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Parking Disputes Between Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Nov 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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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
My neighbours on Stonebridge Park Eastville Bristol have suddenly gone from two cars to five and a cab and are using both sides of the street as their personal car park.Not only do they pull up and leave their cars outside three neighbouring houses,they wait for somebody to move their car and runs up the road to move one of their other vehicles into the space.I e seen this happen in mornings and late at night.They know it is selfish behaviour which inconveniences others, but persist nevertheless. This anti social behaviour is surprisingly aggravating and stressful.I know that they are not breaking the law strictly speaking, but this selfishness is loathsome and unfortunately she encourages passive aggressive reactions i.e. Reciprocal strategical parking.What's can one do apart from using the same selfish tactics as these people?Any tips NHS get heated?
Yram - 21-Aug-19 @ 8:55 PM
I live in an apartment building.Parking is limited due to surrounding apartment buildings on the street.My neighbor has 3 cars.One he has an assigned spot for,and 2 he parks on the street.Whenever he leaves,he parks his 3rd car in such a way that other cars can't park.When he returns he moves it back so he can park again.Is this legal?? Why is he such an inconsiderate prick? Others that live here without a spot have to drive around to find a space.Usually a block away.That's not fair.
Gmontes - 15-Aug-19 @ 12:17 AM
I am unsure what to do about our current situation. We bought this house 2 years ago and it had been empty for some years before that. The neighbors had been parking all the cars at their house in front of ours for a few years prior. Our neighbors have their kids and the kids friends at their house all the time and several vehicles parked on our road. However, of all the houses here, they park in front of mine. Not even the neighbor on the other side. I will leave to get my husband from work at 1 am and find they have parked another car there in just the half hour we've been gone. I have spoken to these same neighbors in a friendly way 4 times now. Each time they are polite, respectful and will not park in front of our home for a few days. Now they have some new friends who have been drunk a lot with them and been loud about how we ilke to park our own car in front of our own home. My kids get upset. They say they are rude and vile when they rant about us and it goes on for some time and at different times. The new friend ha decided to wage an all out war to make a point with us and park their car in front of our home if we even go to the store. None of these people actually live at the house next door but they always have different cars and friends going in and out. While we get on with the parents of these kids and friends next door, the kids and their friend aren't the most considerate or caring of keeping the peace. My other neighbors were the first to warn us about them when we bought the house so they are not popular with the neighbors. It's a nice street with people having lived here for years and these people are the only renters. I didn't want to get involved or judge that but they really seem to be living up to the other neighbors warnings. Don't really know what to do at this point. Any advice that is realistic to the situation is helpful.
Dawna - 13-Aug-19 @ 1:33 PM
My neighbour parks directly in front of the entrance to my driveway limiting my access - then screams at me when I politely asked her to move so I could get into my driveway.Some people are just not courteous and it is a shame there are no formal rules to enforce this.Instead we have to put up with verbal abuse.
TD - 5-Aug-19 @ 12:22 PM
Why is it that no matter how polite and considerate you are, not to mention paying to tax and insure, MOT and maintain your vehicles other people have the right to do as they please including damaging your vehicles with their atrocious parking and lack of respect for other peoples property? And we get the privilege of also paying council tax for the areas we live in and still have no say about parking your own vehicle near your own home? On our close we are in a situation of living just a mile outside of Nottingham city centre in a one way street which constantly has people screaming down the road as for some reason the council removed the dead end sign and erected a speed limit sign instead so there is no indication it is not a through road (and on 2 separate occasions I have had my car damaged when said numptys have been going too fast attempting to reverse when they eventually realise they cant get out the other end and in doing so hitting my car!! This situation is further exasperated by the fact that we have 3 different sets of non residents parking their vehicles along our street meaning that actual residents are struggling to park up (let alone friends and family not being able to visit due to these inconsiderate individuals feeling they are entitled to park there). 1 guy dumps one vehicle, another guy 1 sometimes 2 and the third guy has his small work van, a range rover, a flat bed truck and now seemingly a blooming mini so you can imagine that we are all cheesed off as due to this it makes it really hard for people to get their own carson and off of their own drive ways as each house has at least one car themselves and in many instances 2!!! I think its the total arrogance and abuse if you challenge these people as they only see as far as their needs and have no consideration for the impact on everyone else and this sense of entitlement really stokes my fire and exactly why is it that such behavior cannot be challenged? We also requested that road to be changed to resident permit holders only but this was also turned down so what next? There should be actions that can be taken to look after residents and sorry to say it but if you haven't room to park all your vehicles considerately and appropriately then dont have so many!!!
