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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 11 Jan 2021 | 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’d be interested in your opinions. I live in an apartment complex and I accidentally parked in my neighbours spot yesterday. It’s only 2 spots away from mine and unbeknownst to me the car I usually park next to has moved up two spots. So as usual I pulled into my apartment complex, and parked next to the Blue Ford Focus as I usually do. I was at fault, I was in the wrong spot. However it was and honest mistake. Within an hour of me parking, my neighbour who’s spot I had accidentally parked in (who knows my car and is aware I live in the complex) had called the local council and had them come to the complex, ticketed my car and then had me towed. Do you think that’s fair?. I ask as it’s not how I would have handled it had it been reversed. I know her car, I know she lives her. I’d have left a note on her car and explained she was in the wrong spot then given her time to correct her mistake before I contacted the landlord and asked them to ask her to move it. Thought?.
Laura - 11-Jan-21 @ 3:54 AM
My aunt is disabled. For years she has parked outside her house, but a new family have moved onto her street. They have 4 cars between them, and parking has become a nightmare. She has recently had to park down the street as the new neighbours take up so many parking spots, and talking to them hasn't made a difference. Walking so far from her house to the car every day is causing her a lot of physical pain as well as stress. It's so frustrating as there doesn't seem to be any law to stop this.
Cindy - 5-Jan-21 @ 8:25 PM
@Stressy, I had the same problem with my neighbour. He & his many visitors park in front of my drive all the time but plays merry hell the one time I did it to him to see how he would react. All came to a head a few weeks ago where he parked directly across my drive stopping me from getting my car off the drive at all. He refused to move when I asked him then wouldn’t answer the door. I called the police who informed him he had to move the car. He refused saying he was too drunk (20 minutes after parking it there), so they moved it, or I had the right to get it towed away at his expense. That could have cost him around £120 to get a towed car released depending on the company. They cannot stop you getting off your driveway especially if you have a dropped kerb. If they don’t answer the door, post a note through telling them you have contacted your local council who will now tow it away at their expense to get it back. Sure they’ll move it then!
Hijichi73 - 3-Jan-21 @ 11:08 PM
I share a driveway my neighbour has put metal posts on his drive to ensure I do not reverse onto his front gravel which whilst petty is his right but he is now putting concrete boulders down the side of the shared driveway which makes turning into my parking space difficult I have removed the boulders but he keeps putting them back he doesn’t own the strip although he does mow it although we would all be happy to do it he is a bully I am a lone female so will not approach him I have damaged my car twice due to this Please help who can I go to for help Who do I ha
SM61 - 31-Dec-20 @ 10:43 AM
I am so hurt and upset that someone wants to hurt me. A couple of days ago a neighbour knocked my door asking if I could move my car over to make it easy for them to get out. I obliged.I then said the reason I park where I do is to enable my son to get a place after a night shift instead of driving round and round for an hour in the middle of the night thinking they might help.What happened?As soon as my son left for work he moved his car into the space!The mere fact that someone gets joy out of being nasty really is upsetting. I only have one small car yet most in the street have two taking two spaces.
Strictly49 - 28-Nov-20 @ 9:30 PM
Well interesting topic.. sometimes there isnt many parking spaces so some drivers do park outside others driveways. So long as if the car owner is not obstructing your driveway or using the space for long hours they are within the rights to park..however some homeowners hate the thought of another car outside their home.. i.e pple who are breaking corona virus rules park elsewhere and walk to a different property thinking dont want to get caught.Stop flouting the rules and in that case dont park outside others home park infront of the house you visiting. Also one more thing sometimes a large vehicle could be someones livelihood so if they do park outside your home.. just explain in a nice way that its causing an obstruction.. nip the problem in the bud instead of lifting up someones wiper to indicate your concerns..express yourself in a better way.. its nt worth falling out with neighbours over car park space its waste of time and could affect health.
Mary - 27-Nov-20 @ 11:56 PM
My opposite neighbour constantly takesalmost 8 to 10 space of thethe street. He brings all the clamped car, damaged car, some time big van too. He does business in doing this. many time we spoke to him he doesn't listi and end up in argument and on numerous occasions been very aggressive with most of our neighbors. Can you please sort this issue and make him not to park in Ivy close HA28RX . Hope you do our needs.
