Legal Q&A: where do I stand with a neighbour and dog that are taking the mickey?

I share a driveway with my neighbour. She is parking on the drive daily, leaves litter behind and lets her dog roam around. What can I do?
Question: I have a semi-detached house with a shared drive leading to our garages and gardens. On the deeds, there is access and egress only, with a right to “pass and repass”. The Land Registry plan shows a line down the middle and the fact that it is jointly owned with my neighbour.
When I moved in, she admitted there had been problems over parking with the previous owner. I said that as long as the drive was kept clear, that would be fine, to which she replied that she owned half of it.
Now she is parking on the drive daily and is ignoring my polite requests not to block my right of way. She has also started littering and lets her dog roam around, free to urinate on my garage doors. Where do I stand?
Answer: Check your deeds again, as there may be covenants prohibiting the parking of cars on the shared drive.
If there are such covenants, then clearly your neighbour is in breach, but in any event no one should be parking in such a manner as to block the right of way and it sounds as though your neighbour’s behaviour amounts to a nuisance.
You could take court action, but that is likely to be costly, so talk to your neighbour again, show her the title deeds, explain about the breaching of covenants and endeavour to resolve matters.
If that doesn’t work, try sending her a polite letter from a solicitor explaining the situation, as you do not want matters to spiral out of control, which they can often do.
Do also check the replies given by your seller in the Property Information Form when you bought the house. The parking issue should have been disclosed.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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