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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 11 Nov 2021 | comments*Discuss
Parking Disputes Obstruct Neighbour

Many conflicts between neighbours arise as the result of disputes over parked cars. Of course, if you have a separate driveway then there isn’t a problem, as long as you actually park on it, but issues do arise when people park their cars on the road upon which they live.

Having off street parking not only increases the value of a property but it also reduce the risk of neighbour arguments over where to park the car. In some residential areas, often London, parking permits are charged at a premium rate and don't always resolve the parking problems, as residents think they have a right to park in front of their house since they have paid for a permit.

The Highway Code is there to explain and guide you through the rules and regulations set out in myriad pieces of traffic and road legislation.For example:

  • Drivers should all be aware that you cannot park or wait on double yellow lines at any time.
  • You must not wait or park on single yellow lines at the times stated on corresponding signs.
  • You must not wait, stop, or park on school entrance markings.
  • Unless you are entitled to, you must not park in disabled parking spaces or resident parking spaces.
  • You must also not park in front of the entrance to a property.
There are many more rules which you should read and be aware of before taking any action, you can find the full list at www.gov.uk

Many parking disputes arise over the failure to observe parking ‘etiquette’ on the street where you live. But etiquette and the law are two totally different issues, so let’s take a look at both.

What The Law Says

As long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not contravening any other traffic laws, you are allowed to park anywhere on a public highway (but not on footpaths/pavements) where it is legal to do so.

Parking Outside Your Own House

Etiquette, good manners and common sense are the main ingredients in avoiding parking disputes with your neighbours. Most people would choose to park outside their own home anyway because of the convenience, but what if you have more than one vehicle belonging to a single property and there are no driveways or you have a driveway but there is only enough room for one car?

No Automatic Right to Park Outside Your Home

Basically, it’s an unwritten ‘rule’ that people will generally tend to park outside their own home but it’s important to note that no one has an automatic right to do so. It’s not always possible and, in addition to residents, other road users also have the right to park outside your home providing they are not contravening the Highway Code.

To resolve this issue, the only thing you can do is to try to have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them why you’d prefer to park in front of your own house. You may find that they didn’t realise it bothered you and often simple courtesy and communicating your issue with your neighbour will resolve the problem.

Shared Driveways

If you share a driveway with your next door neighbour and a parking dispute occurs because of lack of space or one person’s vehicle is taking up more space, you can resolve this by checking your house deeds to find out where the boundaries lie.

Accessibility and Upkeep of a Shared Driveway

It’s courteous to share responsibilities for the accessibility and tidiness of a shared driveway. If you have children, make sure you keep any toys off the other person's part of the shared driveway. If your next door neighbour simply decides they’ve had enough and drives straight in and ‘accidentally’ runs over a children’s toy, you’ve no legal redress – it’s your neighbour’s part of the driveway and your responsibility to keep things that belong to you, on your side.

The Big Issue – Parking Directly In Front Of A Person’s Driveway

This is, by far, the single most frequent cause of annoyance and arguments between neighbours. Unfortunately though, the law does not help in this regard. It's common courtesy not to park directly in front of the driveway of another person’s property. After all, they may need to get in or out of the driveway with their vehicle. If you’ve blocked the access by parking directly in front of it, this will cause the vast majority, if not everybody, to become annoyed and to try to locate the owner of the vehicle to get them to move it. Therefore, most neighbourly people will never park directly in front of someone’s driveway.

What is the Relevant Law on Blocking Someone's Driveway?

The Highway Code, paragraph 207, asks that people DO NOT park their vehicle where it might cause an obstruction to other pedestrians or road users, and cites the example of not parking in front of another person’s driveway.

In essence, while there are certain rules and regulations under the Highway Code relating to parking on public highways, mostly it’s a matter of common decency and courtesy. Speaking calmly to neighbours and explaining reasons why you might need to park here or there, if practical, will usually result in you getting what you want. Just remember, however, that unless they are breaking the law, people are entitled to park anywhere they want to on a public highway providing they aren’t in breach of the Highway Code. If things get really bad, you could try and get a third party involved to mediate...take a look at our feature When Mediation Can Help Neighbour disputes for more information and advice.

