Making changes to shared driveway

11 Apr 2005
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I currently have a shared driveway between my semi-detached property, that originally led to a separate garage in the back gardens. I have lived here for over 13 years, and before i bought the house, the garages were knocked down and a 6ft wall was built on the shared drive way with separate gates for private access to our back gardens at the back of the driveway between the 2 semi's. We currently both park a car each up the shared drive, but this is just not convenient any more, as one car has to be blocked in.

The question i have is, can i look to get a garage built again in the garden, and have this dividing wall taken down, obviously discussing this first with the neighbour. This would result in the neighbour no longer being able to park on the shared driveway, which was something that was agreed with the previous owner of the property, i just accepted at the time, but have come to regret.

The deeds clearly show the shared drive area, is there any legal standing, that now as the wall has been up for so long,does this part of the shared drive is now his, or legally should there be anything stopping me doing this?

If this is a no go, then the only option left would be looking to sell up and move on.
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The deeds should make specific provision for what rights and responsibilities owners of shared areas must do. One of them would probably be a clause regarding keeping it free, open and accessible at all times so technically the wall might be blocking it, and technically if you took the wall down and he parked his car there the car would be blocking it.. And this is a really good way to bring about a neighbourly dispute which makes it harder to sell up and move on.

If you can get two cars on your side, with the wall there, then you might be better off not taking it down. Or maybe you can convince your neighbour to go halves in on building a semi detached garage, and agree to remove the wall.. I wouldn't set about taking any law into your own hands though
The driveway was a through way to the back where the 2 garages once stood. I still see plenty of other properties in on my road, who have them, and this would be ideal. Its only wide enough for one car to get down at a time. We have 2 cars, and currently 1 parks on the driveway in front of my front bay window and again park the 2nd one on the shared driveway. I really don't think the neighbour is looking to change this, as at present, they are the only ones who benefit from the shared drive, as they have no other off road parking and they also have use of 2 cars. Only way i guess is to put this suggestion to them.
the double garage idea is a good one, but the neighbour may not want to spend the money. suggesting hard standing in his back garden for his cars might be a compromise and you build your garage. he might not be happy about it at first but ultimately it's a shared drive and he will be aware either of you could invoke this at any time.

also worth noting it will be harder to sell if the neighbour is using the shared drive as his private parking, as any new buyer would be walking into a ready made dispute on day one, so best to get it sorted properly.
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Thanks for all the responses, really appreciated. I know this is not going to go down well with the neighbour but this really does needs addressing. I'll keep you posted with the outcome.
The hardstanding was a good point. If you're throwing a few thousand quid at building a garage, you paying a few hundred extra for the concrete necessary for his side is a relative drop in the ocean and might make for a handy olive branch..
The suggestion of the hard-standing is a really good one, and the cost of building the garage is by far the cheaper and easier option for me than moving. As you say this could really help in making the a good thing for both parties.

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