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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Aug 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
grommy - Your Question:
Hi, we have off road parking spots which accomodates 4 vehicles on my side of the road next to garages. My side of the road has maisonettes where there are no drives so it's parking half on/half off the path. Is it possible to have an official sign saying "residents only" for the 4 off road spaces as residents across the road (with drives!) are abusing the little space we have by parking their friends cars their whilst they go on holiday for days and weeks at a time. Is there any legal route where we can make it "residential only" due to the limited space to actual residents that need those spaces.

Our Response:
You need to contact the council about this (assuming it's a public road).
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Aug-17 @ 12:20 PM
So my other half and I moved into a new build semi detached house on a housing estate 11 months ago. There is a driveway capable of holding 2 cars allocated for each house. Our attached neighbours moved in a month later, they have 2 cars like we do. However, the man is extremely obnoxious and goes out of his way to 'intimidate' us and other neighbours by parking his car in front off our a house, often leaving his car jutting out in the road (which is quite narrow for people to pass).There is a lamppost which clearly defines the boundary between our 2 houses. Yet he feels the need to park across both houses, when there is only one car and often times no car parked on his drive. I don't know if he does it to satisfy his ego by 'marking his terrority' or something. Needless to say, It's incredibly frustrating because the man is, from what we can tell abit of a psycho. We hear them both arguing every day and what sounds like him chucking objects around the room in a rage. Sometimes the arguing gets so bad our other neighbours can hear it in their detached houses across the street! This alone is bad enough but his sheer arrogance and intimidating demeanour have left us resenting our own home. What can we do? because we feel powerless living next to this cretin.
Frustrated - 8-Aug-17 @ 2:14 PM
WE have new neighbours moved in. They have a drive way and 3 cars, 2 ppl. One 4x4, 1 mini and a huge tal van parked in front of my house blocking the light and they keep their drive way clear. What can I do about thenm being so unneighbourly and selfish inconsidarete.
Mine - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:01 AM
Hi, we have off road parking spots which accomodates 4 vehicles on my side of the road next to garages. My side of the road has maisonettes where there are no drives so it's parking half on/half off the path. Is it possible to have an official sign saying "residents only" for the 4 off road spaces as residents across the road (with drives!) are abusing the little space we have by parking their friends cars their whilst they go on holiday for days and weeks at a time. Is there any legal route where we can make it "residential only" due to the limited space to actual residents that need those spaces.
grommy - 7-Aug-17 @ 5:42 PM
Hi, I moved in my house over a year ago and the parking is horrendous, one guy in particular has three spaces out of a possible nine.He has a drive, garage and a parking space, when I spoke to him he said he has lived here for over 30 years so get used to it. Mmm. I live in a street square with eight houses and nine parking spaces, surely that's at least one each?To make things worse this same guy actually bought a car just to leave in HIS space so no one else can park there and if you do he's going to block you in so you don't do it again. A bit commonsense please. Yours: Littlebigman
Littlebigman - 26-Jun-17 @ 4:03 PM
Kazz- Your Question:
The guy in front of us keeps blocking our car in , we have had a run in about it before so we think he's doing it purposely now. He has built what looks like a hard standing on his back which faces the front of our house , we found out he has no planning permission for this and since that he's turned quite nasty ! He parks 3 vehicles on the road in front of our house , he doesn't live in his house he has done it up and is selling up , he purposely blocks our car in and leaves room so he can fit in another of his cars behind his ! Can we do anything about the s ? Like inform anyone at all ? He was there at the crack of dawn moving his car and AGAiN blocked our car in !! The stress is killing me !!

