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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Feb 2019 | 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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Our next door neighbour keeps parking one of their cars inside the area that has been allocated to us according to the land registry documents that belong to our house. They are renting and we talked to their landlord and the landlord told us that their tenants would be informed that their parking was wrong. They still park the car inside our private area. Any advice, please?
Le - 8-Feb-19 @ 8:54 PM
We have just had a board put up on wall of are car park we have a off road car park and 5 houses and there’s is room for 7 cars it is telling us the only residents can park there I rand the housing and asked about visitor and was told they can park there for a short time and no over night stay when I do have visitors. Family and stay over night it dose not ever leave no space for the resident to park else we’re is this law to stop overnight stayas we are all road tax payers
Paula - 8-Jan-19 @ 10:28 PM
I went out with a person for three weeks and let him usey space a few times. He showed bad character and I stopped going out with the man. To annoy me he babysits the neibors children and although he doesn't use the parking space, his son in law does. Daily. It's annoying because any drlivery, visiting family members can no longer park in my spot? I let the grandfather NOT the son-in-law park there? Daily his truck is in my spot! I want the trash out!
Phyl - 1-Jan-19 @ 12:59 AM
I own my flat and parking space in a privately owned block. Since I've purchased the flat the maintenance group have put in new lines which has left four of the space two small for a car. I've raised the issue multiple times with our landlord but they have done nothing. Additionally I've come home multiple time to find visitors in my space plus next doors as their are no spaces. What rights do I have in regards to this parking issue?
Bec - 31-Dec-18 @ 4:28 PM
My neighbour parks so close to my car ( which is legally parked outside my house )he actually touches it- despite there being ample space behind his car before the end of the road ( the road is a dead end and is only used to drive into our cirular close ).He has causeddamage to his own number plate from my reverse sensors -luckily the sensors seem to working at the moment.Yesterday he wrote " nutter" on the back of my bumper in car wax. Can I do anything about this intimidation and pre-emptpossible future damage to my reverse sensors -theywill become broken with continuously being driven into. Should I contact my insurance company or the police ?
strawberryberry - 16-Dec-18 @ 11:21 PM
My daughter lives in a council now the neighbours have moved and the pathway has double gates the pathway has never been classed as a driveway she has a 5yr old and a 7 month old new neighbours have moved in parked there car on the drive in flinging so have bust the double gate and now my 5 yr old grandson can now get out off the garden where does she stand with this thanks
Shaz - 10-Dec-18 @ 5:57 PM
Looking for some advise. I live on a road with no off street parking . Parking is limited and has been first come first serve since we've lived here. Over the past 2 weeks we have had two set of neighbours say we're blocking access to their properties. Which is not the case, our car parks between the two gates and they have room to get in and out. Their gates open directly on the road (No pavement) we always leave room to walk round our car if we happen to park by there gates. But they both seem to have taken offence to us parking in front on their properties but only in the past 2 weeks? We have tried talking to them but they have both said we need to be more considerate. I asked how and they both said leave more room. Which is impossible. I explained that and they walked off?? I believe we leave reasonable room, but what are the laws around this type of situation?
Rob - 10-Nov-18 @ 10:31 AM
I live on a street which has very little parking . The street has a large number of disabled bays just out side my house there are two , in between them there are two parking spaces , one of the houses which has a disabled space regularly parks one of their cars in the middle of the two spaces to reserve a space for another car in the house meaning with one car they are reserving 3 spaces. I have left a polite notice on their car , what else can I do?
Terry - 4-Nov-18 @ 10:29 AM
For the last two years I have rented an end terraced house.There is no front garden and no access road.Below my rented house there is a row of terraced houses where residents are not able to park directly outside their house. I do not own a car. However on daily basis I have certain row residents and their visitors park on the pavement under the window of the property.In particular one resident believes parking outside my house is his personal domain and does not park anywhere else even if there is an alternative option.On a regular basis entry to my house is restricted as they park directly in front of the front door on pavement or I am forced to walk on road to gain entry to my backdoor.I am beyond frustrated as I believe they are not demonstrating any care or consideration. For the last three months I having being taking photographs of those individuals parking outside the house on the pavement.It is my intention to petition my local council to see if they will look at having designated parking spaces for residents. Please advise if there is anything else I can do.I have spoken to other residents but to no avail.
Nas - 22-Oct-18 @ 3:59 PM
Hey I need some help in terms of what I can do at my block of flats, there are 6 flats each with their own allocated parking bays, however 2 households have 4 cars which is taking up 3/4 of the lot, I have provided my deeds to prove which space I’m entitled too however they still continue to park wherever they want and become aggressive about it. A lot of people will say park somewhere else but If I do I’m then taking someone else’s and on one occasion I took the persons who took mine and he took pictures and reported me. If I can’t park in car park the next option is a narrow street which I don’t want to risk bumps to my brand new car. I don’t feel like I’m being unreasonable but I want to know what steps I can take now to resolve this, I’ve contacted their letting agent who said they don’t think it is allocated. One of their landlord actually knows it is because he told me which was his on one occasion, I’ve found his address and Facebook page through a google search should I message him and say can you help or just go down a more formal route.