Dropped Kerbs: The Traffic Management Act 2004

If you have a dropped kerb at the end of your driveway (which in most local authorities - planning laws say that you should), the Traffic Management Act 2004 might help you. This act covers restrictions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of "assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge". There are exceptions to this including:
  • Where the vehicle is parked outside residential premises "by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises" but this exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway
  • Emergency vehicles
  • When a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading etc at the premises (has to be 'reasonable' and for no longer than 20 minutes)
  • Vehicles undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting waste on behalf of local authority, removing a traffic obstruction

If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation, first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner. In a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you'd like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 - not 999 (it's more than likely NOT an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably cooperate with you anyhow). Tell them about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out. If they say there's nothing they can do, ask them about the Traffic Management act of 2004 (referring to dropped kerbs) and what they normal steps are. They should be able to help you to take the right steps even if they won't do anything themselves immediately.

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[Add a Comment]
I have a communal driveway which can take 3 cars easy.there are 3 flats I've live at no 2 for last 2'5 years and always park my car in the middle.now no 1 has got a car to learn to drive n parked it in the middle where I've parked for 2:5 years.. it's in front of her window but tells me it is her space and it's against the law to park my car by her window is this correct or is it just made up thanks awaiting your reply
Chez - 11-Nov-21 @ 10:29 PM
I have a neighbour who has four cars and loads of room on her drive for all four, yet she insists on parking two of her cars on the road which means I can never get parked as I only have enough room for one car on my drive. My hususes that for his van.
Autumn77 - 18-Sep-21 @ 2:17 PM
My neighbour has a drive and garage attachedto his propertybut has parked his car outside my house for the last two months I don't own a car but I am disabledand my children take me shopping and also come and help round the house but can'tpark any were near he only moves his car to go round the block and back
Margaret Richardson - 18-Sep-21 @ 1:11 PM
I live on a main road the side of my house is an unadopted road allowing access to the back of properties the other side is a garage but they park there trucks and cars down my side permently keeping there side looking nice while my property looks an mess I can't even get down to paint my fences is there anything I can do.
Ykp - 13-Sep-21 @ 4:28 PM
Theowner of the landopposite our drivehas put these 3 large trees to stop any cars beingparked there It’s a bridle path to the right I’m not a very good or confidentdriver I have already banged the side of my car We can now not get easy access to our drive We usually need to reverse out into the lane This is now impossible for me I’m 68 and not a very confident driver Is there anything we can do ?
Maary - 10-Sep-21 @ 5:23 PM
To anyone having trouble with people buying/selling or repairing vehicles on the road or the allocated parking, look up the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005
Someusefuladvice - 2-Sep-21 @ 11:51 PM
Hi Me and my neighbours have a lot of problems with other people parking ours street. The street is open to everybody but we all wanted to park close to our houses. We finds that many cars is dumb and left for months on parking spaces also mechanics use road for no taxes cars and parking them on our street. Many of our neighbours get tickets because was parking on double line. This neighbours is people with kids and they parking they cars close to the house. I don’t know where we can find help regarding this problem. We all neighbours wanted permanent residents parking but how we can sorted this problem? Many thanks for any suggestions.
Chloe - 30-Aug-21 @ 5:38 PM
Neighbour has always complained about any parking in front of her house which has a drive. She doesn’t drive so her drive is empty, her visitors park on the road not on her drive. If anyone parks in front of her house she goes out and sticks notes on their cars telling them not to park there. She’s recently had her front garden removed and made into parking hard standing. Now she’s had drop kerb widened so no one can park in front of her house. Parking is a nightmare on our road, if anyone parks over the extended dropped kerb when there aren’t any cars on her drive, is this illegal?? What could happen?? This nightmare has been ongoing since 1995!!
Frustrated 2601 - 25-Aug-21 @ 8:22 AM
I own a coach house. Under the coach house is 4 garages that I have to Lease to adjacent neighbours. One neighbour let's his house out. He allows his tenant to park a huge commercial van on the parking bay in front of the garage. This causes parking problems for myself and others who lease the garages. I am the freeholder. I have twice asked person to stop parking the vehicle. I have explained it says this clearly in the TP1 transfer document. I don't know the name of the landlord or current addressof the landlord of the person parking the vehicle.I don't know the name of the person parking the vehicle. I have asked the company to stop parking as the person works for a company. This will effect the sale if I try to sell