Batzz - 22-Jul-19 @ 2:05 PM
I feel I can top a lot of these..... I live in a terraced house on a street with houses in either side. Most houses in the street have off street parking at the rear, mi e however does not. My next door neighbour parks his car in his garage during the weekend with his work van outside his house. However when he goes to work he moves his car from the garage to outside his house to save the space for his van. Very sad I know. But what makes this even more amusing is that when he is moving the vehicles around to save the space he makes his 20 odd year old son stand in the space to make sure nobody else parks in it..... Even at 2am. Doesn't annoy me, I park over the road to avoid having him crash into my car (again) I just find it utterly hilarious.
Tom - 19-Jul-19 @ 5:03 PM
So this morning it was absolutely throwing it down with rain, I was on the school run and spotted a space where there was a kerb outside someone house.I went and parked in this legal space on the road, as we got out of the car the lady in the house called out to me from her bedroom window and told me that I can’t park there because I was blocking her car, I looked around and saw that I hadn’t blocked her drive so didn’t understand straight away why she was moaning, then she pointed to the car that she had parked on her front lawn.She said I should move my car, I said I was perfectly in my right to park there, but as it was raining so hard I didn’t want to stay and argue my point so I moved my car.Why is it that people think they can do this and then expect no one to park in perfectly legal spaces on the road?!? Her drive way only had one car on it and so she could have easily moved her car onto it
Mon - 26-Jun-19 @ 12:09 AM
I am a caterer and deliver food for a living, including to houses. Obviously, when a party is taking place at a certain house, space right outside is limited or nonexistent. So I have no choice but to park outside someone else's house on the same street on occassion, not in front of a driveway...just the house. I try to be as unintrusive as possible if this is ever the case. I can't tell you how many times over the last five years I've had to politely point out to residents that they don't have any right to park in front of their own house when they come to confront me. It amazes me how so many people still don't get this. I had a minor run-in with an idiot a few years back in a not very nice area, making a quick drop off. I didn't know the area very well so parked in the only space I spotted, but then when I got out on foot and walked off to look for the property, realised there was a space right outside it which I could have parked in. At that time, a car pulled up by mine further down the road with a family in it, they all went inside but the guy started ranting and raving to himself and to his embarrassed wife, looking around for who had parked in "his spot". He then spotted me knocking on the door I was delivering to and also spotted the space outside of the delivery house, and made it very loud and obvious to his wife of how stupid I was and why wouldn't I just park outside, obviously aiming for me to hear every word. In and out of his house he was going, getting more and more irate, trying to play the big man. I shouted over to him, "It is a public highway this mate, it's not private parking, but I will literally be two seconds I'm just dropping off" and he just stared at me blankly all the way back to the car and as I drove off trying to intimidate me. People just don't know the rule of the road where parking is concerned, which is worrying as most of the same people drive cars, so should know full well. Oh...and people who take up two spots in an unmarked car park as well. I live in an apartment. It's quite a nice area, most people drive nice cars, some, in particular, are very expensive, so don't want their doors to be hit so they take a little extra care in the private car park when parking - which I get, I do the same. But there are no parking bays and it infuriates me to see people purposefully parking to obstruct others from parking in an already oversubscribed car park for an apartment block which is full. They take up two spots on purpose. Arrogant isn't the word for people like that. Anyway, rant over.
JD - 25-Jun-19 @ 10:35 AM
3 years ago building started on a piece of waste ground very close to my and other neighbours property. After the fist onslaught of extremely heavy industrial sized vehicles continually using our shared access lane,we were assured there would be no more heavy usage of our access lane. Since then ,we have been subjected to the same traffic going up and down the lane, part of which is someones private garden., with no warning before hand.We need advice on where the law stands on this matter.
Flo anne - 20-Jun-19 @ 4:46 PM
My next door neighbour has a driveway for parking two cars- one his wife's and the other his, yet he parks his works van on the pavement outside my house on a bend which means my only view is of his van and not other traffic coming and going.
Dragoness - 19-Jun-19 @ 10:33 PM
After years of people parking on our rear access road and blockiong our garage door I eventually spent a tenner on a PCN sign from parkkingenforcement.online seams to have done the trick so far. Dont know what makes people think blocking someones garage is OK!!!
Pete 201 - 19-Jun-19 @ 1:29 PM
My neighbor told my mother,if she could tell me not to park in her handicap space do to police. On my break at 2am for one hour and no one is using it at that time. For months it's empty, my thought is, she screams she's proud and she lo es me. I even lent her money once, my mom let her block our driveway before.But it's a problem for your women neighbor to utilize an empty space for an hour in the hood at 2am. She rather me walkfrom the end of the block to the front door. Funny business, and I always say people will need me before I ever do. Sad and disgusted with the lack of sense my people/this woman has. Thanks...
