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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 25 Mar 2020 | 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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iv live in mid terrece house. And both sides neiboures got 6 vehicles 3 each.iv got a one car I tiered to get to the road between of them. Sometimes they parked drive way. What can I do like this situation. Please
pere - 23-Mar-20 @ 10:12 PM
I moved into a terrace house almost a year ago and paid for the year for resident parking not thinking for a moment there would be a problem Parking .. I was wrong..the neighbour further up‘ not even an attached to my terrace house, as there’s a gap between the houses (which he bought off another neighbour to actually park his car in .. ??) he moves his car in front of our house if he sees us go out .. Meaning we can’t park near our house’ we have to park over the road on someone’s car park who could clamp us .. we have 3 young grand children living with us just now and I struggle walking sometimes because of sciatica and arthritic knees but we have to cross a busy road to get to our car .. we can’t even hoover the car out etc As everyone else parks outstanding their houses, the only legal space for us to park in is outside our house . I have had words with him already and he spouted off that he’s parked there 14 years .. (I found out the previous home owner didn't have a car)... my landlord who lived here for a year before we let it couldn’t even park .. I have to admit I was angry and asked him when he moved into my house and when he was going to start paying my rent etc ... and I called him an ignorant plonker .. I suffer from anxiety and depression already this just makes me feel physically sick that we have neighbours who are absolutely pig ignorant and have no consideration or respect for others .
Madusa - 14-Mar-20 @ 4:26 AM
Our lovely neighbours opposite us on the crest of a crescent do not have drive ways as there is a big green in front. Council will not cut green away and therefore, they have decided to stage a mass protest park on the Inside edge of the curve. Not only does it block most people’s access to their driveways opposite, but how do emergency vehicles get past. People buy a house with no driveway and no it’s my issue - words have been said!
LC - 10-Mar-20 @ 5:08 PM
My father has just recently got a car on the motability scheme. We live in a ground floor flat on a cul-de-sac so parking is very limited. We have applied for a disabled parking bay but are still waiting to hear back. Since the car is a plug in hybrid, we charge it up on the home plug charger using an extension to reach the closest parking bay to our home. Unfortunately the spaces can easily be taken up so the odd times i've had to drive directly outside our home on the grass to charge. An old nuisance pompous neighbour believes he's Judge Dredd (he is the law) and everyone on the road should abide by his rules. He's now not happy that we've had to do that and has threatened if we do it again, he will attempt to have it towed, even though it's directly outside our home and in no way affects him as he doesn't live on our block and doesn't bother our actual neighbours in the slightest. I just want to do my homework to know if it is an actual problem as it's in a grey area or if i should just ignore him.
Pete - 4-Mar-20 @ 2:06 PM
Hello and I got a neighbour that always park so close and touching my truck also rubbing on it but we had the police around and the police said that we can’t do anything about it and it’s getting worse at night when she come back from work every evening I just keep coming home at night but she block me in with my Astra car what can I do?
Ange - 2-Mar-20 @ 12:07 AM
I live a in a cul de sac and each house has 2 allocated parking bays.The deeds come with a restrictive convenance. One neighbour has 2 cars and does not use their own parking bays they use other neighbours and parks behind my bays.Why cant police just issue fines to these people instead allow them to abuse the system?They have caused me no end of problems and ruined my life.
BeingBullied - 24-Feb-20 @ 7:18 PM
I live in a cul-de-sac and have done for about 5 years now and have one car to the property. At the end of last summer new tenants moved across the road, and they have a driveway for 2 cars which aren't in use. Recently more people have moved in (I believe they're sub-letting) so the household now holds 2 vans and 3 cars! So if I've been out of an evening I cannot park anywhere near my house, and I'm forced out of my own road. I'd like to ask them if they'd park their vans at the end of the road so I can at least park near my house, but is that unreasonable? What's the best way to deal with this problem short of begging the landlady for a driveway? Any advice is much appreciated
Emilia - 23-Feb-20 @ 12:27 AM
Neighbour takes up 2 spaces with his camper an. Is there anyways to request spaces to be painted by the council to stop this happening.
Gregzc - 19-Jan-20 @ 12:25 PM
I have two parking spaces behind my house it's leading off over 50 private road there r no ends of hassle with them telling people who park in my space that they are over line were do I stand on this matter
Trotty - 17-Jan-20 @ 10:31 AM
We live in a medieval village and roads are narrow. Our house is on the corner of a main road and side road, we can only park on the side road but it narrows that much outside our house that it is not possible to park outside our own home. The neighbours are able to park outside their houses because it doesn’t become narrow until it reaches our property. My problem is that we have to park outside properties that have their own driveways further down the street. We don’t block driveways but get hassle about parking. I would like to know if I have a legal right to park anywhere that is not obstructing anyone’s driveway, as if I parked outside my own house no one would get past us.