Bill - 25-Aug-21 @ 6:18 AM
I’m going crazy with my young neighbour! He has two cars parked on pavement one in front of my gate so I can’t use it and have to use my huge drive gate!! Which he has started to park in front of too so one car covers the pavement and my gates! I’ve noted that a couple of ladies with prams and young children are having to walk on the road to take children to school!! He also has three big cars in his back garden! My home is Newcastle council his is privately rented! I’m now desperate as I live alone over 60 and quite worried to say anything!! I don’t want any comebacks!
Ecave - 14-Aug-21 @ 1:35 PM
I have a neighbor who takes up two parking spaces none of us have drives she always parks this way as I'm disabled but I don't think the road is wide enoug to Applyfor a disabled space it causes me to either take up someone else's spot outside their house what can I do I have approached the neighbors but it's like water off a ducks back
Mog - 12-Aug-21 @ 3:25 PM
I live on a council estate we have a carpark where residents can park . however we have a man from one of the council houses who buys cars from the auction he is using our car park to park his vehicles for months he can park 6-8 car before he will ship them this leaving residents struggling for parking space. Who can help us with this problem ? Is he even allowed to do this?
MaddyB21 - 5-Aug-21 @ 6:25 AM
I am parking my work car(commercial venichle) small van in my residential car park space and the neighbour complains that I am not allowed. What he can do for me if I will keep park it? Its my private car space.
Maty - 30-Jul-21 @ 6:56 AM
I live on a main road.Access to 20 homes, including mine, is via an shared unadopted access road enabling occupants to drive to and from their homes.All homes have 2 personal parking bays to the rear of their homes.However one neighbour living on one side of the access road chooses to park his cars down that side of the access road, forcing all other residents to use only one side.This causes problems at times when residents are accessing and leaving the road.Can we, the other residents, object legally to deny permanent parking on the communal access road.
Polly - 17-Jul-21 @ 4:34 PM
The problem here is caused by too many cars on the road and the lack of expenditure on public transport.Driving and car ownership now is expensive.. the government have failed to look at its drives to increase car ownership with scrappage schemes.Car ownership has increased year on year since the 1970s and if you don't live in London which has the most public expenditure on transport in the country, car ownership becomes an expensive and stressful necessity.There are too many people using appalling social behaviour on the pretext of public safety when in cases I have seen, the vehicle was LAWFULLY parked. Just because people perceive there may be a risk does not mean there is actually is and this. Nagy v Weston 1965 remains the main case law on obstruction and those unpleasant people who do not like what another neighbour is dong lawfully should not make other people's lives a misery by their threats and intimidation.The law also protects lawful parking by the way and anti-social behaviour of neighbours who create unnecessary vendettas because they don't like what a neighbour is legally entitled to do.
Cmoebius - 13-Jul-21 @ 2:30 PM
We have a driveway at the side of our house, it does not belong to us or the neighbour as its for taking bins out, but the neighbour is using it to fix cars and store tree felling machinery, if its not banging cars or the smell of paint spraying, and starting wrecks it's something else we are sick to death he even set up a make shift canopy with which to work under and drilled into my new fence posts I immediately went round and told him to remove it, in which we have holes in our posts, I'm at the end of our tether, we just want him to take all his gear away and leave it open as it belong to another neighbour who has a landlord who does not know what he is doing please help please
Norman - 10-Jul-21 @ 1:22 PM
My neighbour has run a beauty business from home for over 12 years now. There is double yellow lines and a bus stop immediately outside both our homes. She allows her clients to park in her front garden which i have never had a problem with until her clients wouldn't fully park on her garden, they would park on the pavement which meant wheelchair users and people with pushchairs would have to go onto a very busy road to avoid the parked cars. She has been told previously to make sure the pavement was not obstructed but has ignored the advice repeatedly even to the point where my a client was parked so close to my gate i could not get passed. I have reported her to the council and so has her neighbour on the other side of her property and absolutely nothing has been done. Reported her on Fix my street too
Simonet - 8-Jul-21 @ 8:32 PM
My neighbour has 8 cars,2 he parks in his drive the others he parks in the visitors car parking in our estate,is this allowed ,we are getting really fed up now.
Fred - 8-Jul-21 @ 6:01 PM
The rules parking in the street is so hypocritical.You are king for your home, not the space infront. I live with no space in front of my house. When my son park in front my neighbour, he get angry. We pay road tax. He tell everybody about the tools in the van like he can’t hear alarm if he park over the road. Maybe he don’t pay insurance. To stop my son he get a friend to park to save the space. Even for 24hrs /48hr if they are working. This man is so greedy, he have four space on the street (owe flat and shop), and a big drive. His wife park in the drive all day. They involved a brown nose to save the space???? They are a joke!!!! The government is a joke. When you try to see the rules is always different. One newspaper put ‘However, parking outside someone else’s property is not illegal and other motorists can legally stop a car wherever they as the abide road regulation. Everyone has a right to park where they LIVE in street as long a there a double yellow lines painted over it’ .No wonder people are confused!
