I'm looking for a word to describe a configuration in which the back faces of several edifices belonging to the same building form an inner space where neighbours can hang out or put their clothes on the line to dry, and which is generally inaccesible to people not living in the building. At least some windows of each flat face this zone, and neighbours (stereotypically, busybody fish-wives) lean out of them to gossip, chatter or just while the time away.
A few examples of what I mean are this:
I found common courtyard, but from Google images I don't get the feeling this is the right word.
Is "common courtyard" accurate? How could I describe such idea otherwise?