Issues with neighbourhood parking

Question

My neighbour consistently parks outside my house which means I have to park further away from my home. Is there anything I can do to stop him?

Answer

Simon Horwood, Litigation Executive, Clarke & Son replies:

There are often occasions when neighbours come to dispute about where they may park their cars. Obviously if you have a separate driveway then there is unlikely to be a problem as long as you and your neighbour actually park on it. Issues do arise when people park their cars on the road upon which they live.

The Highway Code is there to explain and guide you through the rules and regulations set out in many paragraphs 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 stating on the corresponding sign.
  • 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 residents’ parking space.
  • You must also not park in front of the entrance to a property.

 

Experience has shown that many parking disputes arise over the failure to observe parking “etiquette”.  However, etiquette and the law are quite distinct.

The law says that as long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not contravening any other traffic laws you are entitled to park anywhere on the public highway (but not on footpaths/pavements) where it is legal to do so.  Good manners and commonsense help avoid parking disputes with neighbours. Most people would choose to park outside their own home because of convenience but if you have more than one vehicle belonging to a single property and there are no driveways then what can you do?

There is no automatic right to park outside your own home. As shown above the Highway Code provides guidance but there are no definitive rules. To resolve this the only thing that one can recommend is that you have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them that you prefer to park in front of your own home. Often simple courtesy and communicating your thoughts with your neighbour will resolve the problem.

The Highway Code does assist in that people must not park their vehicle where it might cause an obstruction to other pedestrians or road users and does cite the example of not parking in another person’s driveway. While there are certain rules and regulations under the Highway Code which relate to parking on public highways one must remember that unless a neighbour is breaking the law you may park wherever you choose.  If you have a dropped curb at the end of your driveway then the Traffic Management Act 2004 might assist.  This Act covers restrictions on parking where a curb has been dropped for a number of reasons which include for the purpose of “assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge”. If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation it would be useful to first try and find and speak to the vehicle owner. If your vehicle is blocked in under these circumstances then the police on 101 may be able to assist, particular if the offending vehicle has been parked for some time.

If all efforts fail and the matter has still not been satisfactorily resolved then there is the possibility of mediation which we would be happy to advise further upon.

If you have a query or would like to book an appointment please get in touch with our First Contact team on 01256 320555 or email mail@clarkeandson.co.uk