Home > Neighbour Issues > Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 Feb 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hacked off - Your Question:
I live in a street that is rather narrow - there are three taxi drivers in the area and all three park on the road - one in particular has enough space for three cars on his driveway but leaves that empty while his and his friends and family block the access to other people's driveways by parking on the road but smugly and arrogantly says that he pays road tax so can park where he likes. Another bloke has a big people carrier and another vehicle parked outside on the road of his property and neighbours then burgers off for the day and leaves them both blocking other drivers views of oncoming traffic. Counted 9 vehicles down the street illegally parked. Why are these selfish people allowed to get away with it?

Our Response:
If these vehicles are actually "illegally parked", then contact the police. They or the parking authorities, have the power to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:24 PM
My next door neighbour has a drive where they can park 2 cars but they also bring cars vans pick up trucks home! At the moment they have 2 cars on the drive as well as 7 cars parked on the street!! He does sell these cars but it doesn't take long before another is back! Is there anything I can do?
Lou - 21-Feb-17 @ 11:38 AM
I live in a road with 9 houses in a row the road is not owned by anyone but we have a neighbour who thinks she owns the the road and is causing alot of issues for us we have been told that as this is an un-owned road nothing can be done and it is a civil matter. Has anyone else had similar issues?
tc - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:35 PM
I live in a street that is rather narrow - there are three taxi drivers in the area and all three park on the road - one in particular has enough space for three cars on his driveway butleaves that empty while his and his friends and family block the access to other people's driveways by parking on the road but smugly and arrogantly says that he pays road tax so can park where he likes.Another bloke has a big people carrier and another vehicle parked outside on the road of his property and neighbours then burgers off for the day and leaves them both blocking other drivers views of oncoming traffic.Counted 9 vehicles down the street illegally parked.Why are these selfish people allowed to get away with it?
Hacked off - 18-Feb-17 @ 12:37 PM
We live on a quiet cul de sac and until the last few years had no parking problems until all the children became 17 and now each house has 3, 4, 5 and 6 cars/vans parked up. We all have a double drive and then a piece of grass big enough for another car. We had our drive done with imprinted concrete a few years ago and so have parking for 3. My neighbours have still got their grass plus a double drive but now they have 5 cars, they park one on the grass right up to the boundary line and then use our drive as their means to enter and exit the car. It means we have to park our third car at least three feet away to allow them to open their door fully and then our other cars are squashed up against the hedge at the other side. We have spoken to them about not parking so close and saying it's fair if we both leave a gap but because we have only just got our third car and they have been parking there for the past 18 months they think they have the right to park as close as they want. I'm sure it's illegal for them to trespass on our drive but we don't want to go down that route. They have also caused our drive to split by the weight of their car on the soft grass next to it. I don't think I'd mind so much if they had a proper drive but it's almost as if they don't want to dirty their feet by walking on the by now sludgy mess that was once grass. I want to put some kind of permanent divide up but when the houses were built it was stated they had to remain open plan and couldn't be fenced off so I don't think we'd be allowed a fence or wall. I then thought about putting tall pavement edges up or tall planters with shrubs in. Last weekend their car was one millimetre from been on my driveway so when all our cars were missing I went out with the hosepipe, brush and bleach and decided to scrub all our drive. I'm ashamed to admit it felt good splashing his car as he is one of those who washes it five times a week !Has anyone got any advice as to what I could use as a suitable divide as I think we need a permanent solution.
CG - 17-Feb-17 @ 8:20 PM
I have bought a property where it was not immediately obvious on the deeds that the next door neighbour owns the space directly in front of our house. They purposely park in a way that makes access into and out of our house difficult. They have a double space in front of their own house that they keep clear but will park in when they choose to or for their guests. There are allocated guest speakers aces on our Close and the deeds to different properties show slightly different rights to these spaces. My daughter often smacks her head off the wing mirrors of their car when I try to get her out of the house. We have an enclosed back garden so our only exit out of our house in the event of a fire is through our front door which is often blocked because the neighbour will park and deliberately turn her tyres so in the dark we trip over them. Our door opens outwards so we cannot escape to the left. Our own designated parking space is to the right and the neighbour on the other side also parks next to our car so we are trapped. In addition to this, because there is no access to the back gardens all recycling bins are placed at the front of the properties. This prevents any escape route to the left of the house. This causes us so much distress please can you advise us of any help we may be able to get?