Ramesh - 27-Nov-20 @ 5:45 PM
I live in a residential area and I'm a community care worker which takes me in and out of my home 24/27.every day I get blocked in a parking space. I now find people are parking in front of me.and I cant get out.even when I knock there door to ask if they could move there vehicle. They ingnor the knocks and makes me late for work exspecily when my calls are in morning to go to elderly people for medical what can I do ?
Stressy - 23-Nov-20 @ 2:25 PM
My mother-in-law has a private parking space which comes with the house when she bought. She does not owns a car now because of her age. One if her neighbour's keeps parking on her lot. She has talked to them politely but it still happens. She has even show them her title deed which shows that she owns that parking lot but they refused to accept. They said that since she has no cars n they have 2, they want to be able to park their cars near to their house. We hv tried to reason with them that my mother~in-law kept that space free for people visiting her with cars. What can we do?
El - 14-Nov-20 @ 2:46 PM
Our neighbor park his car in our drive way in the main road. Is that legal. He uses the Kirb as well. Could anyone let me know who do I have to talk too because is disturbing us!
Sue - 8-Nov-20 @ 10:31 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate and unreasonable people are. I'm fortunate enough to have my vehicle parked off the road in a car port at the rear of my property. I have no problem with anyone parking their car on the main road at the front of my house, but what I do take exception to is non-residents parking there for days on end, particularly when they are visiting a detached property on the other side of road that has a drive at the front of it that can accommodate 3 vehicles. The street I live in, like many places up and down the country has problems with parking i.e. there's too many cars and not enough parking places. Home owners with drives who lack the common decency, courtesy and sense to tell visitors, particularly when they are breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules anyway, to park on their drive as residents have enough problems parking as it is, are scumbags in my humble opinion.
Beggars - 4-Nov-20 @ 10:50 PM
Hi need advice as my mum has lived in an area with houses ether side of her for 7 years and she's had no problem until this last year or 2 with the 2 neighbours they have at least 3 to 4 cars and vans parked out site in small parking area and when I go visiting here at weekends they are always coming out and telling me that I have no right to park there as I don't live there. It's got to the point that they are threatening us and even noticed they have scratched my car and telling me he has a mate in the police that he helps if he tells him I'm parked there they will clamp or remove my car. What can I do we've spoken to police they won't do anything. I too scared to park there as they all ways come out to have go at me when all I'm doing is visiting my mum. My family shouldn't have to live in fear of these neighbours.
Mum30 - 30-Oct-20 @ 10:27 AM
Hello, I live with my Partner in a Public Road With private property at the end of it (the Property is converted into flats accessible by a gate, where there is adequate parking for each resident,) The issue is the fact that one of the residents works for a local painter & decorator, Who regularly parks his bosses van outside our front door (despite the fact that he has his own parking space inside the Gate) Polite requests to him to park inside the gate Have fallen on deaf Ears, and contacting his employer has only provided a temporary resolution as the employee has done it several times
Has - 29-Oct-20 @ 5:59 PM
Hello i am after some advice on parking i have a drive way and it is used by my partners work van who is a electrician so work can be emergencies so access is always needed. The house opposite keeps parking on the road directly opposite my drive which we have asked on a number of occasions to park a little bit over only about a meter so he can swing the van round to pull onto and off the drive. Today they made it clear that they did not have to and it is our fault for having a van of its size (Ford transit) and that their car is worth more so should be parked outside their house ( they don't live there but spend alot of time there). please help with any advice as they are starting to get nasty and threatening my partner because we asked them again. i suffer with social anxiety and depression and it is starting to make me feel worse.
CLH - 29-Oct-20 @ 8:11 AM
We have parked outside our home on a non designated road for 20 years. The surrounding dwellings have been sold and the seller has written to us saying we are trespassing. Is that the case in law.?
Ann - 27-Oct-20 @ 2:11 PM
My neighbours across the road from me currently have 4 cars and 2 transit vans, they don't even have a drive way and park right outside my house and practically take up the full street is there anything that can be done about this, they know my frustrations and think they just park right outside my house now to annoy me basically. Can something be done about this??
