Shared driveways

Predominently in the 1930s, many properties were built as semi-detached houses, with shared driveways leading to garages to the rear of their respective land. Car ownership was sparse, with the average car per household not being more than 1. Over the years, car ownership per household became greater and the size of cars became larger.

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Predominently in the 1930s, many properties were built as semi-detached houses, with shared driveways leading to garages to the rear of their respective land.

Car ownership was sparse, with the average car per household not being more than 1.

Over the years, car ownership per household became greater and the size of cars became larger.

The dimensions of garages built in the 30s, became redundant for the parking of modern larger cars.

The size of alleyways in which cars were supposedly pass and repass, to be parked in garages, equally became impracticable to all but the most skilled of drivers, save for Motorcyclists, and cyclists, of course.

At Darlingtons Solicitors, we deal with many neighbour disputes, but in North-West London it is particularly a common problem amongst home-owners.

Should you park in an alleyway?

No you probably should not. The reason is that you will be blocking your neighbour’s right of way.

What happens if they have no car, and you have one?
This does not give you the right to park there, just because you have a car, and they have not.
What happens if they have a car and have been parking there for a long time?
It depends for how long, and whether you gave them permission to do so or not. They may have acquired rights by prescription or preference.
If you say, I give permission/I grant you a license to park over what is partly my land, then be sure to record it somewhere even if only in an informal agreement. In years to come, that document may become important.
If there was no agreement, and you said nothing, you may have unknowingly agreed and allowed your neighbour to acquire rights to park, or rights to use that land as they wish.
Can you agree an alternative parking arrangement to what you think you are allowed or entitled to do?
Yes you can. You can make an arrangement with your neighbour which is different from what you or they understand the situation to be.
Where is such an agreement usually recorded?
The Land Registry

Most land in England and Wales, is registered land which means that who owns what, attached to which property, is usually set out in the Proprietorship Register of Her Majesty’s Land Registry. You need to ask in the first instance for Office Copy Entries, together with a plan. It will cost you under £10 to do so.The Proprietorship Register will usually show that the alley between 2 houses, is common land between you. It is unlikely to ever say that one property owns exclusive rights over another, or else that other property could never have used their own garage. There would in any event be a natural right of way exercised over a period of years, providing an implied right of way of that shared piece of land.

The law on this subject is more complex than at first it would seem.

 If you have a shared drive issue or a neighbour dispute problem, talk to David Rosen. He has a wealth of experience in this area and a first discussion will be free of charge, and may provide the practical solution you need. 
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David Rosen • Disputes

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