house has parked 2 cars there, one of which has had the engine in the boot for 2 years and looks a mess. They have also parked one car (with a broken window for weeks until another neighbour changed it for them) on the access road so there is barely enough room to get past in a car and parked a 4x4 out the frontof their house blocking the pavement and making it hard for us to get our car out. I've asked him to move it but he won't. Do I have any rights to get him to move the cars that have been parked there for months in a non-driveable state? Can I make him move the one that is preventing us from using our space when another neighbour parks in his? What about the one blocking emergency access? Thanks!
PF - 24-May-18 @ 10:39 PM
So I recently passed my driving test, got a car 3 months later so taking us to now aha!. I park over the road from my house, infront of my uncles house, I always leave plenty of room for the people living in the flats because I don't want to be a hassle! I left a great amount yesterday but when I went out the grump who lives in the flat had literally left no room not even for a piece of paper between mine and his car yet had loads of space infront. I know he's doing this to try bully me into not parking there anymore. I have photo evidence of what he done yesterday. Im just not sure what I can do about this, he isn't a pleasant man and definitely doesnt want to communicate with me a female but is ok to shout at my partner. Help please.
Soph - 24-May-18 @ 12:53 PM
Frustrated homeowner - Your Question:
I live in a small village on a development that has 4 detached houses.We have a shared driveway and a turning area with 2 blocks of 4 double garages in an L shape. It’s not a parking area just access to the garages. If my neighbour parks in fron t of his garages I cannot access my garage and visa versa. Basically 3 of the 4 double garages would obstruct the others from access. This is a shared area, we all pay towards upkeep and repairs. My neighbour has been parking his car across my garages, I have asked him not too, he says he has taken legal advice and that he will continue to park there , if I want to gain access I have to ask his permission. I don’t want to go to war with this guy. I don’t really know what to do

Our Response:
He's probably not being completely honest with you. Ask him for the name of his solicitor so you can check. Is there a management company that oversees the maintenance side of things on the shared area? Is the developer still involved/do they own this part? They might be two places to try first. If parking in front of your garage renders it inaccessible it's pretty likely that your neighbour shouldn't be parking there. As always, professional legal advice might help if all else fails.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-May-18 @ 3:25 PM
I live in a small village on a development that has 4 detached houses. We have a shared driveway and a turning area with2 blocks of 4 double garages in an L shape . It’s not a parking area just access to the garages.If my neighbour parks in fron t of his garages I cannot access my garage and visa versa. Basically 3 of the 4 double garages would obstructthe others from access. This is a shared area, we all pay towards upkeep and repairs. My neighbour has been parking his car across my garages, I have asked him not too, he says he has taken legal advice and that he will continue to park there , if I want to gain access I have to ask his permission.I don’t want to go to war with this guy. I don’t really know what to do
Frustrated homeowner - 22-May-18 @ 12:45 PM
Stace - Your Question:
I live just in the estate 2 houses in. every house but mine has a drive. I have to park outside next doors but the house opposite thiers. complains to me all the time. but I have a disabled child so need to park as close as possible. The street kno this but don't seem to care and often park cars on the road even tho there drive is free so we struggle. why is he so rude I know I can park anywhere but he's making a issue out of it

Our Response:
If you can park anywhere just ignore this behaviour. As long as you are not blocking anyone's driveways and are at least 10 metres from any junction (as this is dangerous/poor practice - see rule 243 of the Highway code)
ProblemNeighbours - 21-May-18 @ 1:38 PM
Hi, I'm having a real issue with my neighbour- we live in a terraced street with on-street parking; I live mid terrace and he is end terrace. He has insisted on parking his car as close to mine as possible for a year now so i cannot get my car out (he has a lot of room in front of him to move). I've tried talking to him, I also called his landlord but this made matters worse as he is now putting photos of my property on social media and making negative posts. Just don't know what to do now, considering moving. Has anyone else been in a situation like this?
Jo - 20-May-18 @ 1:33 PM
I live just in the estate 2 houses in .. every house but mine has a drive ... I have to park outside next doors but the house opposite thiers .. complains to me all the time .. but I have a disabled child so need to park as close as possible. . The street kno this but don't seem to care and often park cars on the road even tho there drive is free so we struggle .. why is he so rude I know I can park anywhere but he's making a issue out of it
Stace - 20-May-18 @ 8:41 AM
Shelly- Your Question:
I live in a cul de sac with marked parking for two vehicles for visitors. My neighbour has threatened me because I parked outside his house whilst having some work done on our kitchen. At the time we couldn't park on the visitors section as it was full. Can he stop me or anyone visiting me from parking outside his house? We are not blocking his or anyone's drive.

Our Response:
What kind of road is it? Private or public? Who/which organisation marked the spaces? Sorry we'd need more information to comment on this.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-May-18 @ 10:08 AM
I live near a post office and a church. The post office has now closed its car park for use for people to pick up their packages which now means people park all over the double yellow lines, and pavements blocking the road and pavement while picking up. The post office seem disinterested in this - and they will also park their lorries/vans/cars all over the place. The Council are useless. We are considering legal action in the form of some torte law that would allow you to sue them for a public and/or private nuisance.
MrMrMr - 15-May-18 @ 11:12 PM
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