Everything you need to know about shared driveways - Checkatrade Blog
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Everything you need to know about shared driveways

building a driveway planning

Most people with shared driveways go their whole lives without running into difficulties, however, for some, the practice can prove problematic. In this blog, we detail everything you need to know about shared driveways.

shared driveways can pose issuesWhat is a shared driveway?

There are two main types of shared driveways in the UK. The first type is an access way, standing partly on one owner’s land and partly on an adjacent owner’s land, over which both owners enjoy a right of way. The second is where one neighbour owns the land outside another neighbour’s house. In this situation, it’s common for an agreement to be drawn up between both parties, which allows everyone to have access.

In Britain, there are a couple of reasons why shared driveways exist. The first situation is on homes built before the 1930s. During this period, many people agreed to build garages to the rear of their homes and needed to share a driveway with their neighbour to access it. These days, it’s more common for shared driveways to exist on modern housing estates where developers have had to economise on space.

Who owns a shared driveway?

Shared driveways are subject to a number of different ownership models, so it’s always best to consult the deeds of your home to find out exactly what applies to your house. It’s common for driveways to be shared if it is owned by one homeowner, but with another neighbour having a right of way over it. In these cases, it’s important for homeowners to recognise that their neighbour has a much greater right to the driveway, even if they don’t own it.

Can I park on a shared driveway?

Neither neighbour has a right to park their car on a shared driveway, as such it’s something that must be worked out privately between both parties. There’s little legal protection on this issue as whichever way you slice it, your car will either be illegally parked or blocking a right of way.

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Who should maintain a shared driveway?

It’s largely expected that both homeowners will do their bit to help maintain the conditions of a shared driveway. However, it is worth noting that neither homeowner has a right to store anything in the area, such as bins. Storing of bins in this situation would equate to obstruction of the right of way.

Where does common law apply?

If you’re ever unsure about the ownership status of a shared driveway then it’s best to check your title documents. In terms of using the driveway, common law dictates that the area is used fairly between both parties. Therefore, if your neighbour is overusing the space and stopping you from accessing your driveway or garage then it’s possible to take the issue to court to seek an injunction.

Can I buy my neighbour’s stake of a shared driveway?

If your shared driveway agreement or lack thereof is becoming problematic then it is possible to extinguish the right of way on a shared driveway. This won’t be applicable in every situation, but where possible, it’s a potential solution to the issue. However, the owner who wishes to extinguish the right of way will be expected to financially compensate their neighbour for the inconvenience, loss of utility and the diminished value of their property.

Shared driveways can lead to serious disagreements between neighbours. If your property is subject to such a disagreement it’s important to check your home’s deeds to clarify exactly who owns what. From that point onwards it’s all about managing relationships. Speak to your neighbour and ensure that you’re happy with the agreement, but work with civility in mind. That way you can make sure you don’t sacrifice the neighbourhood in pursuit of a slightly better parking spot.

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What others think of this article:

Checkatrade

Hi Ann, thanks for commenting. There are alternative scaffolding methods that allow access/right of way to be maintained whilst construction works are undertaken. They do come with an increase in cost though, but it's certainly worth discussing it with your neighbour to find the best way forward for both of you.

Checkatrade

Hi Caroline, you may wish to discuss the issue with your neighbour, particularly if it's impacting on your part of the driveway. If it cannot be resolved with a conversation then you may wish to speak to a legal professional.

Checkatrade

Hi Lyndsey, sorry to hear about your frustrating issues here. You could speak with your neighbour directly to discuss this issue and decide how they resolve it, or seek council or legal advice on what can be done to stop this. You have the right to access and use your private property freely without any issues. Best of luck and take care.

Checkatrade

Hi Lillian, I would suggest either speaking with your neighbour directly to resolve the payment situation or seek legal advice for more guidance on your rights. Sorry we couldn't be of anymore help.

Checkatrade

Hi Jauna, we would recommend that you seek legal advice on this occasion. Sorry we can't be of more help.

Ann Robinson

I share a drive which and pass within a foot of the house next door in my car. They have just got permission to demolish and rebuilt the house. What are my rights to the daily use of my access eg when scaffold errected? The front of my house has 15 steps and so the drive is in constant use, pushchairs, bins, cars (we have 2 cars and boat using the drive). any advice appreciated.