Kirst - 3-Oct-18 @ 4:55 PM
We have lived in our Close for the past 3 years. Most days there are at least 3 cars parked opposite our bungalow from 6am to 6pm. These are left by commuters who are builders waiting for their lift to arrive. Sometimes this occurs at weekends . No obstructions as such but our road drops down a very steep hill and these cars obscure driving view. There are double yellow lines from the main road up until our bungalow which is two bungalows from road entrance then the lines stop. So these vex hikes are parked from end of lines for a distance taking them to the steep hill. Council, MP, do not want to know. It would be different if neighbours parked but not inconsiderate workers.
Oakey - 2-Oct-18 @ 6:33 PM
I have lived in this happy and well looked after private neighbour hood estate for 19yrs with no complaints from any of our neighbours, only 4 days ago we had new neighbours move in and too our horror the property they purchased has only 1 parking space on their drive but have 6 cars therefore this is causing major parking problems for the rest of us as our children who have lived here all there lives some now car owners can no longer park outside there own homes, the thing is the new neighbour are so adamant that their motors must be parked outside there own property this causing major parking problems to the residents that have live here for long years, how do wee neighbours deal with this. Thank you
Max - 24-Sep-18 @ 8:37 AM
Can you park a car opposite an entrance to a car park on a narrow unclassified if your is at the otherside
Betha - 22-Sep-18 @ 8:32 AM
My neighbour has vehicular access to his drive and we have pedestrian access. The boundary for our property is 1m from the gable wall and this comprises my pedestrian access to and from my back garden. The neighbours daughter deliberately parks here car over the boundary and partially on my priperty and so blocks my pedestriam access. Ive asked hernot to do this but she is persisting. Ive been told i cant put a fence up along the boundary as it would stop their car moving freely. Is there anything I can do to stop her parking her vehicle over my property. Can i put a fence a fe inches within the boindary? Or put a bollard up?
City - 18-Sep-18 @ 5:06 PM
We have been told that we have to leave a property because we hadn't removed sign writing on our vehicles, we were told after our tenancy had started that the close wherewe livehas a no commercial vans covenant, we only have two vans no cars so this was a shock...now we have been told they won't renew the tenancy...the neighbours have been this ones pushing for this and also don't like us having any visitors with cars, there is a half moon space directly on front of our house which original we were told was ours along with the 2 car drive however the neighbour said no its a spare for whatever, the neighbour who causes the trouble has her sister to stay or at least leave her car here for a week or less and we normally make sure we don't park there but as we were late last night and slept later than normal we had not moved from yesterday, now we come out this afternoon to find the neighbours car parked on our front lawn...what can be done?
Jools - 2-Sep-18 @ 6:30 PM
I live in an avenue where one side of the houses are council properties and the other side are privately rented or owned. There are 6 spaces dotted around the avenue for parking and if you don’t get one of these spaces you have to just park on the road. There is no signs stating parking is for council residents only and we do all live in the avenue however I’ve started parking in one of these spaces and have started to get a lot of abuse of the council property neighbours saying they belong to them and I have no right to park there. If there is nothing stating that this is private parking and I do own a house on the avenue do I have the right to park in these spaces and could the council clarify this for me?
amyleighox - 2-Sep-18 @ 5:19 PM
R - Your Question:
I live in a narrow lane. I park on my drive but reverse out into the small bay of the park directly opposite my house. Sometimes people park in this bay to walk dogs or just because they want to park there, which makes it difficult but not usually impossible to reverse out. Recently I reversed into someone’s car parked in the bay. Who is liable in this instance?

Our Response:
We give opinions on individual liablilty on this page unfortunately.
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Aug-18 @ 10:56 AM
I live in a narrow lane. I park on my drive but reverse out into the small bay of the park directly opposite my house. Sometimes people park in this bay to walk dogs or just because they want to park there, which makes it difficult but not usually impossible to reverse out. Recently I reversed into someone’s car parked in the bay. Who is liable in this instance?
R - 26-Aug-18 @ 12:26 PM
There is parking outside my house if I can I park outside my house most of the time there is no problem there is 5 house in my block we all have cars there is plenty space for all of use to park in front of our houses ut my neighbour is now parking past his fence and over mine which means I can't get in to the space there is no need for this as like I said there is plenty space is there anything I can do have already spoke to him about this but he is still doing it
Tracey ward - 24-Aug-18 @ 8:44 PM
Kez - Your Question:
I have a free hold property with 2 allocated parking spaces as on my deeds. I am not allowed to install bollards/garage as per my deeds. My neighbor is not going to stop parking in my space. He told me the deeds don't matter they have an agreement. I explained that's good for you all - but I bought this house with them two spaces.What do I do now? It needs to be formal, and I would like it to cost them as I find that speeds up the learning process.

