Neighbor Disputes | Right-Of-Ways

By Todd Fratzel on Design

Neighbor Disputes Over Right-Of-WaysProperty Right-Of-Ways

A friend of mine is going through a dispute with a neighbor about a right-of-way and I thought it was worth sharing. Many pieces of property have legal right-of-ways that grant access to pieces of property for many reasons. Furthermore, many property owners arean’t always aware of the right-of-ways and the significance of them. Most right-of-ways are commonly described as easements.

An easement is a legal term used to describe an “interest” to use a piece of land that you do not physically own. For example, your neighbor owns a piece of land directly behind your land and he does not have direct access (frontage) to the road. However, he has an easement deeded to him with his land that allows him to use a specific piece of your land for that access. The easement would contain very specific measurements and language indicating exactly where that access occurs on your property. This is very common with land locked pieces of property that have no frontage on a road.

Common Property Dispute

So my friend owns a piece of land that has no frontage to the nearest road. However, she does have a deeded right-of-way or easement across her neighbors land that grants her access from the public road to her property. Her neighbor that owns the land which the easement is located on wants to build a garage on his land within the easement. As  you can imagine this creates a very big problem for my friend as far as her deeded access. This is a very common problem that arises when one property owner wants to build or alter in some way an easement that has been in existence for many years.

Luckily for my friend she was notified by the Town Zoning Board of Adjustment about a public hearing in which the neighbor was asking for a variance in order to build the garage within the towns legal property setback. Abutters are always notified about Zoning hearings in the State of New Hampshire. When she attended the meeting she was suprised to learn that no one from the town was aware of her easement and right-0f-way to her property.

She was able to show the Zoning Board her deed and ultimately prevent the neighbor from building his new garage within the easement. What I wanted to point out is how important it is to attend public hearings when you are identified as an abutter. I also want to point out how important it is to read your deed occasionally and understand what rights are attached to your neighbor or the general public with respect to your property. Had my friend not attended that meeting it’s very likely that the neighbor would have been granted a variance to build his new garage. This is not to say that she could have taken the neighbor to court and had the garage torn down, but you can imagine the cost and aggravation that would have caused.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had a dispute with a neighbor regarding property rights?

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Paul says:

    Todd, this is an interesting subject for me. We have an easement to our neighbor’s well and well water! There is a pipe that goes under the road and terminates in our basement. We don’t use it and likely never will since we have our own well. Still, it is on our deed. I am not sure why they would do this, other than it was expensive to drill a well back in the day.

    • Todd says:

      @ Paul – I’ve never heard of an easement that drastic. It’s amazing some of the things that you find in deeds. I wonder if the owner of your property sold the other property and retained his right to the well on the other property? Very interesting indeed. I’m also amazed at home little most folks know about their property and the deed. I just filed for a tax abatement because 1/3 of our property has drainage and slope easements that the town isn’t recognizing in their assesment.

    • Jamie says:

      We have a shared right of way which has been used for over 50 years by multiple parties, the care taker of one of the pieces of property is now having the existing road survyed and wants to widen it to deeded maximum footage of 20′. It is now only about 12′. Are they allowed to do that and if so do they have to widen the whole right of way or can they just widen certain parts and would they have to pay the cost to have it widened and new gravel placed. There is no road maintaince agreement.

      • Todd Fratzel says:

        Sounds like a question for an attorney. Typically, with no agreement in place, the deed just grants access, not necessarily the ability to make physical changes. It’s worth the money to ask an attorney for advice.

    • Beth says:

      HI , we bought 24 acres and our land has our driveway coming up the left hand side of property. The driveway now also has a lease on it for a gas company. The nieghbor whos land meets the road ( not land locked in ) and is L shaped , which means up my left side and across my back side. He had his own road going up the hill behind his house ( no one lives in it). But after gas company leased the road and keeps it up nice, he now uses my driveway/gas company lease road to get to his land. He told us he had a right of way, but I looked over the deeds at court house and find nothing stating that. How long can he use the road before he can claim squatter rights on using the road.

  2. Tara says:

    Hi I have a neighbor who has a deeded right of way through my property to his landlocked property. We (and they) are great neighbors and good friends and we both have large 50+ acreages. We have recently built a new house for ourselves on our property and our contractor who has repeatedly proven himself completely irresponsible has placed our new septic tank just inches below grade and encroaching 7 feet into the 50 foot easement. My neighbor is concerned only due to repercussions that may come up if he ever has to sell the property. My contractor obviously doesn’t want to incur the expense of moving the tank and claims that the easement is criss crossed with buried power water and septic lines fom the old house anyway. Will this buried (just) tank become a legal issue if my neighbors try to sell their property?

    • Todd says:

      @ Tara – I’m not a lawyer but I think this is a fairly big deal. Wires, pipes, misc utilities are not that big of a deal, however, an actual structure like a septic tank is another issue. Now is the time to force him to fix the situation. Now if he was not aware of the right-of-way then it may be difficult to force him to move it. In my state of NH septic systems are built according to plans and they are checked by a state inspector. The plans must be accurate and everything must be built according to the plan. It’s also possible that your septic tank is not rated for vehicle traffic which would pose a problem with the right-of-way. Call an attorney or just tell him to move it. Best of luck!

