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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Jun 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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[Add a Comment]
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
Janci - Your Question:
My neighbour has a drive that can accomodate 4 cars. He has 3 cars, but always parks one of them in front of my house up on the pavement as the road is narrow. My front garden is virtually non existent so that when I sit and watch TV - it feels as though his car (a big 4x4) is in my lounge. All the houses in my close have their own drives and everyone parks on their own drive apart from him. Is there anything I can do to make him park on his drive?

Our Response:
No, if it's a public road with no parking restrictions in place then your neighbour can park anywhere. Parking on the pavement however, may constitute and obstruction and the police might be able to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-May-18 @ 12:13 PM
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.
Shelly - 14-May-18 @ 3:29 PM
My neighbour has a drive that can accomodate 4 cars.He has 3 cars, but always parks one of them in front of my house up on the pavement as the road is narrow.My front garden is virtually non existent so that when I sit and watch TV - it feels as though his car (a big 4x4) is in my lounge. All the houses in my close have their own drives and everyone parks on their own drive apart from him. Is there anything I can do to make him park on his drive?
Janci - 11-May-18 @ 5:48 PM
juliesmithh - Your Question:
Hi, I have a neighbour that is making people get back in their car and move out of the space opposite his house because he claims his wife is disabled and thats her parking space. Despite this, his wife is of no sense disabled and he's just using it as an excuse to make people park somewhere else. I think this is so rude of him and I wish to stop him but I dont know the laws of this and dont know if I can involve the council or not. Any advice is appreciatedThankyou

Our Response:
Well if he's "making" people move under false pretences, the local community policing team might be the best people to contact. If the road has no specific parking restrictions, anyone can park there; nobody has a "right" to park outside their own home. If the wife is disabled and is a blue badge holder, the council may paint a white H mark or even a disabled bay outside the home - if there's nothing like that in place, then anyone can park there.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-May-18 @ 2:51 PM
People who lower kerbs have to get permission from their local council. People who park in a residential area can park anywhere they like within the Highway Code . Sadly people are so ignorant they believe their propert ownership entitled them to park on the public highway in front of their home ( which they can) but that no one else can which is incorrect . As long as you are not blocking someone’s drive and there are no parking restrictions you can park where you like . If people leave notes on your car let them because they aren’t worth the paper they are written on .
Hotshot - 7-May-18 @ 2:21 PM
Hi, I have a neighbour that is making people get back in their car and move out of the space opposite his house because he claims his wife is disabled and thats her parking space. Despite this, his wife is of no sense disabled and he's just using it as an excuse to make people park somewhere else. I think this is so rude of him and I wish to stop him but I dont know the laws of this and dont know if I can involve the council or not. Any advice is appreciated Thankyou
juliesmithh - 6-May-18 @ 2:05 PM
Hi Barry 1000 a month seems alot of money for your mortgage, I would recommend speaking to a Mortgage Advisor Hope this helps J
J - 4-May-18 @ 6:46 AM
I have a dickhead that lives a few houses away from me. He has a double drive but only pks one of his vehicles on it . He has a run down ugly virgin media van and leaves it at the side of my drive. We pay a 1000 mortgage and our house and garden is lovely however you come out of the house and the van is the backdrop view awful. Help
Harley - 26-Apr-18 @ 7:53 PM
I live in a rented property and have a garage attached to my back garden. There's a slight ramp that leads up to my garage. The garage is in disrepair and my landlord is working on having it demolished and replaced with a fence. (This is taking a while due to some unforeseen circumstances.) The problem I'm having is that someone from the street behind keeps parking directly outside the garage. Can I prevent them from parking there? I'm worried that the garage may fall and cause damage to the persons car? Would I be liable? Is there any steps I can take to protect myself? also the road is very narrow and the car has once already caused a delay in the demolishing of the garage. I don't drive and never have so I don't really understand the road laws. I don't have a problem with them parking the car there, I just don't want to get a bill through my door. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Confused - 25-Apr-18 @ 10:10 PM
We live in a small terraced house ,two of our neighbours have 3 cars each.1 couple have 3 cars ,and the other neighbour has 3 cars as his wife does not drive .he finds great en joyment in moving his cars up and down the street .this causes everyone to get annoyed as they cannot park outside there own homes . The cars are loud and also he enjoys sitting in one of them just to move it a few yards .
Gazza - 20-Apr-18 @ 9:36 PM
DFT - Your Question:
Hi.i have a neighbour who has lived opposite me for the last 15yrs.he has 3 unusable cars parked out the front of his house which is directly outside front of my house(the road we live on is private)the problem is these cars are an eyesore and have been parked there for over 12yrs.but the police say they cannot do anything as he sirens all of them.but as you can imagine this isn't a very pretty site for me to look at everyday and I feel would deter any buyers from buying my house if I were to try and sell it.i have tried over the years to reason with this man to get them removed to no avail.im at my wits end.do you know if I can go anywhere to make him remove them.the police say it is a civil matter.

Our Response:
If it's a private road, check the terms of your deeds. There may be something that relates to parking, or preserving the appearance of the area etc. If so you could take a civil action in the courts. The local authority can remove "abandoned" vehicles even from private roads but they do have to be abandoned which includes:
- they have no keeper on the DVLA’s database and are untaxed - check vehicle tax online
- they’re stationary for a significant amount of time
- they’re significantly damaged, run down or unroadworthy - with flat tyres, wheels removed or broken windows
- they’re burned out
- they have number plates missing
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Apr-18 @ 11:20 AM
My house parking space is accessed via a section of shared driveway that passes in front of my neighbors home. On the deeds when we bought the property it’s vlaerly shown that the section of driveway in front of the neighbors is shared and states that neither of us shall block or park in that section. Between this section of driveway and my Nieghbour s house is anof land owned by my Nieghbour. My Nieghbour has now paved a small area of this land and is parking a car on it. The front wheels encroach on the shared drive area so I have to move our wide to get past. Where do I stand on this ?
MB1 - 19-Apr-18 @ 6:53 PM
I work from 8-4 and have to park nearby on a residential estate as we have no work parking.I am constantly being left notes by people saying that I cannot park there despite paying my road tax, not blocking a drive and not parking on yellows or residents only areas - what can I do just ignore it - I don't feel I should as at my house about 25 miles away, we have different people parking in the close all the time and I don't just rush out there trying to be selfish about it.
Bobo - 19-Apr-18 @ 3:36 PM
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