Question: We own a semi-detached house with a shared driveway that leads to a joint garage and for most of that time have parked one of our cars on the drive. However, a new neighbour has recently moved into the house next door.
To start with we continued to park on the drive, with them asking us to move the car as necessary to access the garage, but the new neighbour has now requested that we do not park on the driveway at all as it is causing problems. We now park the car in a space two streets away. Do I have a legal right to park on the drive?
Answer: This will depend on what the title to your property says regarding the shared driveway and you will need to check. Legally to be “shared”, the driveway could either be owned by your house and your neighbour has a right of way over it, or may be owned by your neighbour and your house has the right of way over it.
It is possible but less likely that ownership is literally “split down the middle” i.e. to the centre line with you both having reciprocal rights over the other half. You will have the right to park as well as merely cross the land to access your house only if you own the land or the rights granted expressly include the right to park AND in either case the driveway is not subject to a restrictive covenant prohibiting you from parking or obstructing the driveway.
Given that you say your parked car blocks their garage, such a covenant is likely to be on the title but do check.
What's your problem?
If you have a question for Katharine Marshall please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5EE.
We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here.
Katharine is a solicitor and director at Pitmans Solicitors (www.pitmans.com).