Limit to number of parked cars in a private driveway?

Hi all, I couldn't find this question answered before: is there a legal limit to the number of cars that can be parked on a private driveway? We share a long driveway with a neighboring house, and every day and night I count 9-12 vehicles, trailers, motorbikes, etc. parked in front of their house (on a shared driveway). It is an eyesore, and a navigational challenge for us to leave as often their cars are jutting out (we share road access via the same driveway). It is a Portuguese family who runs a cleaning business with extended family all living together, and god knows who else.

Thanks for any experience in this matter!

Who owns the private road?

Before jumping to conclusions it's better to look at property map, other docs, even consult the land registry office. Get a clear understanding of the ownership of every sq of land where the road was build.

Step 1 is to determine the status of the road:

1) co-ownership of land where the road was built.

2) right of way to pass through the other property to reach yours and shared maintenance costs of the road.

This is in anecdote from home country.

Old person dies and descendant inherits. Landlocked neighbor with white hairs patronizes the younger new owner. The neighbor granting the passage through his new property took it personally .

Lawyer came to read the yellow papers and consulted the land registry. What was written was a right of way to access the landlocked property but no specific words about "X meters wide asphalt road". Lawyer interpreted this as "walking is enough" to grant access to the landlocked property and fulfill the obligations agreed by late grandpa. So, the access with a car was only a "favor" not supported by anything.

Next, the neighbor granting passage made sure everyone in town learned about this. Then, proceeded to offer the land where road was for a ridiculous amount to the landlocked neighbor. Landlocked neighbor found himself in a situation with no car access to property and every one town knowing about it. His property value was not zero, but took a serious hit. After some negotiation and lots of tears of the neighbor that initiated the dispute the transaction was made.

It's right-of-way to drive through his driveway to reach our driveway.

Complain to the owner of the property.

So you're complaining that someone is legally parking vehicles on a property they own?

We don’t know if they own or are renting.

So, there should be some terms associated to that right of way. A minimum width of the path to drive? If said min width is respected, the right of way agreement is respected.

About the eyesores, it's a bit more complicated. Rules are different in every gemeinde. In some places, there's a ban for mobile homes (wohnmobile). maybe in your gemeinde there's a rule about commercial vehicles and residential areas. Or, are they parking beyond the asphalt limits on some grass? There might be a regulation on that. But, these are indirect approaches, unless said parked vehicles block your way, not much to do.

Take a breath, read local regulations, and maybe talk to a lawyer. Until you know where you're standing, better say nothing.

No, I'm asking if there is a legal limit to the number of vehicles that one can park on one's property. Try reading my post again, I know it's challenging to try to read more than one sentence.

Ask your Gemeinde.

Our building has a large Vorplatz in front of the garages and some of the neighbours argued that we should mark it up as parking spaces. One of them did some drawings and I think came up with 10 spaces or so. When they asked the Gemeinde, they were told that with tolerances for turning, access etc there would only be 3 spaces allowed.

If this is a public parking place, where they allow other cars to park - then there are prescribed dimensions for each space, access, turning spaces, etc.

If this is their property and their cars, they can park all the functioning & maintained cars they want. Heck, they could double stack the cars if they wanted.

What they need to do is abide by the right of access (though note, many times these are for pedestrian access, it's not guaranteed that it's for vehicular access), and abide by safety rules (so if double stacking cars, these cannot leak oil/fuel, etc).

Similarly, they cannot turn their driveway into a car scrapyard with pieces of broken cars leaking fluids and whatnot... but that doesn't sound the case here.

I’m not a legal expert but I believe they can park as many vehicles as they want in their own driveway. If you have a legal right of way to access your property via their driveway they have an obligation to leave the minimum amount of space required for you and any emergency vehicles to easily pass to get to your property.

The easiest way to get a definitive answer would be to ask your commune/gemeinde.

What does your land registry document say? In German "grundbuchauszug".

What does theirs say?

This is the legal document which should state a right to drive over a particular area. This can also cover things like a footpath, drains, etc.

In Aargau you can look up ownership online, but a right of way/access is not online. A right of way is valid whether someone owns or their property is tenanted.

That being said, because it costs money to add and make changes to the land registry, sometimes owners just don't do it and they have an agreement, sometimes a letter, sometimes a verbal understanding. In some cases people have for years "tolerated" situations which were never in writing.

Then the ownership changes, or new tenants move in, and the problems begin.

Safety and aesthetics are two different things. We have a huge driveway. Could I park a motorhome or a boat on a trailer in it full time? Probably. Unless there is some rule against it which I am not aware of. You need to check with with local authorities if there are restrictions as to the type of vehicles which can be parked on a private driveway. There may be some restrictions.

Hope you can find a solution.

No need for them to be registered or even functioning on own property.


Not true. Zürich city for instance has strict regulations (at least for new builds) for the minimum and maximum number of parking lots per unit, be that residential, commercial, or whatever. Of course municipal regulation must be within cantonal rules.

Moreover, the answer may depend on the individual building permit, and as such on its age as the applicable regulations are bound to change over time.

In other words, OP, ask your municipality. While you're at it you may want to make sure that your neighbor's type of use of the estate is permitted. Using it for business purposes in a purely residential area, for instance, might be problematic, subject to the details of course.

We still don’t know if it is their property. The Portuguese people I know much prefer to own property in Portugal, even business owners.

If they rent it, it's their "own property".


This is where it gets interesting...

Those limits are for parking lots. Not for private land.

So, I could (arguably) build a house with 3 apartments and 3 parking spaces (official). Nothing would stop me using the garden to park another 5 cars.