  3. elaine says:

    My mother bought a house for me six years ago. A 30 foot easement which is a path has been used all this time. Recently a neighbor who’s land adjoins ours said I could not use this road anymore because it goes over about 10 feet of her land when I make a turn off the easement. My house address uses the path’s name. Can she legally deny me access to my house using this egress?

    • Todd says:

      @ Elaine – First let me say I’m not a Lawyer and questions like this are best presented to an attorney. However, if you have a true easement across your neighbors land then you absolutely have the right to use it. I would start by reading your deed and finding out what language is in it about the right of way. It’s very likely that you’ll need to get a surveyor involved and I would actually start there. If you don’t know exactly where your property pins are then you need to have them established to accurately figure this out. Best of luck!

  4. Dennis Kelley says:

    Hello, my question is about my shared driveway. I own the drive way
    and i get along with the nieghbor who has a right of way to his garage, however often he has my drive way blocked by his vehicles,
    repair companys, fuel trucks, visitors, etc etc. and i have to wait
    to get out of my drive way. If i park long enough to bring my groceries into the house and they want to get into thier garage and
    cant imediately they get extremly mad. I would like to know if i
    have any rights as i am the owner of the drive way. thank you in
    advance. Dennis Kelley

    • Todd says:

      Dennis – First off let me say I’m not an Attorney so I can only give you my experience from serving on a planning board. From the little I know there’s little that can be done other than to try and work it out, deal with the police or figure out a new arrangement that would make it easier for both of you to access your land. Having a right of way gives them pretty much the same rights as you.

  5. Veronica says:

    Todd my mom is buying a house and the garage is shared by two separate owners, my mom and the neighbor, at one point this entire property was owned by one person. So now that it’s split the neighbor shares a piece of the garage. Now my moms neighbor wants to knock down his part, my mom doesn’t have the money at this time to knock her part down. My question is can the neighbor do that?

    • Todd says:

      Veronica – Sounds like a classic struggle between neighbors that share property. The answer to this probably is written out in the Deed. The deed should spell out issues about maintenance, use, ownership, etc for that garage. It’s quite likely that both parties would have to agree on tearing it down unless the garage is in such dis-repair that it is considered a health and safety risk. Unfortunately I’m not a lawyer and issues like this are best handled with legal counsel. Good luck.

  6. Lisa says:

    I am living in a house that is part of my mother’s trust – she is elderly and lives with me and I will inherit the house. Originally, the property was about 4 acres with a house. My parents added a barn with a second driveway, then later added a house for my grandparents with their own driveway on the other side of the barn. After my grandparents passed on, that house was rented. Eventually my parents sectioned off the house with one acre and offered it as rental with option to buy to one tenant, who ended up purchasing it and has lived there about 15 years. Originally this neighbor was quiet/nice and we’ve had no disputes in the 2 years I’ve lived here. She has become accustomed to driving in her driveway, over my lawn, and out the driveway to my barn. It didn’t matter much when it was just her, but she has recently added her daughter and son-in-law to the household and they have a lot of friends/relatives. Now it’s like a freeway. I was told by several attorneys, insurance agents, etc. that I should not allow them to establish a right of way through the property as it would create legal problems for years to come, so I blocked the driveway. Now they are furious and getting the whole neighborhood involved – even turning my own brother against me. Should I back down and let them drive through whenever they want? My insurance agent told me if I do, I’ll need to increase my homeowner’s liability and I really can’t afford it.

    • Todd says:

      Lisa – These situations are always very difficult to deal with. In the end you may very well want to consult with an attorney. When ever I see or become involved in one of these situations I really encourage both parties to try and come to a sensible resolution. Here are some things to consider.

      – The adjacent property really does need a legal right-of-way. Remember your family created the new lot which they sold, and at the time granted a “right-of-way”.
      – If you’re not happy with the current right-of-way it would make sense that you help them access the property from another location. This is especially true if the first right-of-way was granted in writing or included in the deed.
      – Without seeing the property it’s very hard to guess what solution is best. You might want to offer the land necessary for the right-of-way if they pay for survey and legal doc prep. Again, try to work together.

      At the end of the day, i wouldn’t recommend doing anything without legal counsel.

      Good luck.

  7. Susan says:

    There is a septic tank and driveway agreement attached to our property. The way I read it is the septic is between properties so we share the septic and the driveway. Real Estate Co was telling prospective buyers that we share water also while we were telling them they needed to drill a well. We had to have a well drilled because one of the neighbors broke ours. The agreement clearly states that the cost of repairs to septic and driveway is shared but there is absolutely no mention of the water or the well. While I realize you can’t use the septic without water we had to bear the cost of drilling a new well on our own and nothing is mentioned in the easement agreement that if something happens to the well we share the cost. So now they are basically threatening to sue us.