Berch - 17-Feb-17 @ 8:03 PM
A neighbour in our cul de sac has parked an old boat at the top of the road, it has been there for months and never moves. Is he allowed to park a boat on the road
B - 16-Feb-17 @ 8:35 PM
My rented neighbour has banned us from parking in the cul de sac as he's put a 3 foot fence on his drive which means he can only reverse his car out onto the cul de sac. If we have guests and they park on the cul de sac he blocks them in with his work van. I've tried talking to him, the agent, police and council. I don't know what more to do?? He's very aggressive, when we ask him to let us take the car out he refuses and threatens us not to damage his car. It's so sad to say that even the police won't help so I have to shut up and put up.
Culdesac - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:43 AM
Hi I live on a street where there are double yellow lines on one side and on our side cars are parked all the way down the street.My problem is the neighbour across from us they park over their drive way on double yellow lines. we can not get out of our drive as we have do reverse out of our drive .Iv asked no end of times about not being able to get out.What is my next step thanks
karen - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:35 AM
Can anyone tell me an answer to my parking . I live in a street with lots of cars I want to park right outside my own house I'm on a small hill but the road is quite wide and I want to park out front of my house but do I park up hill or down hill someone said its got to be up hill . and as long as no cars are parked opposite so cars can get passed . is this right .
Fozzie - 11-Feb-17 @ 2:02 PM
I am sick of the orange cones in malmesbury road what doI kick them out the way but cause a big row you should stop them and check up about disabled that have died
Sue - 9-Feb-17 @ 3:10 PM
Hanz - Your Question:
Any advise pls ,I moved to a small council house with narrow street ( cul de sac ) my next door neighbours have a drive way and two cars , they keep 1 there n park the other in front of my house and they work day time while I work night shifts n I come back home 2am by the time I finish they r sleep n I find his car in front of my house I parked my car in front of other neighbor then I got told to move.I explained to next door to leave a space so I can park in front of my house he n his wife keep ignoring me this makes me angry all the time because they r bully n I'm oversea student in this country I'm afraid of their reaction because I hear them fighting with each other on daily basis and I hear swearing and. , I wrote to them twice small letters but they still ignoring my present.What can I do ! Thinking about moving out.

Our Response:
There is no automatic right to park in the space outside your house unfortunately so you cannot do much about this.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Feb-17 @ 12:12 PM
Any advise pls , I moved to a small council house with narrow street ( cul de sac ) my next door neighbours have a drive way and two cars , they keep 1 there n park the other in front of my house and they work day time while I work night shifts n I come back home 2am by the time I finish they r sleep n I find his car in front of my house I parked my car in front of other neighbor then I got told to move . I explained to next door to leave a space so I can park in front of my house he n his wife keep ignoring me this makes me angry all the time because they r bully n I'm oversea student in this country I'm afraid of their reaction because I hear them fighting with each other on daily basis and I hear swearing and ..... , I wrote to them twice small letters but they still ignoring my present . What can I do !Thinking about moving out .
Hanz - 7-Feb-17 @ 8:17 AM
RICK23 - Your Question:
Hi wondering if anyone can give me some adivice. I have 2 veichles one my own personal car and other is my work van BT van and I'm a home Parker. I have a space outside my house where now I have to park my work van as neighbours have been complaining about it being parked in a communal space. Phoneing my work every time I park it in the communal space etc really getting on my wick these older generations seem to think they own the street. Why do these people think they have the right. Need to know where I can go from here or is it even worth the hassle! Thanks

Our Response:
Check there are no conditions attached to use of the communal space. Is it privately owned or council owned etc? Sometimes commercial vehicles are excluded from these types of parking space.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Feb-17 @ 12:39 PM
Cancer - Your Question:
Can anyone offer advice? We have had new neighbours move opposite about six months ago, they are a middle aged couple who we thought would be very friendly. How wrong we were.The road is narrow but fortunately most of us have a drive way which is big enough for 2 cars which they also have. They insist on parking their one car in the middle of the drive so when they get visitors which is every day they park right opposite our drive, not I front of theirs,making it very difficult for us to get our cars in or out. I have got cancer so coming home from treatment at the hospital and having to go backwards and forwards to park is very frustrating. I knocked on the door one day and asked the visitor to park further down to which he came out with a rude remark, l explained about my situation and said how uncomfortable l was feeling and he told me l was using my cancer as an excuse. A couple of weeks ago my son went over and asked if they would use both parking spaces as no one else in the street is uncurtious. He was told that the guy had dementia. He isn't the one driving or being selfish. Any solutions?