Em - 21-Oct-20 @ 3:32 PM
My neighbour constantly takes the space in front of my house. They have two cars and a motorbike. They insist that they have a permit to park there and have, on numerous occasions been very aggressive with enforcing this. One occasion at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. For example, this morning, both husband and wife took their cars to work but pushed husbands motorcycle out of the front garden to block the space outside my house. I have a 5 year old that has to cross the road every time he gets out of the car, I find this behaviour pety and very frustrating. Please, if there's anyone out there that can offer some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Ian - 20-Oct-20 @ 8:39 AM
My neighbour constantly takes the space in front of my house. They have two cars and a motorbike. They insist that they have a permit to park there and have, on numerous occasions been very aggressive with enforcing this. One occasion at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. For example, this morning, both husband and wife took their cars to work but pushed husbands motorcycle out of the front garden to block the space outside my house. I find this behaviour pety and very frustrating. Please, if there's anyone out there that can offer some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Ian - 20-Oct-20 @ 8:35 AM
I have an allocated parking space in a communial car park. My neighbour has starting parking a caravan in their space which sticks out into the entrance. What can be done. Any ideas. Thank you.
fedup - 17-Oct-20 @ 1:07 PM
We have a problem with a well know conway company with heavy work vehicles down our residential road they are taking to many parking spaces six to eight vehicles every night every weekevery Christmas park up for days andp not in use usingthe road as a parking yard the people that own the vehicle don't live down our road people who live down our road see what advice you can give us Rowlands Rd Rm8 3du
Lyn - 13-Oct-20 @ 7:46 PM
I live on a cul-de-sac on a development and we all have allocated parking spaces or garages for residents. In front of our houses there are additional areas on the road and corners where residents and our visitors can temporarily park. However, 3 months ago someone who used to live on the development moved 300 miles away to live, but returns to the area for work. He has started to use the roads in front of our homes as his personal car park and car storage. He parks 2 cars permanently, 1 vehicle hasn't moved for 2 months now, taking the spaces and now residents and our guests struggle to find parking spots. It is really not fair that someone living 300 miles away is now using our neighbourhood as a personal safe car park. Can somebody advise please, is there a law or anything we can do? Many thanks in advance.
George - 10-Oct-20 @ 2:30 PM
Recently moved into a neighborhood in SJ CA where there are all houses with lots of street parking. Before that there was nk issue at all until my sister moved in with me. It's been a hassle and having to talking about thesame street parking issue with my landlady/lord over and over. It feels frustrating as even the people i recent from claim to own the street parking.They say it's for their kids who are botharried and living in different neighborhoods.Like jow would you even claim a street parking as your "family parking". This issue does needs attention!!
Bella - 4-Oct-20 @ 1:06 AM
It's a problem everywhere I go, from the little village to the city. Its a very real problem, effecting a lot of us. Its not something that's going to improve over time. It's bad. It's getting worse & I don't see councils doing anything at all to help rectify or even address the issue. Sort it out, councils. Put our money to good use. Our parking is more important to us then a single use bomb. Hundreds of thousands of pounds to blow people up. When all we really want is to park outside the house, stress free.
Neverno - 30-Sep-20 @ 6:21 AM
Our neighbour has lodgers and they have two cars and a van, one of the cars should not be on the road as it’s showing as soren on the DVLA website(which they occasionally drive) and all three vehicles don’t have or show permits which you need on our road, they get tickets from the enforcement staff when they come down our road but that doesn’t put them off, we have also emailed the DVLA but nothing has happened there. All three vehicles take up the space out front so there is no room for anyone visiting us and it makes it hard to park on our drive way as it’s a narrow road. Is there anything we can do?
Dazzle - 27-Sep-20 @ 10:05 AM
We live in a cul-de-sac our neighbour is constantly parking across the footpath so when our 3 year old grandaughter visits she as to go in the road which is unsafe, talking makes no difference, please can you help me with problem
Yogibear - 25-Sep-20 @ 3:08 PM
My neighbour has a double driveway but choses to only place one car on it.He even goes as far as to move one car off the drive onto to the pavement outside his property before driving off in the other car leaving his drive empty. What can I do?Reasoning and talking with him does jot work.
