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Drive way

I am relatively new on here so I apologise for any naivety in my post! 

I am thinking of buying a house but the driveway is shared with 3 other houses.  If  I can explain,  imagine a huge garden and a house right at the bottom with a driveway and then 3 houses only on the left...with a continuous driveway,  creating one huge driveway for all 4 houses! There are no walls and I have spoken to the vendors and they claim you can park 8 cars easily on their area. They also stated that they have never had any issues with the 3 neighbours. I suppose the advantage is 4 households have to responsible for the up keep of the drive but you could easily fall - out and get blocked in. Do I need to look at the deeds before I bid because I like the property and want to make an offer. Does anyone have any any advice because I am on my own and have no one to share my concerns with. 


  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Posts: 2,292
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    Yes, check out the deeds. The main problem will come when the driveway needs repairs - who pays what will have loads of arguments unless it is specified somewhere. e.g. the end house uses all of the drive so should pay most, the next house uses 75% so should pay a bit less and so on. Or, the damage is just past the 3rd house, so they aren't affected - you pay all of the repair. Can be a pain.

    As you say, blocking in could be an issue as well. It could all be fine and they are really nice neighbours, but then again.... 
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,522
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    Romepen said:

    I suppose the advantage is 4 households have to responsible for the up keep of the drive...
    This usually isn't an advantage, rather a possible cause of neighbours falling out.  One neighbour doesn't see the need for repair work and doesn't want to pay for it - what do you do then?  Or another neighbour buys a tank which trashes the drive - should they pay extra because they have caused the damage?

    There are also various meanings of 'shared'.  The land could be owned by one property which is responsible for maintenance paid for in shares by each household, or ownership of the drive could be split between the households with each one responsible for maintaining their bit.  You need to nail down exactly what the situation is, and what you are letting yourself in for.

    Also be aware that as the 'newcomer' it may be you against three others if there is any form of dispute - which can be a particular problem if there has been an informal agreement about arrangements which is different to the legal position.  For example the neighbours may have informally agreed to allow parking on the driveway despite the legal position being 'no parking'.  What do you do then if the neighbour's parking does obstruct your own access?
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,209
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 18 January at 10:14AM
    ... Do I need to look at the deeds before I bid because I like the property and want to make an offer. Does anyone have any any advice because I am on my own and have no one to share my concerns with. 
    Irrespective of the driveway issue, it is always sensible to buy the Land Registry Title and Plan (£3 each) for any property you are interested in. The more information you have the more sensiblen your decion will be.

    Assuming you proceed this is something to discuss with your solicitor, and it is often easier to do this with a local solicitor than a cheap online 'conveyancing warehouse'.

    From your description there is plenty of space for your cars to park - hown about the access? Is the drive very narror/easily blocked for example?
    As others have said, maintenance is  often the issue but the  Title deeds may enlighten on this point.
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,806
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Just have a walk around the other houses when all their vehicles are likely to be home. Do they have plenty of space?
  • coffee_cake
    coffee_cake Posts: 33
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 18 January at 11:19AM
    One of the houses could own the whole drive - a relative shares a parking area with other houses but he actually owns the whole area as part of the house ownership.  
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,185
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Another issue ( raised indirectly in another active thread) is that somebody might permanently park a big Motorhome or caravan on it . Or there might be neighbours with transit vans, minibus drivers leaving vehicle there for periods. 
    I have one neighbour where at one point they had 5 cars, two white vans and a large minibus parked in the street.
  • Desmond_Hume
    Desmond_Hume Posts: 71
    First Post
    I 900% would NOT entertain a shared drive.  

    At the end of the street where I am, there are 10 houses. 8 have shared drives (mine doesn’t, phew).  The sharing always causes an issue of some description. usually small, but issues nonetheless. And it’s exclusively caused by visitors of the houses. Visitors so desperate to park as close as physically possibly to the house they are visiting. Because God forbid they’ve have to walk an extra 50 feet. 

    It has once exploded into a full argument. One neighbour ended up moving. 

    So my experience tells me. Avoid, avoid, avoid. 
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