    • Susan says:

      I should also mention that we have talked with 2 lawyers who are in agreement with us. But I believe that the real estate company “should” have talked with us about it first. Bad enough that they never came down and showed the property. You called a number, they gave you combination to the lock. Which sent prospective buyers over to our house to ask what we knew about the house!!! And he is a carpenter so he knows EVERYTHING!! Including tearing down the flowering ivy I bought at Walmart saying it was poison ivy!! Cost us $7000 to drill well and they are only offering $2000 for the right to run lines but no offer to share the costs if anything should happen.

      • Todd says:

        I’m no lawyer so this is purely speculation at best. Seeing that there’s no agreement in place, seems only fair that each property has to have their own well. Now, in some situations there’s a well radius easement in place due to the proximity of a septic system. That allows an abutter to possibly drill a well on a neighbors property, but at their own cost.

        Good luck…sounds pretty crummy.

        • Susan says:

          Thank you!, We inherited the property after the death of my father who was the last one who would know what the story is. The property has been vacant since my aunts stroke in 1998 when they moved her back to Kansas City. My mother passed in 1999 and my aunt in 2000 and my father just let the property sit here uninhabited. Something went wrong with the well and my understanding is that the backyard neighbor tried to fix it and broke it. I guess my dad didn’t want to pay for a well when nobody was using the property. Just makes me wonder what if…my dad hadn’t passed and they bought the house next door and didn’t have water. I’m guessing they would have had to drill a well!!! It’s very aggravating!!!

  8. Rebecca says:

    If one party breaches the contract on an easement doesn’t that make the contract null and void and they can loose the easement and use of the property?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      That’s a question for a lawyer. I highly doubt it though, an easement is a deed restriction, enforceable by the court. I doubt it cancels the deed restriction.

  9. Susan Baresel says:

    Sheriff says any easement disputes have to go through court before they can be enforced. Gahhhh!!! Pretty sure they are waiting for us to foot the cost but it’s almost been a year, they still have no water but they recently purchased a truck (WTH!!!!) So even though e have to deal with them being hateful towards us we’ll just let it ride

  10. Susan Baresel says:

    Now they’ve been overheard talking about building a privacy fence which would keep us from our share of driveway easement.

  11. Sean says:

    My neighbor has a right of way easement through my yard for his driveway.
    He wants to install a new bigger wider driveway and wants me to remove trees from my yard as well as regrade the land to avoid flooding.
    I already told him he could remove the trees but now he wants me to pay.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Sean – First and most importantly this is really an issue for a lawyer. I’m not one and wouldn’t even want to pretend to be one! So get some real legal advice because these type of issues can get expensive if they get out of hand. Having said that, my understanding is a right-of-way is just a right to pass. MUCH different than a shared driveway that often has a legal document attached describing cost sharing for maintenance and improvements. So, it’s likely he has the right to modify the physical right of way in order to create a driveway. He likely has no right to ask for money, and no right to cause drainage impacts to your property. Again, these are issues best left to a lawyer. Good luck.

  12. Nicole says:

    We have property across which several neighbors must pass to access their landlocked properties. Because our property used to be a working ranch, there has been a locked gate at the entrance to our land since the 1920s, to which all neighbors have keys. The right to pass over our property is historical but is not legally recorded or deeded; it used to be by a kind of agreement among amiable neighbors, who would close and lock our gate as they came through. However, in recent years new owners have arrived and bought the landlocked lots. These owners consistently neglect and often outright refuse to close and lock our gate. This has resulted in several thefts of expensive equipment and in trespass by armed men hunting illegally. These neighbors do not care even though we’ve reminded them politely, and when the lock goes missing and needs to be replaced we suspect hey have stolen it. Their attitude is that our land is a buffer for theirs from these threats. The irony is that they have locked gates at the entrance to their own property!
    My questions are: shouldn’t we have the right to physically control access to our property and protect our possessions and persons through a locked gate if we provide all neighbors with a key? And secondarily, is there any way to legally compel these neighbors to lock the gate and help protect our land and my family?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Unfortunately all I can recommend is seeking legal counsel. The sooner you find out what your rights truly are within the law the better. I wish you luck.

  13. Richard says:

    I was perusing some of your questions and answers above and saw a post about a site having drainage and slope and a request for a tax abatement for having this…my commercial property in Maynard, MA has the same thing does every town have a regulation covering a lower tax if this is the case?

    Part of the post is below:
    I’m also amazed at home little most folks know about their property and the deed. I just filed for a tax abatement because 1/3 of our property has drainage and slope easements that the town isn’t recognizing in their assessment.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Richard – Not a regulation, but it can be considered in the evaluation of the fair market value of the property.