Shelbop - 9-Jan-20 @ 9:46 AM
Basically our neighbours have there own drive but don’t use it they keep parking outside my house. The problem I have is being able to view the road when I reverse my car off my drive. I have a restricted view. It’s so annoying as they are just plain too lazy to put the cars on there own drive
Tattyhead - 9-Jan-20 @ 6:43 AM
Hi i live on a slight corner. In housing estate there is two blue badge holders at my address for my kids we have a drive way it goes straight out no quick turns or turning point and if its straight out we are bumping the kerb across from us because of the narrow road. Which means we have to drive up and turn our car around if we get space that is. Anyway the house across from us seems to always park right up to the corner. Then two others parked behind and in front ive asked them to move car which i got cursed at for asking politely. The thing is i don't mind them visiting or staying over when the visit the person they are seeing but there is no reguard for us trying to get out if theres an emergency. Even ambulance had difficulty parking when they were called out to me as I too have a disability. I don't know what to do about this especially when I have already approached them. I just want a wee bit of consideration on their behalf. I don't think im unreasonable.
Alley - 4-Jan-20 @ 12:29 AM
Hi, I share a driveway with my neighbour with a clear boundary to show the individual spaces. He parks his car at an angle and is always on my space. We have spoken about this numerous times and he continues to park this way. Does anyone know the legal standpoint on this? We live in flats and I own my flat (and the parking space) and the developers who we purchased the flat from say they are unable to help. I don’t know what to do as some days my car won’t fit in the space as he has parked so badly and he is not listening to me when I ask him to move and park in his own space. He’s been sent letters from the developers but that’s as involved as they will get. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated as this is causing me bad anxiety and I bought a property with a space for a reason - so that I don’t have to worry about street parking!!!
Ahhhhh - 1-Jan-20 @ 7:54 PM
I live in a semi which has a low wall between mine and my neighbour. He has a large rust heap of a transit van which is never used and parked so close to low wall and my lounge window that the only view I have when sitting in my lounge is the van. I keep my blinds down so I don’t see the van, however, I’m not getting much daylight in my lounge. The van is not taxed or insured. Is there anything I can do about this?
Big George - 29-Dec-19 @ 9:45 AM
Last year I sold my rental home my home where I live is just next door of my rental home I live on dead end, when we built our home we also built the long driveway.now, since I sold the rental home we’re sharing now the driveway that we built, now the problem the the one who bought my rental home started to do car repair and parking several cars in front of their yard and sits there for long time until the cars fixed, I am stressed out because since my house at the end of the driveway, it’s going to devalue my home when in fact when I built this house I made the neighboring home value up. This area is a single family residential area not a business area.
Be - 18-Dec-19 @ 9:19 PM
My neighbour has 2 cars, driveway space for at least 3 cars, she keeps parking in front of my house on road just to inconvenience me. They own their house and I'm council. They think they're better then me!?! To encourage her to use her driveway I want to drive up their driveway and onto my garden grass (which I know will drive him insane) but they will call council on me so il get a parking ticket as I know we not meant to park on grass. But I'd only stay on grass for an hour or so to prove a point. So, would stevenage council workers come out in evening to ticket my car?? Any ideas??
Goodneighbour - 15-Dec-19 @ 9:26 AM
I live in rented accomodation.There are 6 flats and six parking spaces.One tennant has 2 cars and takes up 2 spaces.one tennant doesn't work and his car is there 24/7 the tennant with 2 cars has a big land rover so he actually takes up 2 and a hal spaces with his wife's car parked next to his car.so one space is useless no one can get in it.Then right next to the flats is a bungalow.The guy who owns it has a drive for one car.He is Irish and has a big family and has a lot of visitors and uses the flat parking spaces for his own personal use. So half the time I get home from work I can't park my car anywhere near my home. Occasionally The Irish neighbour gets his visitors to park half on the pavement and half on the road behind my car which is nice of him but because my space is by the kerb I have a right game getting out avoiding scraping my alloys on the kerb and avoiding the car parked behind me.Any advice?
Stevo - 27-Nov-19 @ 9:54 AM
We live in a very busy city area and in a residents permit zone. Always a nightmare to park, too many cars for too few spaces. We have neighbours with large driveways who insist on taking up on-road parking rather than use them because "its easier" - well it isnt for those of us with day jobs who come home late and have to park half a blinkin' mile away. Even worse than that, one of them rents out his drive and because he makes money out of it and doesnt have to work for a living and sits at home all day he can park his car outside of his house and take up a valuable spot that others could have! Surely this is socially unacceptable?
