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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 5 Aug 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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Live in a converted flat, semi detached house, 2 more houses until the end of block, round back each property, that's 2 flats and 2 houses, have a designated parking space. I do not have a car at present, but my 70 yr old mother does and visits regularly. The problem is, 1 house is a shared house and 1 of the occupants has 2 or more cars (cant be sure) anyway, there is always a car parked slap bang in the middle of the car park/yard preventing my mother from being able to use my space and she is having to park up the hill which is not ideal due to medical reasons I will not go into. Anyhow,have spoken to them a couple of times and been told I am disrespectful and they are unwilling to cooperate with me and park the extra cars elsewhere (not the only issue with the new tenants in this house) Is there anything I can do to get them to abide by the rules of deeds of the houses/flats and not do what they generally please?
Hels - 5-Aug-20 @ 9:06 PM
Today I was parked directly in front of my driveway, anyway silly neighbour comes home from work and rather than park on her driveway or in front of her house...parks across the front of my car! She has very aggressive behaviour. she is doing it everyday. Pls any advice. thanks
Mai - 5-Aug-20 @ 3:57 PM
I live in a cul-de-sac and I don’t have a car and my next door neighbour has two cars but he also invites his friends and family around to his house constantly and they park outside my house. My neighbour also fixes cars outside my house and he and his friends/family stand in front of my garden gate blocking it. I am absolutely fed up, especially with covid 19 knocking around. Does anyone know if it’s legal to put parking bollards outside my house? I live in a cul-de-sac so when you park outside the front of the car is facing the garden fence. Just wondering about the legality of parking bollards, on the deeds to my house I have two parking spaces, if anyone can give me advice I would appreciate it, thanks.
FedUpMan - 1-Aug-20 @ 5:06 PM
I have just moved into a house and there are 2 parking places out side for me and the neibours but the people on the other side have a dripped curb . but don't use it as she has a lit of flower pots . so she has put her 2 cars in the spaces by my home she never uses the cars and won't move them onto her drive . they have been there over 2 years and if she going out in one of the cars she gets her son to bring his car and park it so no one else can park and he doesn't live in this cul-de-sac
Sid - 27-Jul-20 @ 8:03 AM
I live in the corner of cul de sac (T shaped road with space for 2 cars). Parking is a big problem with most houses having at least one car. The end houses have an access road at the back although it could be tight. The houses on the sides (including myself) have no access to the back. My house has room to make a driveway at the front but the other house in front of that space has a garden that is too short. They believe that I cannot put in a dropped kerb as it stops them parking there and is prepared to get solicitors involved if I put in an application with highways. They have been quite intimidating and rude about it. Obviously I would prefer my car to be off the road and it would give more room for vehicles turning at the bottom. Has anyone had an experience of putting in adropped kerb in a cul de sac? At the moment I have put the dropped kerb on hold but this is very frustrating as we are trying to do building work at the back with no way to bring materials in other than by carrying everything in by hand. Not sure where I stand legally. The neighbour is also insistant that it would devalue his house if we put in a dropped kerb. Any advise appreciated.
Frustrated - 26-Jul-20 @ 3:25 PM
i live in an end of terraced house, with a garage incorporated in my garden and a drive in front. i have a fence surrounding my garden. we have one car and it is parked on the drive. The problem we have is that as we are at the end and we are in a cul-de-sac, we have a piece of road which runs in a T shape, which at the bottom of both ends has a space for two cars parking which are always full not a problem. My problem is that we have two vans parking around my fence looking unsitely, one owner leaves in the flats at the top of my street, so he doesn't even live near us. And the other van has two other cars already outside his property, so he thinks its alright to park his van outside our house. what rights do we have. One of the van owner has already said he can park ouside his because thats his property, but when my wife approached him and asked him to move he said he could see the problem parking outside our house like we had no rights. so because we live at the end we have less rights than anybody else. Not sure what we can do. Help please. marty
marty - 23-Jul-20 @ 7:02 PM
My family and I have moved to Conwy since October. Beautiful place. We have our own drive. Unfortunately our views are blighted nearly every night and weekends by a large white gas van advertising contact details all over it. It is parked outside at the front of our house in a layby.It's so upsetting. Apparently, hes very rude if approached. Our neighbours have had past experience of his abruptness.He has two other cars. His wife makes sure she parks outside their house which is only the short block away from ours. Not sure where he parks his sports car yet. His house dosent have a drive and a huge wall overlooks the front of his house. If he parked his van, he wouldn't see his van either like we do. Please help. I feel like letting his tyres down. I'm so annoyed.