Caroline catmur

Hi we have a shared drive that divides into 2 garages at the back. We have an issue that for over a year now our neighbour has a car under a cover parked on this drive but it's infront of his garage he then had a massive delivery of bark which is now also sat on a pallet on the drive. We never had issues like this before with old neighbours as it was kept clear at all times but just lately its looking such an eye sore and I too want to find out if something could be done

Lyndsey

Hi I have a shared drive. But the neighbour is running a business cars come and go all day. They don't care that they invalid my privacy and all gather out side my garage and look over in to my garden. Don't even no if this is legal. Running a car business on a shared drive. He's a bully and I can never park out side my own house or on my drive in front ov my own garage. I cant go in garden with my kids as all fumes and noise is awful. I don't no what to do. Is what he's doing legal.

Lillian

Hi. We have access to a shared drive 6 houses. The owner of the drive did some work and now wants it shared 6 ways. Do we have to pay. Thanks

Jauna Beeks

We have been living in this house for over 40 years. The house next door has gone through several owners, and not 1 problem. Until the latest. Ends up they own the top 20-30' of a driveway that goes all the way back to the end of our properties, so we own about 75-80% of the driveway. They want to fence off what they own, giving us no access to our driveway and we would have to tear down a carport just to get in the back part of our property. What can we do?

Checkatrade

Hi Paul, I would recommend seeking legal advice and/or speaking to your local council.

Paul Austen

Hi there I share a drive 50/50 on deeds but neighbours wants to build own drive in front garden and come over shared drive by 3 foot stopping any vehicle going down drive Can he do that , I don’t think he can Any answers ???

Checkatrade

I would recommend speaking to a solicitor to get professional legal advice about your deeds.

Checkatrade

Hi Adrian, I would advise getting expert advice from Citizens Advice.

Adrian Mathias

Hi, i have a shares driveway with 2 other households. One household has a drain in her part of the driveway. She has had the drained cleared as it was blocked, she didn't speak to us before but now she would like us pay towards it. This drain wasn't causing trouble for anyone but her when it over flowed, it was block by the previous owners. I believe I shouldn't haveto pay as I get no benefit from it being unblocked and it not on my part of the driveway. What should I do?

sumeyye

I have a shared driveway leading to the back of the garden and I am not sure of my legal rights. Is there any chance that I could move my back garden fence into the drive to have my private space.

Checkatrade

Hi Nic, I would recommend speaking to a professional to get professional advice. A builder may be able to advise you but it would be worth speaking to a solicitor too. Use our request a quote feature to find a builder near you: https://www.checkatrade.com/post-a-job

Nic

Our neighbours want work doing to our shared drive but not all homeowners are agreeing for the work to done, (5people are shared owners). Can the majority insist the work is done?

Checkatrade

Hi David, thank you for your comment. If you're unsure, I would speak to your local authority.

david

the property i own is on the entrance to the garage blocks , to the houses in the close, the neighbour on the other corner continues to leave his van parked outside his garage ,there is also a back garden with vehicle access through the garages, is the van allowed to be parked there/?

Checkatrade

Hi Vera, we would recommend that you seek professional legal advice for your issue.

VERA MCEWAN

I own a property with a shared access driveway. My neighbours are tenants. They use the drive as if it is their own blocking access to the entrances to my property both pedestrian and vehicular. The landlord has little interest in the property except for the rent. Should any legal action be against the landlord, the tenant or both?

Checkatrade

Hi Anne, we recommend that you seek professional legal advice. Sorry we couldn't be of more support on this occasion.

Anne

Hi there, I would really appreciate some advice please- our neighbour owns the driveway that runs from the front to the rear of our home (end of our garden) and we own 1 of the 3 garages at the end of the driveway. Our neighbour owns the other 2. We have right of access to enable us access the garage. We have on street parking only at the moment & we don’t park in the garage as we store garden things in there. Ideally we would like to use a small portion at the end of our garden to create a driveway big enough for 1 car. We have no idea if this is even possible and was hoping to get some advice. Our neighbour is quite highly strung so we wouldn’t approach him until we were in a more informed position! Thank you for your time, Anne

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