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Motoring Advice

Neighbour Parking Conflicts and Disputes

Respect your neighbour and hopefully, they will respect you – it’s pretty standard behaviour. Unfortunately, however, theory and practice don’t always unite, as one in three disagreements that occur between neighbours is related to how and where people park their cars. Parking etiquette is different to parking law, and that is often where neighbour disputes arise.

With more and more household having two or more cars, houses and driveways getting smaller and cars getting bigger, is it any real wonder that conflicts can occur on an all too regular basis?  According to an AA survey in 2020 they found that a third of people have more than one car.

image of parking disagreements with locals and neighbours
In 2013 an AA survey found that 33% of disagreements with neighbours are car related. These can be split into the following categories: Blocking access to a property or driveway (13%), parking outside a neighbour’s property (12%) and using a neighbour’s parking space (7%).

Blocking Access

Blocking access to a driveway or property is certainly guaranteed to upset your neighbours. It’s a common courtesy not to do so and the Highway code states: Rule 243 Do not Stop or Park in front of an entrance to a property.

If your neighbour does block your driveway, have a chat with them. Be polite and ask them if they could move their vehicle. Hopefully, they will be apologetic and move. If they don’t, or if they become aggressive you may find it appropriate to speak to your local police station on 101.

There are exceptions to this rule:
• A visitor to your property can park across the end of your drive, with your permission
• Emergency Vehicles can block your driveway if necessary
• Delivery drivers loading/unloading for a reasonable length of time (approx. 20 minutes)
• Any vehicle undertaking building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting refuse for the council

Parking outside a neighbour’s property

Of course, it can be annoying if someone is constantly parked on the road outside your property, especially when you have no driveway and would like to park there yourself.

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.

You may own your house but you do not own the bit of road in front of it which remains public and available for anyone to use.

Parking Spaces

Unless you have clearly marked parking spaces that are labelled for each resident, i.e. in a block of flats, then again you have no right to a particular space.  So if someone starts parking where you have been parking for a while you will simply need to find an alternative space.

Click for infographic - Parking Dos and Don'ts

How to Solve Parking Issues With Neighbours

You should speak to your neighbours if you have problems regarding parking.

  • Be polite and don’t threaten them.
  • Do not retaliate by blocking their drive, parking outside their property or in their space.
  • The problems can usually be sorted out with a few carefully chosen polite words.
  • If speaking politely does not resolve your parking issues then you can seek help via a mediation service.
    • Mediation can help find a solution using a trained third party to negotiate communications between yourself and your neighbours.  A fee may be involved but it will be cheaper than involving solicitors.
  • If your neighbour becomes aggressive you may find it appropriate to speak to your local police station on 101.

How to Report Illegal Parking

Contact your local council’s Parking Enforcement Team to report illegal parking as soon as you notice it:

  • parking illegally
  • parked across a dropped kerb
  • blocking access to your property

You could also use the website Fix My Street to report parking issues and they will send them directly to your local council.

If you notice illegal parking outside of the hours operated by your local council you should contact the Police on 101.

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