  14. Suzi says:

    A problem: we have a deeded easement over approximately 500 yards of the neighbors property. We maintain and use approximately 400 of those yards and the remaining 100 yards are used by both us and the neighbors. Over the past 10 days the drive has become an ice-skating rink due to their heavy traffic and lack of concern for the condition of the driveway. We are elderly and I am disabled and in poor health and if an ambulance is needed it would be impossible for them to get in (we live better than 1/4 mile back in off the main road) to us. The neighbors have taken to parking their vehicles out on the main road and walking out to them but we cannot do that due to my disability. They still attempt to drive their vehicles in and keep making the driveway and our easement totally impassable. Is there any law that can prevent them from land-locking us due to their lack of maintaining/causing this problem. My husband has handled the maintenance in the past but they continually destroy any improvement done to the easement/right-of-way. We are stymied and also becoming increasingly concerned because we have no way to get groceries or for me to obtain my weekly blood work that is needed for my well being. Please help.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Suzi – sorry to hear you’re having issues. Deeded right of ways can be problematic if there’s not some type of deeded maintenance agreement. My experience on the local planning board here in NH is that we try to insist that a maintenance agreement is drafted by legal council and then recorded so the parties all know the responsibilities. Sounds like you need to sit down with your neighbors and work things out, unfortunately without some sort of agreement you’ll likely be on your own. Best of luck.

  15. Susan Baresel says:

    Unfortunately what we’ve learned with a deeded easement is that you have to file with the court who investigates, then make their decision before a sheriff can come out and enforce it. Ugh. I’d think with a deeded easement it should be enforced without the court expenses!!!

  16. Rebecca says:

    We have a deeded right of way with a neighbor and all the maintenance is laid out. She pays a pro rata share. When we had a big flood we had to have the main driveway redone and she told me let me know how much it is and I will pay half. When I gave her the bill for phase one she said she didn’t have the money. Mind you this person has a business and just built a million dollar home on top of a mountain. She has 1700.00. We asked several times for the money and now we are going to Small Claims Court. I wish we would have never given the right of way. I wish there were a way to cancel this agreement. IS THERE? She claims now we went above and beyond what was needed, she could have done it cheaper, we didn’t consult with her on the plan. IT”S MY PROPERTY!
    I had a parked car towed because they only have ingress egress. Just make sure to anyone out there that you spell everything out in detail!! PROTECT YOURSELF.

  17. frank sears says:

    I cross over 2 lots at a marina to get to the water as my lot is on an island across from the marina. I have parked at the rivers edge for the last 10 years. Now the marina owner is saying I can no longer park my car at the rivers edge and I have to park my car off the marina property,can he do this.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Depends on what your deed says. Have you read your deed to see what if any right of way you have?

    • James Hatcher says:

      If you have parked at the same place for 10 years and an easement to park isn’t on your dead you may be able to file a claim for adverse possession or a prescriptive easement depending on the state. States have differing time requirements. Usually 5, 10 or 20 years depending the nature of the claim.

  18. Rick says:

    my septic system has been on another persons property since 1980 and am now in the process of selling what would be the new owners concern?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Rick – Depends on if you have an easement for that. If you do not, then the new owner has a huge potential liability.

  19. Annette says:

    We purchased a ball park and there is aright of way between park and a neighbor on road coming into park. so right of way is between both properties. Purchase of park was from a city not individual. The city put up a fence to keep people from trespassing, we ask that they leave it up to keep people out also. Neighbor is now not liking fence being up. There is room and a drive way beside fence and they also have a drive way on their own property. What would be rule on fence? Does it have to be taken down? It is not blocking them at all

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I’m not an attorney. The right-of-way should be clearly described in the deed. The language in there will say exactly how the right-of-way is to be maintained, how large it is, etc. If the fence is in the right-of-way, it likely is not legal.

  20. Patricia Young says:

    Thank you for this article . It answers a lot of questions I have about easements . I recently bought a property with full intentions of fencing the backyard for my dogs. I received a call from my neighbor this morning saying you know we have an easement across your property and I’m afraid you can’t put your fence across it. This was not disclosed at the closing or by the previous owner, who has since died. I made a few calls and long story short , it’s true they have an easement to their landlocked lot behind my house. She dropped a hint that the previous owner of my property had talked to them about buying the easement . My question is I own the property ,what is there to buy ? All they have is an easement or right of way . Can they build a driveway if they sell the lot ? It is 10 ft from my house

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Patricia – Glad you found the article useful. Matters like this are best handled with an attorney (i’m not a lawyer! :)). An easement allows passage from one point to another across a specified width. In most situations, they could indeed build a driveway as long as they pay for the expense and maintain it at their own cost. Every state has different laws that pertain to easements so it’s best to discuss with a lawyer. It’s also possible that you could install a fence as long as it had a gate allowing them access to their property. Again, something that a lawyer could help with.

      Best of luck.

  21. Kory says:

    I have some property that is landlocked and my right-of-way passes through a neighbors similar to the description of your situation. I wanted to know, is there any way that my right of way can be transitioned into a road, or driveway, so that I may build a home on my property? Or that is not possible unless the neighbor would SELL me that strip of land (which they wouldn’t do)??