Our Response:
If you can't actually get your car out of your drive, then the local police may be willing to intervene and treat it as an obstruction. Private legal action for inconsiderate parking could be take on the grounds ofa nuisance (interference with your use and enjoyment of your property).
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Jun-17 @ 11:43 AM
The guy in front of us keeps blocking our car in , we have had a run in about it before so we think he's doing it purposely now . He has built what looks like a hard standing on his back which faces the front of our house , we found out he has no planning permission for this and since that he's turned quite nasty ! He parks 3 vehicles on the road in front of our house , he doesn't live in his house he has done it up and is selling up , he purposely blocks our car in and leaves room so he can fit in another of his cars behind his ! Can we do anything about the s ? Like inform anyone at all ? He was there at the crack of dawn moving his car and AGAiN blocked our car in !! The stress is killing me !!
Kazz - 23-Jun-17 @ 11:08 AM
We live ina private house rented with communal car park we had problems with next door neighbor they left after they left someone, not a resident but a friend of someone who got a property on the site has given permission for them to leave their cars in this car park as we live at then end of car parking block and as there is enough room for everyone if parking properly they let their car to go outside there car parking space ! as if we leave our car outside of the length parking bay it's the length which causes the problem as before we left close to fence but now as to not get blocked reversing out as they leave their car we think on purpose ! purposely block us in as its a business who park their cars here we get many cars it's causing problems as other residents have had problems from these people too as now I have to leave my car wider from the fence which makes parking spaces less! for other residents or genuine visitors and if I have a car next to me and then the car behind as I'm reversing then we can not get out! do you know the best idea as these people are obnoxious and not friendly people! who we know have had complaints before can the council do anything or driving agency or should we seek a lawyer?.
Drive blocking PROBL - 21-Jun-17 @ 11:17 AM
J.A. - Your Question:
The whole of our street has drop down kerbs running behind our back fences. My neighbour has widened his access and put double gates up leading out from his garden. My fence alongside his is only a third in length. However, he has a large camper van that he occasionally parks along the fence and his wife has a visitor several times a week who parks there too. When the road is busy my visitors will park there too, but not in front of his access gates only across the back of the garden. He will.appear from nowhere and ask them to move, which till.now they have done. My question is , if the road is all drop down kerbs and we are not blocking his access, can we park there and does his boundary end at his back fence or at the road. I thought the pathways outside your garden belonged to the council?

Our Response:
You will need to check with the council to see if they own or know who owns this land and who has right of access etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:03 AM
The whole of our street has drop down kerbs running behind our back fences. My neighbour has widened his access and put double gates up leading out from his garden.My fence alongside his is only a third in length. However, he has a large camper van that he occasionally parks along the fence and his wife has a visitor several times a week who parks there too. When the road is busy my visitors will park there too, but not in front of his access gates only across the back of the garden. He will.appear from nowhere and ask them to move, which till.now they have done. My question is , if the road is all drop down kerbs and we are not blocking his access, can we park there and does his boundary end at his back fence or at the road. I thought the pathways outside your garden belonged to the council?
J.A. - 15-Jun-17 @ 1:00 AM
I live on a small grove facing a public park I have car spaces at the side of my property but no drive in front is the drive at the side mine to use or is it anyone's
Kyesmom - 5-Jun-17 @ 4:15 PM
Hi I moved into a property 2 months ago. Within one day of being there my neighbour knocked on my door telling me off about how my friend had parked (outside my house slightly on the grass verge ) I do have a driveway but only enough for one car. Again she has had a go at another of my friends for parking outside her house (not blocking her driveway) on the grass verge!!! Not blocking anything or any other drives at all. Is she in the right at all and can she do anything about this?? All cars are taxed and insured and parked in a appropriate way so I don't see that there should be a issue
Eeshareem - 5-Jun-17 @ 12:52 PM
Lily - Your Question:
I live in a little cul de sac my neighbours around the corner have 2 vans and 3 cars, and well one van is broken down and has been for over a year which is parked basically outside my front door. Although this family basically has 9 cars and 2 vans which includes the children's cars and their partners they always park out side mine and my neightbours houses sometimes double parking in front of one and other to make it more difficult to get in and out. I have 1 car and I find it difficult to get parked outside my front door. I do have a drive way out my back but I find it difficult to park my car their as children play out our back and play football and I'm scared incase they break a window. My neighbors also have a parking bay across from their house to park their cars as well as out their back, but never use those spaces. Does anyone have advice on what to do. They are aware of the suitation but they don't care, I would like to think they would have a bit respect and say look let's let ------ park out side her front door we will park up the street but they don't.It's even worse when they have a family party or get together because at least 20 cars are in are cul de sac and no one can get parked.I am aware they pay tax like the rest of us but having so many cars is a bit ridiculous?Help?