Jenni - 3-Jul-21 @ 10:55 AM
The rules parking in the street is so hypocritical.You are king for your home, not the space infront. I live with no space in front of my house. When my son park in front my neighbour, he get angry. We pay road tax. He tell everybody about the tools in the van like he can’t hear alarm if he park over the road. Maybe he don’t pay insurance. To stop my son he get a friend to park to save the space. Even for 24hrs /48hr if they are working. This man is so greedy, he have four space on the street (owe flat and shop), and a big drive. His wife park in the drive all day. They involved a brown nose to save the space???? They are a joke!!!! The government is a joke. When you try to see the rules is always different. One newspaper put ‘However, parking outside someone else’s property is not illegal and other motorists can legally stop a car wherever they as the abide road regulation. Everyone has a right to park where they LIVE in street as long a there a double yellow lines painted over it’ .No wonder people are confused!
Jenni - 2-Jul-21 @ 11:26 AM
I am renting flat with no garden. In front got allocated parking and it is residents parking only. Quiet and happy. Till commercial hairdresser and his associates started to use unmarked parking spaces. Now freeholder is saying that he wants to change the use of that unmarked bays for commercial use. Can he just change like that?
Agula - 29-Jun-21 @ 8:56 PM
I live in a town house with 2 cars in the household, my neighbour accross has 2 cars and opt to pack in front of my gate, pushing us to have our second car shooting out onto our neighbours. I have called their attention but not yielded How do l address it
adesmith - 27-Jun-21 @ 10:08 PM
Are there any signs you can legally put up to deter parking in front of your home Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 Section 69 guidance or direction of persons
STORM - 27-Jun-21 @ 12:41 PM
Hi, no one ever replies on here. People only leave their stories. Be so nice for us nice, fair individuals to get help from people instead of selfish people everyday around us making our lives hell and nowhere for us to go :( or maybe that’s life…
Truthseeker - 24-Jun-21 @ 3:53 PM
I live in a terraced house. I am disabled. there's a car park that was built especially for our row of houses, as the other houses had a parking space at the end of them, and the other houses had space in front of them. There's one person that parks their car in a way that blocks the entrance and exit of the car park for my row of houses.Once it caused me to hit another car. The other day I had to ask them to move it as my sister had to go to the hospital to get tested for cancer.The person claimed it's legal to park in a way that blocks entrance and exit to and from the car park. I said it's illegal because it's stated in the highway code. Who's right? The other person or me?
AM - 19-Jun-21 @ 11:23 AM
At the rear of our property we have a 'smal'gravel parking space which we can park our car.However, this means reversing over our neighbours concrete drive to reverse park. He has just knocked and said if this is going to be a permanent thing it will become a right of way issue. He is annoyed because we have been granted planning permission to build an extension which he strongly objected to. We know he is now being petty because we 'won' and think he will make life difficult when we start the building work. Nothing on the deeds about easements or right of way...any suggestions greatly appreciated
MS - 6-Jun-21 @ 4:14 PM
Wouid like to know if someone can take a car up onto a public pathway to park a car in a garden she’s made into a driveway with no planning permission
Liz - 4-Jun-21 @ 3:53 PM
We live in a private rd with our parking spaces, am I allowed to have a commercial vehicles parked hear
crocus - 27-May-21 @ 8:03 AM
My street is all grass so we have to park on the next street, however due to some residents having more than one car this is difficult. On this street are some flats with four designated spaces and four visitor spaces, when the planning application was put forward for the flats to be constructed the whole of oak street and Bright Street objected due to the lack of spaces. They managed to get the application passed by saying that we could use these spaces. However the owner of the bottom flat doesn't park in her designated space, she parks in a visitor space placing a traffic cone in her space, yet threatens anyone who parks in her space with the police.
Pixie - 22-May-21 @ 6:25 PM
We live in a rather car congested road, our neighbour has 2 off street private parking bays on a side road, yet he chooses to park both of his cars on the road taking up spaces rather than his bays, I know as long as the cars are taxed he's has a right to park (legally) on the highway, but find this very selfish, one evening another neighbour came home from work late with shopping etc and there was nowhere to park so used one of his bays, unbelievably he put a note on a neighbours car not to park on his empty bay!! he also ensures he gets his cars parked right outside his house!. Very annoying selfish person.
Alliance - 1-May-21 @ 1:03 PM
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