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Kory – Really need to discuss with a lawyer. Each State deals with right-of-ways differently. A right-of-way gives you access to a piece of property, in most cases it would allow you to build a driveway. Good luck.

  22. Carmen says:

    I share a driveway with my neighbor which leads to both of our garages. My neighbor has begun bringing all sorts of construction materials which he takes from his job and is now selling these materials from his garage. There are people constantly parking on the driveway in order to load the materials that they are purchasing from this person. Not to mention the strangers now walking up and down the driveway to check out his inventory. Is there anything that I can do to stop this madness? Not only do I feel unsafe with strangers coming into the back, it is inconvenient and an invasion of privacy. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Hard to say. I guess the first thing I’d look into is whether local Zoning allows him to run this type of business from the garage. Also, if you have a shared driveway agreement (legal document), then you should see what it says as well.

  23. jackie says:

    We bought land from our neighbor which included a right of way for him to get to his house/property. He has sold more land and the buyers only way to get to this land is use our right of way. I know he can not build on the property because he doesn’t have road frontage. Just this week there are logging trucks going down our right of way is this legal without our consent or is it even legal for him to use the right away for such? The ground has not frozen and it is going to ruin the right of way road. Any thoughts, suggestions or advice? I also have a copy of our deed and the deed that was done up when land was sold to the new buyer from our seller. Thank you in advance

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      The deed should clearly address his right to access the property. Here in our area, we require a private roadway agreement to cover things like damage to the right-of-way to help in these type of disputes. As I always say, check with your lawyer, better yet sit down and discuss with the other party before it turns into an expensive dispute. Good luck.

  24. diane powers says:

    I live in a rural area in CA. and use an easement to access my property. The owner of the easement has a renter who has dogs which often run loose and chase my car. They have a fence around the mobile they rent but it is in disrepair. today the renter complained to me about driving down the easement and going fast enough to hurt her dog. I admit I was going faster than usual and apologized for it but told her the easement has a purpose and that is for me to access my property. The best solution for her would be to control her dog. By the way, the owner has dogs who chase my car as well. I also told the renter my daughter had her new car that didn’t even have plates on it yet scratched by her dogs when she stopped on the easement whilst coming to visit. My question:?What rights do people have from being chased on an easement while driving and walking by loose dogs and are there speed limits?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Diane – I’m no lawyer…but sure sounds like a normal civil matter, no different than if a dog was pestering you walking on the side walk…..local authorities I’m sure can help you figure it all out. Good luck.

  25. I moved into my new home 1 yr. ago . The property is located on 2 corners, 2 separate lots which sit on 1 acre; my residence is on one and the other is wooded.

    My neighbor has told me that I actually don’t own 3,000 sq. ft. of my undeveloped lot because of a municipal right-of-way and she can trespass, cut down my trees, and use that land whenever she wishes, because the township has a right-of-way there.

    Is this correct ??????? Should I contact the township solicitor or deal with this issue on my own ??????

    I live in Plains Twp. , PA.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Rich – Definitely contact the township. It’s very common for towns/cities to have right of ways on private land. My own personal home has as drainage easement on it for the Town. However, the Town, and only the Town has the right to do work on it solely for the drainage. I can’t build on it, but at the same time, the Town as a responsibility to notify me if they need to do something. I highly doubt she as a citizen has any rights to the right of way.

  26. Christina says:

    My neighborhood has a shared well on one neighbor’s property. There are 6 houses on the well in total, and each of the 5 of us off property have a part in our deed that says that we must have access to the well at all times. The neighbors who own the property with the well built a garage around it before I moved in, and now they’ve locked the garage. A few days ago they turned off the well, then left for a week. The police wouldn’t open the garage to turn the water back on, they said we’d have to go through a civil court unless we can find the law that says the neighbor can’t block access to the well. Is there such a law, and do you know how to find it?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Christina – That’s a rough situation! It will likely require a court order for the police to open it unfortunately. Now, because it’s water and needed for basic life safety it’s likely a judge would hear it very quickly. A deed is a VERY powerful document and locking that garage is not going to win them any points with a judge. Quite honestly I can’t imagine how that garage was allowed to be built….around here I’d imagine a judge would order it taken down. Good luck….

  27. Aimee Vasquez says:

    Hi Todd, I have an easement on my neighbors property for road purposes. The road follows a creek and recently chunks of it washed out from flooding. The neighbor says we are responsible for damages and that we will need to build a bridge if it completely washes out. I see nothing in the easement stating us being responsible for erosion from the creek. It just states 25 feet wide to be used together along an existing gravel road, with more or less boundaries marked. He has threatened to get an attorney and file lawsuit. We just moved here and feel bullied. Thanks

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Aimee – Best advice….have a lawyer review the deed so you know what your rights are before the neighbor makes life difficult. Good luck.