Pjsc2106 - 15-Sep-20 @ 6:42 AM
We have two designated car ports to each house, just across the road My problems that my neighbour has a van parked in theirs with their car outside their house. I asked kindly that whenthey have visitors, they use the carport when possible, as it's not hard to juggle your own traffic, they dont understand that they block me in.
Kaz - 11-Sep-20 @ 12:02 AM
My parents having a major hassle with neighbours for parking in a communal street car park. Many off them decide its them park and they put bins to keep the parking for themselves. Its a comunual and we can park anywhere if you leave there I'm so feed up with that and council should do something. Its very stressful for my father. Anyone can help me with that.
Dina - 9-Sep-20 @ 6:54 PM
I have just had major hassle off a neighbour for parking in a communal street car park.Its a long street and the car park is up her end of the street.Some people have driveways and I tried to get one years ago. However the costs would have been exorbitant due to the fact I have certain mains and power things (the cost of moving said things would have been in mega thousands) in front of my house so the council at the time told me to use the communal car park. The spaces aren't numbered.They are there for everyone in the street to use including visitors.I have parked there for 2 years regularly and before that irregularly because I shared my car with my mum and I have never had a problem till today. She said I was inconsiderate and selfish and I said but I ALWAYS park inside the lines and never take up two spaces and I never park sideways like some selfish person around here does. Which I then realised might be her.She was going on and on about needing 4 spaces for her daughter and son and I was taking up their spaces.I told her my friend lives there and I have her permission to park there which is true but I don't need it because I am a resident and the council said I could park there. She demanded my friends name and when I wouldn't give it because I didn't want her involved she told me I was lying. I mean 4 cars for one tiny flat and she was shouting at me for being selfish. I felt she was harassing and bullying me and now I am very worried about my car being there.It has already been bashed before with a silver car which I now suspect was her.Am very worried.I ended up shouting back in the end which I never do I am such a quiet kind person normally but I was at the end of my tether as i have had a lot of other problems with family after my mum died in may.Its a total nightmare I just wish I could move.I now have the beginning of a migraine and i had thought it was such a nice day.I hate hassle at the best of times and try to be diplomatic normally.I am parking considerately and legally.I would gladly park outside my house if I could.I think she is being selfish taking up 4 spaces.What does anyone else think?
Mee - 13-Aug-20 @ 1:17 AM
I have just had major hassle off a neighbour for parking in a communal street car park.Its a long street and the car park is up her end of the street.Some people have driveways and I tried to get one years ago. However the costs would have been exorbitant due to the fact I have certain mains and power things (the cost of moving said things would have been in mega thousands) in front of my house so the council at the time told me to use the communal car park. The spaces aren't numbered.They are there for everyone in the street to use including visitors.I have parked there for 2 years regularly and before that irregularly because I shared my car with my mum and I have never had a problem till today. She said I was inconsiderate and selfish and I said but I ALWAYS park inside the lines and never take up two spaces and I never park sideways like some selfish person around here does. Which I then realised might be her.She was going on and on about needing 4 spaces for her daughter and son and I was taking up their spaces.I told her my friend lives there and I have her permission to park there which is true but I don't need it because I am a resident and the council said I could park there. She demanded my friends name and when I wouldn't give it because I didn't want her involved she told me I was lying. I mean 4 cars for one tiny flat and she was shouting at me for being selfish. I felt she was harassing and bullying me and now I am very worried about my car being there.It has already been bashed before with a silver car which I now suspect was her.Am very worried.I ended up shouting back in the end which I never do I am such a quiet kind person normally but I was at the end of my tether as i have had a lot of other problems with family after my mum died in may.Its a total nightmare I just wish I could move.I now have the beginning of a migraine and i had thought it was such a nice day.I hate hassle at the best of times and try to be diplomatic normally.I am parking considerately and legally.I would gladly park outside my house if I could.I think she is being selfish taking up 4 spaces.What does anyone else think?
Mee - 11-Aug-20 @ 11:04 AM
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