Our Response:
Is the broken down van taxed and insured? If not, the police can remove it. As you say, there's not really a great deal you can do about this. If they're not using their own spaces, could you use one of them?
ProblemNeighbours - 17-May-17 @ 11:48 AM
I live in a little cul de sac my neighbours around the corner have 2 vans and 3 cars, and well one van is broken down and has been for over a year which is parked basically outside my front door. Although this family basically has 9 cars and 2 vans which includes the children's cars and their partners they always park out side mine and my neightbours houses sometimes double parking in front of one and other to make it more difficult to get in and out. I have 1 car and I find it difficult to get parked outside my front door. I do have a drive way out my back but I find it difficult to park my car their as children play out our back and play football and I'm scared incase they break a window. My neighbors also have a parking bay across from their house to park their cars as well as out their back, but never use those spaces. Does anyone have advice on what to do. They are aware of the suitation but they don't care, I would like to think they would have a bit respect and say look let's let ------ park out side her front door we will park up the street but they don't. It's even worse when they have a family party or get together because at least 20 cars are in are cul de sac and no one can get parked. I am aware they pay tax like the rest of us but having so many cars is a bit ridiculous? Help?
Lily - 15-May-17 @ 9:52 PM
nicnac - Your Question:
My neighbour brings home his work van which is slightly bigger than a transit van and parks in the parking spaces, which is fine, however picks the one nearest my driveway and now im left driving blind into the road as cant see whats coming down towards me. if our two cars are there I would park in one of the spaces and he parks tight against my car at an angle even though there is space the other side of him. what can I do?

Our Response:
Really there isn't much you can do about this unless you are actually blocked in and can't get out. Talk to the nieghbour and ask if he can park the van in such as way that it makes it easier for you to get out.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-May-17 @ 10:39 AM
my neighbour brings home his work van which is slightly bigger than a transit van and parks in the parking spaces, which is fine, however picks the one nearest my driveway and now im left driving blind into the road as cant see whats coming down towards me.if our two cars are there i would park in one of the spaces and he parks tight against my car at an angle even though there is space the other side of him.what can i do?
nicnac - 6-May-17 @ 12:01 AM
Jade - Your Question:
Hi, I live on the end of a straight cul de sac. We do not have a driveway but I park my car outside my house as the neighbours opposite DO NOT have any cars and have a driveway. My neighbours daughter and boyfriend have recently moved in and the boyfriend has a car. He blocks me in all the time and I don't mind because I just politely ask him to let me out ( not a big deal) apart from today when he started to reverse to let me out my neighbour started shouting abuse at me. I don't know if I'm in the wrong but the view I have is I live there and have done for many many years why should he get to park there over me? I know it's not a legal right to park outside your own property but they are making a big deal out of the situation. I don't understand as they have a driveway with a car in that doesn't work. I'd understand if I kept blocking him in the drive but he doesn't park on the drive!

Our Response:
if it's a public road with no other parking restrictions you can park where you like as long as you are not obstructing a driveway, blocking the route for emergency vehicles or parked too near a junction etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Apr-17 @ 10:34 AM
Hi, I live on the end of a straight cul de sac. We do not have a driveway but I park my car outside my house as the neighbours opposite DO NOT have any cars and have a driveway. My neighbours daughter and boyfriend have recently moved in and the boyfriend has a car. He blocks me in all the time and I don't mind because I just politely ask him to let me out ( not a big deal) apart from today when he started to reverse to let me out my neighbour started shouting abuse at me. I don't know if I'm in the wrong but the view I have is I live there and have done for many many years why should he get to park there over me? I know it's not a legal right to park outside your own property but they are making a big deal out of the situation. I don't understand as they have a driveway with a car in that doesn't work. I'd understand if I kept blocking him in the drive but he doesn't park on the drive!
Jade - 23-Apr-17 @ 6:02 PM
there is someone who keeps parking less than 10 metres from a junction i turn into to get to my street. when i turn in you cant see if someone is coming in the opposite direction.whi do i contact to complain?
lola - 21-Apr-17 @ 11:35 PM
Outside the back of our house there is communal land that we and other houses use for parking. I used to park out the front on the main road until my car got hit. The access to the land is a road through someone property. I'm nine months pregnant and the owner of the land has started to block my car in and block us out. Is there anything we can do as access to this land has been fine for over 10 years and the owner is saying it's his land and doesn't care.
Ckvenn - 12-Apr-17 @ 5:53 PM
Mountie - Your Question:
I live on a cul de sac and parking is a problem at best of times as you have to park where you can as can't always park outside your house.A Neighbour has recently been putting cones out to block the space outside their house even though they have parking behind their house. Are they allowed to do this by blocking a space off with cones.

