How To Stop Someone From Parking In Front Of Your House: Parking Law Explained

mariam-abu-hussein
Mariam Abu HusseinLegal Assessment Specialist @ Lawhive
Updated on 21st May 2024

Parking can be a real headache at the best of your times. But it’s especially annoying if someone repeatedly parks in front of your house - or worse on your driveway!

how-to-stop-someone-parking-in-front-of-your-house

If you’re dealing with this issue, this article will help you understand what you can do to handle the situation legally and effectively. 

Table of Contents

What’s the difference between public roads and private property? 

Public roads are owned and maintained by the local council or government authorities. Since they are for general use, anyone can park on these roads, provided they follow local parking regulations and restrictions. 

Private property on the other hand, such as a driveway or private parking space, is owned by an individual or entity. Therefore, the owner has exclusive rights to control who can and can't park on their property. Unauthorised vehicles parking on private property can be considered trespassing and the owner can take steps to have them removed. 

Do I have any rights to the space in front of my house? 

If the space in front of your house is on private property, such as a driveway, you can enforce parking restrictions. 

However, if the space is on a public road, you can’t reserve it for your exclusive use, even if it’s directly outside your property. This means that, generally, anyone can park there as long as they follow local parking regulations and restrictions. 

If a vehicle is blocking your driveway by parking across a dropped curb, this is illegal and you have the right to report this to the local council or the police, as it obstructs your access to your property. 

Can I ask someone not to park in front of my house? 

You can ask someone not to park in front of your house. Often, people don't know they are causing an inconvenience and will respond positively to a polite request.

However, it’s important to note that any request not to park in front of your house on a public road is a courtesy and not a legal requirement. This means they do not have to accommodate your request and there is no legal recourse for refusal provided the person follows local parking regulations and restrictions. 

How many cars can park outside my house? 

On a public road, the only factors that determine how many cars can park outside your house are the length of the curb, the presence of any dropped curbs, and any specific parking regulations that apply to the area. 

Technically, there is no limit on the number of cars that can park outside your house if it is a public road. 

Can I put up a no parking sign outside my house? 

You can put up a ‘No Parking’ sign outside your house but a sign is not legally enforceable unless it’s part of an official scheme approved by the local council. 

To have a ‘No Parking’ sign that carries legal clout, you must go through your local council to request an official sign be installed. The council has specific criteria and processes for installing official signage. 

Can I put parking cones outside my house? 

Placing cones or any other objects on a public road without permission can be considered an obstruction and may lead to a fine or removal by the authorities.

However, if the area you are trying to reserve is your private property, you can place cones to indicate that the space is reserved. 

Can I get a parking permit for outside my house? 

In some areas, you can apply for a parking permit outside your house. Some local councils implement residential parking permit schemes to manage parking in residential areas and, typically, residents living in designated permit zones can apply for permits. 

With a residential parking permit, you can park within the designated permit zone.

When should I contact the authorities about parking outside my house? 

You can contact the authorities about parking outside of your house if: 

  • A vehicle is blocking your driveway, preventing you from accessing or exiting your property. This is considered illegal parking, and the police or local council can take action to have the vehicle removed. 

  • A vehicle is parked in a manner that obstructs the flow of traffic, creates a safety hazard, or blocks visibility. 

  • Someone parks in disabled bays without a valid permit or in loading zones without loading or unloading goods.

How do I report illegal parking? 

In most cases, you’ll need to contact your local council to report illegal parking. They have designated departments or parking enforcement teams responsible for managing parking violations. 

However, if the parking violation poses an immediate safety risk or is causing a disturbance, you can contact the police non-emergency number or report it online. 

When reporting illegal parking, use the official channels provided. Don't take matters into your own hands or confront the individual parking illegally, as this can escalate the situation. 

What are the laws about blocking driveways? 

According to the UK Highway Code, it’s illegal to park in front of a dropped curb as they are intended to provide access to driveways and should be kept clear at all times. This applies to shared driveways, too.

Local councils and law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcing laws related to blocking driveways. This can involve issuing fines, penalties, or towing illegally parked vehicles.

When might I need to take civil action relating to parking? 

You may need to take civil action relating to parking if: 

  • Someone repeatedly parks on your private property without permission 

  • A parked vehicle causes damage to your property

  • If someone violates the terms of a contractual agreement (like a lease agreement or homeowners association rules) by parking illegally 

  • Someone is posing a significant and ongoing nuisance or threat to your property rights

However, civil action relating to parking should be considered a last resort when other measures have failed to resolve the issue.

It’s important to seek legal advice from a neighbour dispute solicitor in the first instance to understand your position and the strength of your claim. 

Can I install driveway bollards or cones? 