Mel - 16-Jul-20 @ 8:55 AM
I park in one place meeting highway code and get cryptic messages about irrelevant highway codes. I move to another location and get shouted at by two angry women with no manners. Let's hope space number three works, wish me luck!
Flack - 14-Jul-20 @ 3:50 PM
My Neibours's use his parking for car repair business and park his cars on my parking and other parking space . His house is on corner and he don't park in front of his house . Can he work in residence area ? Should i complaint to council ? What should i do ?
Raja - 9-Jul-20 @ 11:51 AM
We are living on a road last 2 years now and first years we haven't got car so anyone parking anywhere but next year we got the car and then I ask to my neighbour for the space first he said yes and said me you can knock my door if I blocking your space.but when I did he sent his brother and he misbehaved with me he got lot of space everyday but he still park at our space.can someone help in this matter
Janvi - 1-Jul-20 @ 9:29 PM
Hi my next door neighbour has 4 cars - he has a drive which has a car that has not moved for 7 years and then parks another in front which I have no issue with .. my issue is he has 2 other cars he parks on the pavementbehind each other and people are unable to walk and then have to walk around or walk directly on the road
Sapphire - 30-Jun-20 @ 5:09 PM
I’m fed up of where I live! So much so I want to move!! We have a turning area outside our house, people use it to park and always park outside our house! Blocking my drop kerb!! I’m fed up of it!! The people who do it don’t care they block my driveway access. The police have been involved and so is the local councillor!!
Nickib - 28-Jun-20 @ 2:46 PM
Can someone park on their grass in front of their house and right next to neighboring house, surely this is not fit for purpose can it damage my house
Kaz - 21-Jun-20 @ 2:28 PM
New ish neighbour works for a service company. Has two spaces on their drive. Until very recently usually parks van & car on their drive. Last week or so has started parking opp our house where 4 of us manage to park as we are quite considerate in the way we park. All of a sudden he has started parking his large works van in a way that restricts the rest of us, meaning only 3 can now park their inc his van. Whilst of course technically speaking anyone can park on the road, he several times has reversed back leaving inches between my front bumper and his rear. Tonight after I'd got home from my work I parked considerably leaving plenty of space for 2 others as 1 was already parked. Including leaving plenty of space behind me for his van if he or anyone else chose to park there. I noticed just now he decided to park in front of me inches from my front bumper and leaving 6/7 foot gap in front of his van to the next car..... If someone parks tight behind me I won't be able to get out. I'm oncall for the NHS and it's frustrating me! I've parked my car in a diff spot on the same small area other day and he has done the samething by reversing back right as close as poss to my front bumper. So the first thought is to think he is trying to make a point....as if he thinks it's his spot and I'll make a point by getting right close to you. He couldn't open the doors being so close to me either so all seems a bit daft. If he struggled to get in a parking spot and had no option but to be close I'd understand it. But there is plenty of room in front for him but just gets really close to my car. Where my car is now there is plenty of space behind me for his van, and it's nearer his side entrance! I'm getting pissed off but have a volatile nature and know I can't have a quiet word as I find if others react I can't control myself as I feel threatened and get aggressive. I'm trying to think does it matter, but if I keep getting blocked in like that I'll have to do something. What should I do?? If I confront him I'm likely to lose my temper, and I'd rather not contact his employer to complain as it might escalate it.... Thanks in advance for any advice.
Bob Down - 10-Jun-20 @ 7:41 PM
Our neighbours opposite have extended their driveway to a double one and no one can now park on the opposite side of the street. They havnt had planning permission and the kerb hasnt been dropped.It is making parking difficult as they have 4 cars. Everyone is now parking st the bottom of the cul de sacwhich is meant to be for turning to allow us access to our drive ways
Moji - 10-Jun-20 @ 3:13 PM
We have a communal parking space on our street which is a public road. Our neighbour is claiming that she is buying the space, is this actually possible? How would she go about it? Etc. She us adamant that it is in the process of happening.
Mac - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:37 PM
Our property has a drive paved area directly in front of our house which we use for a drive. We haven't dropped the kerb as the drive leads directly to the road (no public footpaths or verges). Do we still need to drop the kerb?
Neighnut - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:27 PM
A friend asked to park on my driveway for a few days as he had road construction where he lives. After a week I asked him to remove his car and he refused, it’s now 6months and he has still refused to collect his car. The car doesn’t have a number plate, what step can I take now,Can the police help?