Esiha - 12-Jun-19 @ 1:35 AM
I live in terraced house with neighbours on either side. Both neighbours are new and have two cars each. Between them, they always manage to park one of their cars in front of my house leaving me to park up at the end of the road. Each house has space directly outside for one car and there is also space on the opposite side of the road for a second car as there is no housing. There has always been this unwritten rule that everyone should BE able to park outside their own home, but these new neighbours seem to have missed the memo - how do I go about letting them know? Without annoying them and coming across awkward.
Shaa - 5-Jun-19 @ 1:49 PM
I have had a CCJ against me for parking behind my house. I have parked here for over 20 years which is a pub car park. The new landlords of the pub that is owned by robinsons brewery never said I can't park there anymore but instructed parking eye. I got appealed to the majority of the parking tickets but missed one as I moved out due to the trouble and arguments after the tickets. I moved out in march 2018 but they applied for a CCJ in April 2019 and now I have to apply for notice of correction which I believe I will win but is anyone legal savvy to know how I should word this:- i.e. I have heard something around easement of land? After parking there many years. Also one of the other neighbors parks on the car park and they don't get tickets as they go in the pub. Pub they park there when the pub is closed? Surely this is classed as double standards? I have a 4 year old boy as well and the front of the house is on a main road so surely this is a personal dispute and should not go through a CCJ as no money was owed or did I make them lose anymore by parking in the same spot I have done for so many years.
Colette - 29-May-19 @ 11:38 PM
I have a really unique situation I have neighbours from hell who also happend to be London Metropolitan Police Officers , they take up 3 public parking spaces to park 2 cars and threaten and bully anyone else who dares park there, last year Feb my car was parked in one if those spaces as my dad needed the driveway they proceeded to park thier car in my drive way and also key my car , the next morning one of them came to retrieve his car and threaten my mum saying that he will park his car there when ever he wants , The while point of this was to get a reaction out of myself or my brother so they can arrest us on a public order offence , when confronted about this later that night when I got home from work with one of them he proceeded to keep dropping comments such as 'my brother will floor you and I will park on your property if I want all in an effort to get a reaction out of me, when the older one arrived he straight away started shouting at me to move my car and proceeded to push me with force several times seeing thisnmy brother started to record the incident to which both jumped on him took his phone off him and then proceeded to arrest him on a public disorder offence to which they called for back up , My mum was also assaulted by being hit in the face by the older ones elbow as she pleaded with him to stop this , at the same time I called my local police authority in shock of what I was witnessing up until theMe or my brother had never been in trouble with the police we are both in positions with great responsibility me being a General Manager and him being a Pharmacist, when the police arrived they didnt even want to hear our side of the story and proceeded to arrest my brother and hold him in a cell for the next 12 hours,in the following months I made a complaint to the Met which was investigated but ultimately led to nothing as both officers had been let off now fast forward to last Thursday and my brother parked his car in one if those 3 spaces with there being no other parking available on the road to which the older one came out telling my brother to move his car when my brother stated he wont talk to him he waited for my brother to get into the house and then proceeded to break his wing mirror and rest wiper luckily one of the neighbours and my sister in law saw this and my brother ran out and stopped him to which his other brother came out already recording on his phone once again waiting for a reaction so they can arrest on public order offence once again , This situation has caused me serious stress aswel as severe depression and anxiety for the past year and just when I thought this was behind us two officers of the law who believe they can get away with anything have been allowed to bully and terrorise my family again over a public parking space.
Naz - 28-May-19 @ 1:31 PM
There is a gun range out the back and in between the gun range and my fence is a public car park I drained some pond water through my fence onto the stones that they had put down for parking and because I’m in a wheelchair I lost all access to my back fence due to this as it was just a dirt path before the nailed some chicken wire over where the pond water went I. Snipped it off then they put a wooden board on my fence so I knocked that down took my saw and made a gate they are not happy about this one bit but iv lost about 20 chicks due to not being able to chick proof my fence and at £10 a chick that’s a lot of money where do I stand legally please
Dozeedee - 28-May-19 @ 9:24 AM
Not my story but my mum's ongoing story. Basically my mum has had a family friend come down very frequently these past couple of weeks to help my mum and he has a car to park but no matter where he parks the neighbors seem to knock my mum's door asking for him to move his car elsewhere. My mum has an unused driveway but his car had trouble parking it on the driveway. My mum's neighbors used to park by her house mostly and she didn't complain to them about it because she is a good decent person. What happened to having friendly neighbors?
Emmy - 9-May-19 @ 11:28 PM
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