Our Response:
Unfortunately not - if there are no parking restrictions in place in your road there's not a great deal you can do. You could try asking your local authority to implement parking restrictions on your road. If there would be a problem with access for emergency vehicles etc, this may be considered. If you cannot physically exit your driveway, then you can report the offender to the police for obstruction. You could also consider a private legal action for an order to stop your neighbour's "anti social behaviour"...mediate or alternative dispute resolution might be worth try first. Check out our letter template for help too.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:27 AM
Like many comments on here, we live on a main road where it doesn't give you the right to park outside your own house , which ok if that's the law fine , but where's the help for residents who come home from work and can't park anywhere for inconsiderate neighbours who have 5 vehicles and all you get is "it's a public road I will park where I like" . It's about time these issues were taken seriously, I'm sure if the people who made the rules had to live on a street like that they would soon be trying to change it. My house was built in the 1930's when parking was not an issue but now with most families having 1 or 2 cars it doesn't work anymore. Parking permits to stop excessive vehicles per households would help, council not interested probably due to cost. Unfortunately we live in a world where there is very little neighbour consideration. Nobody cares though as they are not breaking the law,
Tea - 5-Feb-17 @ 9:27 PM
Hi wondering if anyone can give me some adivice. I have 2 veichles one my own personal car and other is my work van BT van and I'm a home Parker. I have a space outside my house where now I have to park my work van as neighbours have been complaining about it being parked in a communal space. Phoneing my work every time I park it in the communal space etc really getting on my wick these older generations seem to think they own the street. Why do these people think they have the right. Need to know where I can go from here or is it even worth the hassle! Thanks
RICK23 - 3-Feb-17 @ 9:54 PM
Can anyone offer advice?We have had new neighbours move opposite about six months ago, they are a middle aged couple who we thought would be very friendly.How wrong we were. The road is narrow but fortunately most of us have a drive way which is big enough for 2 cars which they also have.They insist on parking their one car in the middle of the drive so when they get visitors which is every day they park right opposite our drive, not I front of theirs, making it very difficult for us to get our cars in or out.I have got cancer so coming home from treatment at the hospital and having to go backwards and forwards to park is very frustrating.I knocked on the door one day and asked the visitor to park further down to which he came out with a rude remark, l explained about my situation and said how uncomfortable l was feeling and he told me l was using my cancer as an excuse.A couple of weeks ago my son went over and asked if they would use both parking spaces as no one else in the street is uncurtious.He was told that the guy had dementia.He isn't the one driving or being selfish.Any solutions?
Cancer - 3-Feb-17 @ 4:14 PM
Two years ago I was burgled by a gang. They stole my car and van in the process, they wrote the car off but the van was recovered. I've had to have a cctv system installed with three cameras at the front at great expense. Last neighbours had the decency to leave our space free. Zoom forward to now, new neighbours have purchased next door. They now keep parking halfway across my property and theirs. This is on the left side of traffic so their car is actually always facing head on. They have guests from 4pm every single night that drive across the main road into on coming traffic to deliberately take my space. No one parks on the other side of their home yet they talk every space in front of my home. I managed to get in front the other day then needed to nip to a shop. I had them on cctv the second I left moving a car from further down the street into my space. I'm very annoyed with this. The owners have one car then there's around six more that park, they leave every single night at 12am yet I'm in bed for work by this point!
Kj - 1-Feb-17 @ 11:18 PM
We have a company near us who allow their employee's to bring home there company light commercial vehicle overnight and at weekends, there are quite a few as in 5 0r 6 in total in 2 strreets, one of them parks on the pavement, on a corner so blocks view for people leaving our culdesac, also it covers a place on the pavement that wheelchairs need to have access to. This culdesac is mainly made up of oap bumgalows and some of them are in wheelchairs. Please can you help
Susiewong - 31-Jan-17 @ 7:03 PM
I have a nieghbour who insists on parking outside my house. I know there is nothing wrong with that but the other day I parked there so that my partner could use the drive the following morning. For three days now they have blocked my drive and even when I have gone out still not moved the car. Is there anything I can do to rectify this. I have tried talking to them but the don't respond and just ignore the issue.
Adzz - 31-Jan-17 @ 12:04 PM
I bought a house a month ago, and I am kicking myself. There is a driveway in front, yesterday I came back after work to find a car parked in that space. After a few hours, a lady came to collect her car, and said that this was a visitors space and anyone could park there & the management company were going to paint a V in it. I was under the impression the space was mine. I checked the legal paperwork submitted by the previous owners, they did say it is visitors space, which I had naively assumed it meant my visitors!! So now I cannot have access to my own front door, and there is nothing I can do, as it is my own stupidity and ignorance!
windoc - 31-Jan-17 @ 9:54 AM
We have allocated parking spaces in our property (a house converted into flats) there is one parking space unallocated, nobody owns this on the deeds and it is not marked as visitor parking. When we bought a property the previous neighbor told me he had parked in the space for 4 years with no problems, yet on the first day we moved in another property owner told me I couldn't park there because it was hers. We checked the deeds and spoke to the property management who said that she doesn't own it and every freeholder has equal rights to park there, so I could use the space if it was free. We have been here for a year and I have been regularly harassed by her if she is home when I park my car, she is verbally abusive, leaves notes on my car, parks right over so that I can't open my doors with enough room to get in my car and has now begun instructing her visitors to block my car in when they visit. Today I knocked on her door to ask her mum to move her car so I could get out and was told again that the space is for visitors only. I'm now tempted to call the police the next time my car is blocked in rather than knocking on the door, can I do this?