Bella - 25-May-20 @ 1:43 AM
Several comments in this thread are from people in normal residential homes where each of a couple has their own car and then they might have two or three kids of driving age also of driving age who also have their own cars. So houses that were built to deal with one, maybe two cars max might be having to cope with four or five. This is not sustainable and is bound to lead to problems. Is it time to challenge the assumption that households can have as many cars as they can afford to run?
JamieD - 24-May-20 @ 11:44 AM
My neighbours daughter when she visits, parks behind my sons van, and blocks him in..I've phoned 101 a few times they phone this person, she says she will move the car in 10 minutes,but she doesn't...30 minutes later, so I phone 101 again, and the way the call handler made me feel was awful...he said it's the highways problem.....and nothing to do with them..I told him ... my son needed to get over the hospital to pick insulin up at a certain time....he count care less to br honest....the girl moved her car 45minuite later I need help...who should I be phoning
Don 1 - 23-May-20 @ 7:06 PM
We have 4 vehicles and so we had to get a driveway put in. We had 1 car between our driveway and next doors who at the time didnt have a driveway. Now 2 years down the line they have a driveway and has put drop kerb right down to the boundary and so it makes it harder for our 3rd vehicle to park without obstructing both driveways. What can we do. They are also having an H bar put on the road similar to ours. Also the drive next door has NO boundary edge between their drive and the public footpath. Yet when we had our drive put in we was told there had to be an edge from my property to public right of way. Are they wrong by doing a full drive from property to drop kerb, without drainage grids or edging to end their driveway?? Please any advice would be very much appreciated.
M4rni4kar - 21-May-20 @ 10:13 PM
I am having issues with a neighbour (No12) over parking of my car on the road near a driveway with a dropped kerb leading to not only my house but also 2 other houses The neighbour says that they cannot get in or out this access way They are complaining saying the wife cannot "..swing.." her car out of the driveway because her car is bigger than mine They are complaining that their car or the delivery trucks or the ambulance cannot get access to their house They are threatening me by saying the wife is a lawyer and that I can get into serious trouble I have lived here for almost 35 years The neighbour has lived here for less that 10 years I have been parking my car in the same spot (on and off) for 15 years I have even started parking my car a little further away from this access way and still they are complaining I have also taken videos of their car and a delivery truck reversing in and out with no problem even the green bin lorry and the rubbish lorry reverse into this areawith no problem What are my rights Am I blocking access All I need is some advice and who I can contact to find out if I am wrongly parking my car and blocking access
ellie - 10-May-20 @ 10:22 PM
We love in a detached 3 bed house? When we moved in our children were still young but obviously now they do and we have a car each for work! We park 2 cars on the drive and 1 in front of the drive but my husband parks his over the road, let me just say this does not block the front of there house, it's the side of there house! Weve had abuse off the lady who lives there and her son who doesnt! Hes even threatened my husband, but right at this moment we have nowhere else to park, normally none of us are home during the day as we all work so it is just the evening time, they're messing with his car her mother was looking through the car window yesterday, its making my nerves bad I cant stand all the upevilbut I just dont know what to do, she doesnt mind anyone else doing it just us!
Elaine - 4-May-20 @ 7:30 AM
hello again the police can't do anything but the only option is tog et the cctv camera up and watch your neighbour also report it to the police if you got evidence to prove that
ange - 26-Apr-20 @ 3:48 PM
I have a end detached property on a terraced street.My property adjoins the back of a public house so there is a pproximately 35m of parking with no property allocation.we require 3 spaces what does the law state on parking required for this type of layout?
Kev - 21-Apr-20 @ 10:49 AM
I live in a cul-de-sac with a turning circle half way up it. 3 driveways come out into the turning circle. One of my neighbors has a driveway suitable for 3 cars, but parks both his vehicles on the road, 1 on the curb and the other parked across his entrance to his drive away, making the turning circle unusable. The 1 in the turning circle isn't even close to a curb and is just dumped there across the front of his drive. Is there anything I can do or are there any laws regarding blocking a turning circle for a cul-de-sac?
TJ - 20-Apr-20 @ 8:09 PM
I share a drive with a neighbour and after having fallen out over a trivial matter he has decided to take it out on me by opening his door onto my car, thereby chipping the paintwork. Is there any action I can take?
Pete - 18-Apr-20 @ 12:20 AM
What do i do if my neighbor is using 6 car spaces and hasn’t moved one in over 4 years also we have taken a friendly approach but they responded by bringing another car also there is only 2 people that live in the house, they use the place like a garage. What am I meant to do please help?
Bob - 15-Apr-20 @ 8:53 PM
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
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