You can install driveway bollards or cones on your private property if they do not obstruct the public footpath or road.

However, you should check with your local council regarding any regulations or restrictions on installing driveway bollards or cones as some areas may have specific guidelines for such installations. 

Is it illegal to park opposite someone’s driveway? 

It is not necessarily illegal to park opposite someone’s driveway, but it can be considered inconsiderate and might lead to problems accessing or leaving a private driveway. In some circumstances, parking opposite someone’s driveway can obstruct visibility and make it difficult for vehicles to enter or exit the driveway safely.

The UK Highway Code advises against parking opposite or near a driveway. Rule 243 states that you must not stop or park opposite or within 10 metres of a junction, except in authorised parking spaces. 

What is classed as nuisance parking? 

Nuisance parking refers to situations where a vehicle is parked in a manner that causes inconveniences, obstruction, or danger to others. For example: 

  • Parking in front of a driveway, preventing the homeowner from accessing or leaving their property.

  • Blocking access to essential services or emergency vehicles, such as parking to close to emergency exits or in designated lanes. 

  • Double parking

  • Parking on pavements

  • Parking too close to a junction, typically within 10 metres

  • Abandoning a vehicle

  • Blocking access to public facilities such as bus stops, cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, and school entrances. 

What steps should I take if someone regularly parks in front of my house? 

If someone regularly parks in front of your house and it’s causing inconvenience of frustration, start by talking to them. They may not know they are causing a problem and need you to explain how their parking affects you, such as blocking your view or access. 

If the problem persists, keep a record of the times and dates when they park in front of your house. You should also record the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle so you have the information to hand should you need to escalate the issue later. 

If the issue is illegal parking, you should contact your local council. They may be able to take enforcement action.

If you’re considering legal action, speak to a solicitor specialising in property or parking law. They can provide guidance on your rights and options.

How long can a car be parked outside my house? 

On a public road with no restrictions, a car can be parked indefinitely as long as it is taxed, insured, and has a valid MOT. The vehicle should also not cause an obstruction or hazard.

Within controlled parking zones, however, vehicles may only park for the duration specified on signs, and sometimes a permit is required. 

What should I do if I think a vehicle has been abandoned outside my property? 

If a vehicle appears abandoned (e.g., it has flat tires, broken windows, is visibly damaged, or hasn’t moved for a significant period), you can report it to the local council. 

Local authorities can investigate and potentially remove abandoned vehicles. The exact period after which a vehicle is considered abandoned varies but typically requires the car to be unmoved for weeks to months.

While it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, don't try to move the vehicle yourself. Doing so could result in legal repercussions or safety hazards. 

What should I do if someone keeps parking in my designated parking space? 

If someone parks in your designated space, start by talking to them. They may not be aware the spot is reserved or may have mistakenly parked there. 

If the problem continues, you might consider putting up a sign to show that the parking space is reserved to remind others that it is not for general use. 

If you live in a managed property or have a homeowner’s association, report the issue to the property management or association. 

If the unauthorized parking continues despite intervention from property management or authorities, you may need to explore legal options.

Is it rude to park outside of someone’s house? 

Parking on a public road in front of someone’s house is generally acceptable as long as it does not obstruct driveways, block access, or violate parking regulations.

However, parking directly in front of someone’s driveway, blocking their access, or parking in a way that inconveniences them can be considered rude and inconsiderate. 

In areas with limited parking spaces, residents often rely on parking outside their own or neighbouring houses. In such cases, parking outside someone's house may be necessary and is generally considered acceptable if done respectfully.

What can I do if someone parks in my driveway?

If someone parks in your driveway, it can be frustrating but it’s important to stay calm and avoid aggressive confrontation which can escalate the situation. 

If possible, try to locate the vehicle owner by knocking on doors or asking around. If you can’t find the owner, consider leaving a polite note on the windshield asking them not to park in your driveway again. 

In more extreme situations, you may consider calling the non-emergency police number, 101, to report the obstruction, or contact the local council. 

Technically, parking on your driveway without permission is trespassing, so you could pursue a civil claim for trespass or nuisance. Or, as a last resort, you could apply for an injunction to stop them from parking in your driveway.

However, both of these actions are more severe and usually require legal representation. 

How can Lawhive help with parking disputes?

If you are considering civil action due to parking issues, our network of neighbour dispute solicitors is on hand to provide affordable, fast advice relating to parking disputes.

In the first instance, they can help you understand your position and possible next steps. Further, if a civil action is something you want to pursue, they can support you in this. 

What you should not do if someone parks in your driveway or obstructs it is to try to move the vehicle or cause any damage, as this could result in actions against you. 

For further advice and a fixed-fee quote for the services of a specialist solicitor, contact our Legal Assessment Team today.

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