LL16 - 29-Jan-17 @ 6:39 PM
One of my neighbours is in the navy and he has parked his car outside my 100 year old fathers house while he is away on HMS Ocean. It has been standing there for over 5 months. He never asked if we minded if he parked it there. I do not mind cars parking outside if they are moved. The problem is that my 100 year old father has difficulty walking ,he has ulcers on his toes and legs. When I come to take him out I have to get my car as near to the front door as possible, this is not now possible . The district nurses that visit twice a week are also having problems finding a place to park too. I spoke to the wife of the neighbour . She said ahe would move it. After three weeks it still was there. I wrote a letter asking if she would move it. On Sunday I asked again and she was very rude and refused to move it.It is causing a nuscience but there is nothing more I can do.
Hundred - 24-Jan-17 @ 3:24 PM
I have a parking issue with my neighbour on a shared driveway. I understand that parking across a driveway is an obstruction under the road traffic act, but my neighbour parks on the ramp leading to the shared parking area. This ramp isn't on my property so I don't regard it as private, it's in fact owned by the council and the 20 foot of space before my property is being used to park his vehicle making it impossible for me to leave my drive. The question is - is it classed as public road because it's common land before it reaches my private property, meaning the police should have the power to have the vehicle towed? I've given up asking my neighbour, he does it to wind me up.
monty - 23-Jan-17 @ 1:53 AM
Just a little rant really. I am aware and totally fine with the fact people can park anywhere they want on the street. Even if they are parked outside your house but live 10 doors up etc. My rant is the fact that the house across the road have 4 cars and one which has a disabled spot. The issue is that one of the owners of the cars likes to park here outside our house but not only taking up one spot but 2 spots. The house next door to us is empty but once she parks there we can't get behind her because of a lamp post or because she leaves a gap for a old mini in front of her. Plus never parks straight.All she has to do is reverse tighter to the lamp post and I am able to squeeze in. Also doesn't help the fact I have 2 small children that I usually have to walk up from the bottom of the hill getting soaked when it's raining. Rant over :)
Buckemdano - 21-Jan-17 @ 7:03 PM
I recently moved into a house with quite a large front garden. I have a small car and my hubby has a van with tools and other things in so it has to be parked outside our house. The thing is my neighbors family come and visit at weekends and when I'm on my way home from work I notice when I get to my house that my neighbors son has parked in my space in front of my house. The fact is I've been at work all day and come home to some idiot parked in my space just because he cannot be bothered to park further down and walk. I do not speak to my neighbors as I've knocked at the door asking him to move his car but they do not answer,I know it won't be long before world war 3 starts... ouch!!
Jue - 21-Jan-17 @ 6:45 PM
Hi my neighbours are terrible when we first moved in the man next door came round to ask me to move my car I have a drive way big enough for one car and we also own another car couple of months after we settled in another knock at the door asking us to move our car parked outside our house they have around 5 car spaces outside there house so plently of space the third time there was a knock he came round verbally abusing me and my partner as since he keeps parking his car outside my house so we can only just fit the car on the driveway and my other nearly blocks that off. What can I do?? Any laws?
Srm - 20-Jan-17 @ 4:20 PM
My neighbours daughters continue to park they're cars on the drop kerb between my property and they're mothers. This is causing a problem when people need to cross the road and cannot get into the footpath safely. Where does the law stand on this? I've tried speaking to her nicely but just get verbal/racial abuse, which she now directs to anyone who comes to my property with a car.
Chelle - 20-Jan-17 @ 1:48 PM
Hi I have a problem with my neighbour, we live almost in an L shape but between the two houses is a field that has access by a thin strip of tarmac just wide enough for a small car to drive on. However I park my car on my front garden which is fine, but as my neighbour has such a small garden at the front of her home she parks on the shared access tarmac. Which blocks the field access and my back gates and garage. She gets angry and tells me to move my car right up on my front garden but sure I can park wherever I want on my garden. I also plan to take my car around the side of my house where I have a garage. However this would mean she would have to move her car off the shared access tarmac and right over on to her small garden or park on the road. Because really no one should park on the shared tarmac as its an access to the field. Is there any help you could give me please
Jamie82 - 19-Jan-17 @ 8:52 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProblemNeighbours website. Please read our Disclaimer.