Our Response:
If you want to enforce a covenant you may need to take it to the courts. Depending on the type of covenant and who benefits etc, you may need to seek legal advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Aug-18 @ 11:04 AM
I have a free hold property with 2 allocated parking spaces as on my deeds. I am not allowed to install bollards/garage as per my deeds. My neighbor is not going to stop parking in my space. He told me the deeds don't matter they have an agreement. I explained that's good for you all - but I bought this house with them two spaces. What do I do now? It needs to be formal, and I would like it to cost them as I find that speeds up the learning process.
Kez - 21-Aug-18 @ 12:55 AM
I have just had a neighbour move in, he has a car and a work van, granted he parks his van in the back but near enough everyday he moans about me or someone else parking outside his house (we live in terrace house, on a single road where there is nowhere to park most days. He threatens to put holes or damage mine and my missis car if we park there again. What can be done about this?
Blablabla - 17-Aug-18 @ 11:48 AM
Hello On my terraced road, a lot of people leave lots of space ethier side when parking. This results in them taking 2 spaces up. Leaving not enough room for everyone. This happens most days, is there anything that can be done ? Thank you
amy ozenbrook - 15-Aug-18 @ 9:40 PM
I have a garage in a row of 12. On the deeds it specifies each owner should be able to access there garage by passing over the forecourt. The issue is we have the guy next door parks a minibus outside the next door garage and it totally overs the forecourt to the pedestrian pathway so we can’t get to our garage without bumping up the kerb as the dropped kerb is the other side of the minibus. We now have a situation of the rear axle being damaged due to banging over the kerb and although we’ve asked the neighbour to not park there so we can access he doesn’t care and leaves it there for weeks on end. We’ve tried talking to the police and they don’t seem to know what to do. Neither did the land registry office when we referred to them due to the paragraph in the deeds. How do we resolve this?
Willie - 6-Aug-18 @ 6:18 PM
Supernanny - Your Question:
I live in a terraced house.there are 6 in one row.the first 3 are rented out.the yard is in a bad state outside these houses. There is a small path to each property.one neighbour is parking deliberately on the path so No one can get past.it means we have to go on the uneven yard.I have twisted my ankle and as I am an oap with brittle bone I really can't risk breaking a bone.is this legal to park on path

Our Response:
If the path gives access to all residents it's probably detailed in your title deeds. Usually these clauses will indicate that access should be clear of obstacles etc. You can drop the neighbour a letter to start with see our Lettertemplate here. If that fails, you may need to consider a solicitor's letter/legal action.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:27 PM
I live in a terraced house .there are 6 in one row.the first 3 are rented out .the yard is in a bad state outside these houses.There is a small path to each property.one neighbouris parking deliberatelyon the path so No one can get past .it means we have to go on the uneven yard .I have twisted my ankle and as I am an oapwith brittle bone I really can't risk breaking a bone .is this legal to park on path
Supernanny - 4-Aug-18 @ 12:57 AM
Neighbour has 2 vans and 3 cars on the road . Annoying everyone as they have taken up so much room. Got the other van today
Gazza - 2-Aug-18 @ 7:19 PM
We don't have driveways but each house has its own parking space and there is also several spaces that are free for visitors. Our neighbour uses his space and all these free spaces to park his 5 vehicles. Can anything be done about this or is he free to just keep taking up space with all his vehicle's?
Gray - 25-Jul-18 @ 10:12 AM
i have a disabled neighbourthey have a large drive way. ample space for wheelchair access on the drive for them to take her to the hospitalfor her appointments. plus umpteen nurses that park in front of my house when only her parents drive her boyfriend doesnt drive either.so there drive is free at all times for parking. but they block our drive and we cant get out?.i do sympathise so even though they block my drive i dont say anything and have to ask them to move if either me or my partner is going out. they dont like they leave there car there not for a bit but sometimes half a hr or more blocking our drive and we have to ask them to move it so we can get off our own drive.. plus we have a neighbour son parking outside our house and not shifting his car for days at a time. and they also have a drive for 3 cars. shes only a young girl but surley the carers parents and relatives could park on the drive instead of blocking us in.and us having to ask them to move so we can get of our own drive
peed off - 12-Jul-18 @ 9:41 PM
At my partners residence the neighbour 2 doors down has four cars plus a works van.He has a drive with a dropped curb which he doesn’t use as the cars won’t fit and hang out onto the pavement.He also has a works van which he parks on the pavement making pedestrians walk into the road.My partner has parked across his driveway before as the neighbour had left a car in front of his house, the neighbour called the police and my partner had to move his car.There is no reasoning with this man and he will call the police on the neighbours in an instant and then accuse them of being racist.I have mobility problems but not severe enough to qualify for a blue badge, not being able to park out front means I have to come through the back which is difficult for me to navigate.Is there anyway around this as it is unreasonable that someone has 5 vehicles, 3 of which are never used or moved once parked unless it’s to have the annual MOT done.Where does my partner and the rest of his neighbours stand? The man in question is unreasonable and won’t listen and then calls the police, he is in no way being threatened or harassed but is a nuisance with no common decency.
A - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:50 AM
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