Our Response:
Unless it's a private road and each property owns the space outside its home, then no they cannot do this. Contact your local council/parking authority if you want to make a complaint about the cones.
ProblemNeighbours - 10-Apr-17 @ 2:13 PM
sir i have a problem? please help me. A guy parked his car in front of his house which is opposite to my house. Because he has no parking area in his house. We have a car and we also have a parking area. Because his car being parked out side it becomes a disturbance for us to take our car out. Many compramize went on no response from him. give advise about the legal act to be taken by me.
srisandhiya - 9-Apr-17 @ 12:00 PM
Hi we have a neighbour that's abusive if anyone parks in the space she parks in even though it's a public road . The space she likes is the nearest to the houses. She even as a go at delivery menhelp.
Antman - 8-Apr-17 @ 8:35 PM
I live on a cul de sac and parking is a problem at best of times as you have to park where you can as can't always park outside your house. A Neighbour has recently been putting cones out to block the space outside their house even though they have parking behind their house. Are they allowed to do this by blocking a space off with cones.
Mountie - 7-Apr-17 @ 6:43 PM
Deano - Your Question:
We live on a cul de sac where parking is at a premium. One of the neighbours has recently acquired a large works van. They have a car which they don't use during the week but use this car to reserve a parking spot for their van. Is this illegal?

Our Response:
No as long as there are no particular parking restrictions on your road there's nothing to stop anyone parking there. Check your local council's rules on commercial vehicles in residential areas though.
ProblemNeighbours - 5-Apr-17 @ 12:23 PM
We live on a cul de sac where parking is at a premium. One of the neighbours has recently acquired a large works van. They have a car which they don't use during the week but use this car to reserve a parking spot for their van. Is this illegal?
Deano - 4-Apr-17 @ 7:58 AM
Sarah - Your Question:
My neighbour has a dropped kerb and we have been using it to access our driveway as we dont have a dropped kerb - I spoke to the council and they said it's quite a normal thing to do. The problem is, is that my neighbour keeps blocking me in by parking his second car constantly in front of the dropped kerb. Do I have any rights about being blocked in.It is infuriating as even if there is an empty parking space on the road he will block us in.thanks very much

Our Response:
This will depend on whether you have shared access rights. Your title deeds will tell you.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Mar-17 @ 2:34 PM
My neighbour has a dropped kerb and we have been using it to access our driveway as we dont have a dropped kerb - I spoke to the council and they said it's quite a normal thing to do.The problem is, is that my neighbour keeps blocking me in by parking his second car constantly in front of the dropped kerb.Do I have any rights about being blocked in. It is infuriating as even if there is an empty parking space on the road he will block us in. thanks very much
Sarah - 20-Mar-17 @ 10:36 AM
If a property has a driveway with a dropped kerb, of which the driveway recently had a brick wall built, which prevents it being a drive way as a car can't go on or out it's a brick wall with a gap big enough for someone to walk in and out of, the owners of the property don't drive. But apparently they built it to stop people parking in their drive.Is It ok to park on the dropped kerb since you aren't blocking entry or exit to the former drive way? There is also a white line infront of it that covers the former driveway and also the driveway next door that is still in use.
Annoyed - 18-Mar-17 @ 11:47 PM
I have a large car park behind my house with garages around the edges. this is where most residents park. I usually park directly behind my house, there is a women who lives on the end of the row of houses but insists she has to park in the space next to my car, she gets really aggressive and nasty when anyone parks in that space. When any of my friends come over and parks there she gets abusive and I don't know how to deal with her I've tried being calm but its getting to much now
Maria50 - 16-Mar-17 @ 9:54 PM
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