godzillasurfer

Easement Maintenance

5 posts in this topic

Hello,

I have a question about driveway easement/right of way maintenance agreements.  My neighbor is currently selling his home and we recently found out that there is an old (1958) agreement in place between the 2 properties.  We have had a good relationship for the past 8 years so the dispute started because he would like to repave the driveway (again he's selling house) and we believe the driveway is still in good shape and dont want to spend the money to do so.  Things have started to get unsettled because of this and he most recently told my wife that he is going to tell the snow removal company to go back and charge us for our portion of the driveway since he's paid for those costs.

 

First let me explain a little about our properties and the driveway.  My property currently has 2 driveways.  The first one I refer to above is easement/right of way and has a maintenance agreement in place from previous owners.  The other one is on our own property and gives us access to our property.  We use both driveways but of course use "ours" more than the easement/right of way one.  We have always maintained our own driveway and paid the snow removal and he has maintained and paid the snow removal on the easement/right of way driveway.

 

So my question is whether i am responsible for the snow removal costs of the easement/right of way even though i maintain and pay for my own driveway?  The agreement doesnt state snow removal specifically but rather agree to keeping and maintaining in good order and repair.

 

Please let me know if more details of the agreement are necessary.

 

Thanks.

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One thing doesn't make sense.  Your neighbor threatens  "...he is going to tell the snow removal company to go back and charge us for our portion of the driveway..."  I assume the snow removal company has already been paid for the removal.  So, how can they bill you for something for which they have already been paid?

 

Did you use the easment after snow storms?  If so, I would expect you might contribute to the snow removal.  But, I would not think it would be legally required to do so if you do not use the easement when it snows.

 

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Yes you are correct it doesnt make sense.  I guess i was trying to make a point that he's trying to bully us with this type of thing (his friend owns the plow business) and that we'll agree to either (a) give up our easement agreement or (b) split the cost of a new driveway.

 

And yes occasionally we use the driveway after snow storms but for the most part we use our current driveway that we maintain.

 

 

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If the easement agreement contains the words you posted:   agree to keeping and maintaining in good order and repair.   In snow country that would include snow removal. But since he didn't ask for you to share payment in the past, does not, in my opinion, give him the right to bill you now.  He or the new owner may reasonable ask you to do so in the future. Your option would be to give up the easement, or pay to maintain in in good order and repair.

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On 3/5/2017 at 8:10 AM, godzillasurfer said:

My neighbor is currently selling his home and we recently found out that there is an old (1958) agreement in place between the 2 properties.

 

Agreements are between people, not properties.  Do you mean that an easement exists as a result of an agreement made in 1958 between the owners of your and your neighbor's properties?  Is this easement properly recorded with the county clerk?  Why are you only now learning of this agreement/easement?  Why didn't you discover it at or shortly before the time you moved in as a result of a title search?

 

 

On 3/5/2017 at 8:10 AM, godzillasurfer said:

My property currently has 2 driveways.  The first one I refer to above is easement/right of way and has a maintenance agreement in place from previous owners.

 

So...the driveway at issue is located on your property, but there is an easement in favor of your neighbor?  What are the terms of the maintenance agreement?

 

 

On 3/5/2017 at 8:10 AM, godzillasurfer said:

my question is whether i am responsible for the snow removal costs of the easement/right of way even though i maintain and pay for my own driveway?

 

I can't imagine the fact that you "maintain and pay for [the other] driveway" has anything to do with your responsibility (or lack thereof) to pay for snow removal on the easement driveway.  Presumably, the answer to this question depends on the terms of the "maintenance agreement," but you haven't told us anything about that, other than that it "doesnt state snow removal specifically but rather agree to keeping and maintaining in good order and repair" (note that the part of this starting with "but rather" doesn't make any sense).

 

P.S.  It's not clear from your post whether the maintenance agreement is part of the same document that created the easement or whether it is separate.  That's important because an agreement made by some schlub nearly 60 years ago isn't binding on you unless this agreement is part of the easement and runs with the land.

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