  28. jeff clark says:

    evening todd…as my mother in law is approaching 90 years of age and her health is failing…i’m finding out the property being willed to my wife has an easement/right of way…the other party has tried routinely to buy this property since my father-in-law has died 5 years ago…this situation is coming to big problems and the..harassment..coming from this property owner is only getting worse..roaming dog trespassing on property..American flag on flagpost being deemed on right of way being demanded to remove…we have hired 2 surveyors..first one started then just disappeared..2nd one..waiting on results…90 year old is stressing out to the point of being in and out of the hospital…help!! I know u are nota lawyer..but some advice would be appreciated b4 the law has to step in…state of pennsylvania

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Jeff – Hopefully the survey will shed some light on all this for you and your family. Right of Ways are quite powerful property rights that allow access typically to landlocked parcels. The right of way typically has to be clear to allow passage to that property. A flag poll that prevents passage may in fact be an issue. Wish I could help more…good luck.

  29. Ann Smalls says:

    Hi Todd, My husband an I just sold our property. We have a right of way easement. We will close on home in 1 week. The new owner is aware of the easement. My husband brother have a lot that is landlocked and want us to give his new buyer access to cross over our property. Shouldn’t he wait for the new buyer of our home to give his okay? We only have a week to go for closing. He will close on his lot in 2 weeks. Why did he wait so long to contact us? I feel like his buyer should have handled this before making an offer on his property. What do think?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Well you’d need to have a proper deed prepared by an attorney and then recorded….a week doesn’t seem possible so I doubt you could do it even if you tried.

  30. mike martin says:

    can i be forced to stop using an easement that is in the deeds of all the land serviced by the easement. i can use this easement to get to my home but i also have other access to my home. this other access is not on the property that i live on. it is next door to the property that i live on and i own it. there is no easement on the deed that gives the property that i live on the right to use it. i am concerned that if i can be forced to stop using the recorded easement and if for some reason i no longer can use the private driveway of the other property that i will not be able to get to my home i live in.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Mike – Good question for a lawyer for sure. But, as far as I know, you cannot lose your property right (i.e. easement) without giving it up yourself.

  31. Ryan Carr says:


    I live on a private street with 9 homes.

    The easement for the road is 30 feet, but the road itself is only about 18 paved feet wide.

    For other reasons a few of the neighbors are upset with us and have decided a good way to get revenge is to build a fence right up against the road across from our driveway – to make it harder to get in and out… but not impossible.

    Is there any action that can be taken, or should we just let it go and be careful and warn visitors to be careful when exiting the driveway with the new obstruction?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Ryan – If it’s difficult to get in the driveway, it’s likely you can get the fence moved but it will most likely involve getting a lawyer.

  32. Blanca Muñoz says:

    I own a lot in a city subdivision a few months ago road construction began. The construction company re did the curb and drive ways to every single lot (50ft×120ft) except to ours the thing is they broke down our fence post and put the neighbors driveway on our property they also removed the rod marking the surveyer had put. We have spoken to city manager, to the man in charge of the construction and his excuse was that our lot didnt show up on the blueprint. I showed him the papers i have from the city, from the surveyer, and from the real estate in wich my property shows up and in wich it shows we had a drviway before the road construction begun. I pay taxes and have a city address im pretty sure it was an excuse from them. When I showed them all that his next excuse was o it’s because you have an empty lot to wich i answered that my lot wasn’t the only empty lot in the neighborhood but was the only one with no driveway. I cant seem to get help from anyone not even the city. What should I do? Do you think I have the right to make the construction company remove the neighbors driveway from my property also make them replace my fencepost an make them responsible as to paying a surveyer to come and mark my property again because not only did they remove the front rod marking but also the markin on the back of my property. I have bo idea why if there is no road running through the back of my property. This is so frustrating.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      The only advice I can give you is to seek legal counsel. The reality is, it will likely take an attorney to properly sort it all out. Good luck.

  33. David says:

    My Dad bought his house in 1974 and was very good friends with the neighbor my dad had a garden on what the neighbor and my dad thought was my Dad’s when the neighbor past away he left it to he’s niece and in 2005 my dad signed the house over to me and I took it over and contained to use the garden the niece past away in 2007 and her grandson was left the house he had it surveyed and come to find out the garden is on his land but he let me keep picking the asparaguses and horse radish and the 2 pair trees my mom and dad planted in like 1998. Now the neighbor and I are not on good terms half of his septic tank and drywell is on my property and he has no easement but my lawyer say’s there’s not much I can do about it but is there any way I could get an easement to keep harvesting my vegetable’s on that part of the land.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      That’s really an issue both of you have to work out together…sounds like you both need easements :)

  34. JB says:

    My neighbor has an easement to drive through my property to access her driveway. It is a dirt road until it connects with her driveway. She wants to pave the easement and is willing to pay for it. We are not in favor of this level of improvement to the easement for three reasons: it’s unattractive, its permanent stir will likely increase our property taxes. She claims she doesn’t need our permission and she’s only informing us out of curtesy. Is she right? Can she pave property she doesn’t own? We are in NH.