Gibbsy - 18-Nov-19 @ 5:21 PM
Hi to all, I have a issue as my neighbournhas 5 cars (as they live 10 persons plus 2 baby in two bedrooms house) they keep they're driveway clear and park in front of my house and my other neighbour house. We tryed 3ntimes to speak with them that we need the space from our house to park our own cars, they did not care even they ware barbecues loud music every time. It's that anything that we can do?
Ones - 17-Nov-19 @ 4:05 PM
My problem is because a neighbour owns several large works vehicles, trailers and a tractor, 6 in total, this takes almost all the room in the estate, leaving others to squeeze in to find a spot, if you decide to go out for the day, your spot is taken by his relative visiting, although they will never take my neighbour parking spots. This to me is intimidation, not only that but several times my neighbour has parked so close to my vehicle as to prove a point that i am on one of his places, what do you do?
Icetea12 - 16-Nov-19 @ 8:36 AM
can make a sing up or do somthing cant park up own home main rd
bestman - 15-Nov-19 @ 6:15 PM
We have a shared driveway. No problem with those neighbours who we share with. But another neighbour and wife reverse onto drive more than 4 or 5 times a day. I spoke to them re this and politely asked them not to come on the drive. There's is big enough to turn round on. Now he comes fully onto our drive every time. Any legal standing? I need it to stop as it's really stressing me out. I'm not a well person.
Belly - 11-Nov-19 @ 1:33 PM
Noi - 8-Nov-19 @ 5:03 PM
What happens when you live in a built up residential area and a neighbour has a massive rv/caravan that takes up 3 spaces? When the neighbours actually use the RV on holiday, they move their 3 cars in the space so that they can "keep" that space.
Ktvp - 6-Nov-19 @ 3:42 PM
Est approach is to add extra council tax for additional cars per household. 2 cars. If you have 1 space on your driveway but park 2 more on the road outside, then tax them 1000 pound each per year. Simple
Benno - 19-Oct-19 @ 7:02 PM
I live in a dead end and have to access to my front garden/drive way using a shared drive with my neighbour. My neighbour and especially his wife are acting like cancer cells for me so that I cannot drive to my drive. He has only one car parking space in front of his house but he uses the access to my driveway to park two additional cars. He often does buying and selling car, repairing and servicing his cars on the public road where access to my driveway is blocked. He leave narrow room for me to pass through, just intentionally making my life hell. Once I was reversing out and crashed into his car as he left very narrow room for me to get in & out. I had to take liability. He does the same during winter and snow time. I politely requested him during snow time to move his car and park one wheel on the grass so my car does not skid into ice and hits his car. Sadly he did not respect and keeps leaving his car almost blocking my access.
Monir - 15-Oct-19 @ 2:18 PM
I live in the middle house of 3 , with shared access to our drives . The neighbour on the right has caused issues since moving in 2009 . She lives I her daughters house and has caused so many issues with all neighbours and is constantly abusiveand had cut my trees down in the past which are not overgrown .There is a divide right of way at the end and she constantly blocks it with her 3 bins so the elderly and children can’t use it . She doesn’t use her drive and parks on the access way at the bottom . I have reported her to the police and they seem to just say it’s a Civil matter . I have contact the builders who confirm this should be kept clear and If parked is a breach of the legal transfer covenants . I have been diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and don’t need the added stress . Any suggestions ?
Ramesh - 5-Oct-19 @ 7:50 PM
I’ve had numerous issues with my neighbour (parking right outside my window, peering in, closing my window, loud noises late at night ect) we share a driveway and he insists on parking right outside my window despite having three other spaces to park all of which are closer to his fast. I’ve contacted my landlord but they are extremely unhelpful despite having cctv. Recently he’s parked OVER my gas box for over a week and I now can’t top up or even check my gas. Winter is approaching and I can’t find a solution online anywhere. Please help.
IEFH - 5-Oct-19 @ 2:05 AM
Hiya thanks for reading my problemI have an issue with next door with regards own drive parkingI have good expert independent survey report where is boundary line between two properties are. now l want to know can l built wall in my front garden with out next door permission thanks king regards
DEV - 30-Sep-19 @ 1:52 PM
You've heard nothing. After being refused a disabled parking spot twice, my n3ighbour has now festooned his front fence with do not park ,I'm disabled signs. We are a 2 car family and our cars can both fit outside my garden without encroaching over his bit. Anyway this morning my friend parked in my husband's spot, and the neighbour moved her on,because he couldn't quite fit outside his colourful fence. Bearing in mind the neighbour had just taken his car out of his garage. Now as I see it we pay road tax and he doesn't as his car is on disability. Oh forgot to say garage over road on other end of car park. This seriously is a take in the urine
Vicki - 19-Sep-19 @ 1:07 PM
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