  35. Nikki says:

    Your articles and comments have answered so many questions! We have an 18′ easement through our neighbors property but so also another driveway to reach our home so we rarely use the easement. Because it is not used often our neighbor has started parking trailers, piling wood and grass clippings and garbage on the easement. We do occasionally need to use it for the convenience of not trying to turn a horse trailer around on our property and every time we need to we need to let him know ahead of time then help him move everything. This is frustrating for one and for two I’ve heard you can lose easement rights if it’s not used. Is this the case? I do know our neighbor tried on several occasions to purchase the easement from the previous owners but they refused. Now we feel bullied into feeling it’s like they are doing us a favor to use what we own. Do they have an obligation to keep it clear and passable?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      First you should read the language in your deed carefully. Then, you’d likely need to discuss with an attorney.

  36. Walt. says:

    Three parties own a shared lot on a waterfront in Maine, now one party has installed dock and parked his boat on the common beach…is this allowed without requesting permission from the other two owners? also, what happens if one of the owners agree to the dock and one doesn’t, any ideas? thanks

  37. Cortney says:

    I recently purchased a home in my town’s Historical Zone. About 20 years ago, the prior neighbor added onto my driveway on their property to have additional parking utilizing my street front entrance to gain access to their property. They have two separate driveway access points to the property, both accessible by main and side roads. One entrance on the rear of their property is a “service entrance” for house and property staff, the other a private access point for the residents of the home. Both homes have taken new ownership, multiple times in the last 7-8 years. There was not an easement filed and there are no statements in either deed that states the neighboring property has rights/access to use my driveway to access the addition. Since this is not a sole entrance or access point to their property, what rights do I have to cut off or restrict access/use of my entrance?
    My main concern is it poses a liability risk, if they were to run over one of my children’s toys/bikes or even injure one of my children/guests or if one of their guests or self were injured on my property gaining access to theirs. It also hinders the full use of my driveway when we have more than one vehicle to park due to the issue of blocking their access to get to their portion of the adjoining driveway.

  38. Carol Abel says:

    I own 20 acres with a house,our niebors have a 10 foot wide road easement through our property,they bought 40 acres next store and are building a house,we have 2 dogs,we put up a gate to keep our dogs on our property,but they hardly close the gate,they had a problem wanted us to keep our dogs home,are they required to close the gate to keep our dogs on our side

  39. Katie says:

    We found out at our closing, when purchasing our house, that we have an easement to the state park through a neighbor’s property. No one uses the easement; the two neighbors who share it with us didn’t even know about it. The owner welcomed us and when I mentioned it she told me she had built a fence across it. It’s been four years and we still want to use it but don’t know what to do. I see the easement on a plot plan we got at closing but I am not aware of a deed. Where would we find this document? Thanks.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      The deed should be located at the County Registrar of Deeds. Call your local tax department and they can tell you where to go.

  40. katie says:

    the only off street parking at my home is a large lot behind the house, but the only way to access this is through a driveway owned by the neighbors. how do i find out if there is an easement or right of way that allows me to drive on it to access my lot

  41. Heather Allison says:

    We use a shared driveway with 3 other people. There are people that do not own the driveway riding four wheelers all the time. One of the neighbors that does share the driveway gives them permission. Can we tell them no since we also own the driveway.

  42. Mallory says:

    I am the homeowner of a parcel of land that is adjacent to the backside of a two-story apartment building. The building is on their property line, with forty parking spaces in front. The new owner is suing me for access thru my property and loss of revenue.The city issued plenty of citations to the previous owner for building violations, councilman was pushing for it to be torn down.The new owner is a lawyer and member of the City Commerce, Government Affairs Committee.He wants to do major repair alongside my residence and backyard.I was wronged before by allowing its owner on my property damaged fences, didn’t do work they stated.

  43. Lina says:

    Hi. I live in California. My neighbor and I share a driveway, I own most of it, her side of the driveway is not wide enough for a car. She recently talked about doing some construction on her property. She said the contractor will not build unless we sign a shared driveway agreement. Is that common? What’s in it for me?

  44. Antoinette says:

    I am a homeowner in North West Arkansas. There is no existing easement or right-of-way in-force on my property, however, the neighbor’s behind me must cross my property to access their property. I have always allowed this and don’t have a problem with it. Now, they have sold the place and the “new” owners cannot get their mortgage closed because there is not a written right-of-way. The tile company is wanting me to “sign” off on a right-of-way so the bank will grant them the loan. I do not feel comfortable doing this. What all would this allow them to do?

  45. Cheryl says:

    I am in dispute with neighbor over a right of way. I live on side of main road i gave both my neighbors permission to cross my driveway to gwt to their property. Thwy each have separate driveways. But one neighbor decided to cut a road behind his house into the other driveway si he could just drive around and use both driveways. He never had permission. I own the driveway that he made a road to enter on. He didn’t have permission. He claims it’s in deed but thus driveway did not lead to his property yntul he made a new road. Is thus legal

  46. Darcy says:

    Our property has a right of way which states “for the benefit of — “neighboring property owner: — and for the benefit of Dutt” – does this allow him to let his friends pass through our property to go hunting of his land?
    His property is behind ours and is otherwise landlocked. Several times a month trucks go thru stating they have permission from the “property owner” to pass over to his property. We have small children playing outside. We are at the end of a road which is in bad shape already.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      You’d really need to check with an attorney. Most likely, the deed allows the owner and whomever they designate access to their property.

  47. MIRIAM says:


  48. Theresa says:

    My husband and I live on the East end of a very narrow (9ft.,) gravel, abandoned township road.There are also 2 land-locked properties (with easements) at the West end of the road. After Hurricane Agnes (‘72) destroyed the bridge,the road became a dead end lane. The 2 property owners have since been exiting through our property and past our home on the East end. One of the property owners have moved & are now renting their property. The 3 original renters turned into 6 renters & the dusty lane has now become a major interstate! There is no respect for our property as they continue to speed. They create more and deeper pot holes while making muddy ruts on our property as they try to avoid the pot holes. There are signs posted which ask drivers to proceed slowly. I’ve tried talking to them and have bought pizza for them for complying, however, it didn’t last long! I finally gave them a letter stating that they are using an easement through our property to get to their property. I stated that they are tresspassing on our property when they create ruts along the shoulders (lawn).Since the lane is too narrow to allow passage of converging vehicles they have been pulling into our parking area to allow others to pass. I told them that they will have to follow the procedures from the past where drivers had to back up. This is now causing issues with the other owners who didn’t have to deal with the renter’s traffic. They now want to have the road widened to permit passage (on our property). As I stated previously there was no issues with the width of the road until the renter’s moved in. Knowing that you are not an attorney what is your opinion? An attorney is the next step! Thank you.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      You really should work with an attorney….the deed to your property is the key to this situation.

  49. Annonymous says:

    What are my rights in NYS, NYC? I live in my home over 40 yrs, new neighbors moved in 6 yrs ago, have continuously(24/7)used heavy machinery, toxic & pungent fumes to gut & do construction, causing health & home destruction for myself! Now it seems they’re speaking with another contractor about adding an easement, higher fence and/or porch to attach to my existing porch, do they have the right without informing me, & can I stop work if they’re attaching without my permission to my existing property(porch or awning? As it is, they have no morals, no courtesy, common decency, that when I’ve confronted them on several occasions to let them know they’ve broken through firewalls, broke into my chimney causing carbon monoxide poisoning, & entered my crawl spaces, both up & down, g= they’ve stated exact same phrases: “I don’t think so, I can’t remember, maybe he/she was working & I didn’t hear it, It never happened.What can I do about these harassing & annoying neighbors who’ve hindered my health & home? I’ve had Police, Fire, Emts, gas, electric, contractors, roofers(as they have blocked my gutters by pouring water & other debris into them), plumbers,&other repair persons due to their destruction & I am now under doctor’s care for irreversible lung damage, high blood pressure, nerve damage & other ailments. I was healthy when I retired & they moved in & also had my insurance company in due to the hurricane to validate that my chimney & house were well maintained.

  50. Lucy says:

    Our house was built in the middle of a 40 acre field (no joke). After years, the original owner sold the property to a contractor and he developed a subdivision. The original home was surrounded by a wooden fence and was there from the beginning. The contractors that developed this property made the road leading up to our home a “way.” The fence still remains half way down but directly across from our home, the neighbor in the subdivision tore the fence down. We were told that half of our property, accessing the front of our house and no access needed to the neighbors was called a right of way. This neighbor does not use the road (way) to access his home at all.
    How do we go about changing the name of our road or the “way”?

  51. Oma says:

    We live n a private right of way . it’s a dead end with 6 Homes 2 of which we own.Our new neighbor at the end wants to use this access for a commercial Farm . Nobody on the road wants it. the road is one car width wide we have to pull over and let each other pass. The gravel is washed out and worn down because of the culvit at the driveway of these people who want to use it for commercial farm access. What is our legal stand in NH?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Time for an attorney unfortunately. Most likely there should be some language in the deeds about changes of use.

  52. Brian Moody says:

    Hi Todd. Four years ago I bought a house with 6.1 acres of land here in Littleton NH. Our neighbors above us have 50 acres and got a right of way to build their 3/4 mile driveway through the previous owners (now ours) land. The .6 actes of land that we own across the driveway is loaded with great timber and the most fantastic views of the presidential range. I have started to make myself a rough access road for my utv in order to access the property and my neighbors have started to block my access with branches and brush. They also have buried power lines through our property with a transformer that sots right in the middle of the .6 parcel. I paid four thousand dollars for a proposed lot line adjustment in 2014 so they could own the .6 but they ultimately decided they didnt need it after our original oral agreement to share the cost of the survey and the stipend to purchase it. Needless to say, the love was lost early on and now I am trying to assess my rights to A. access the propert on the other side .B. utilize the driveway, and D. Tap into the transformer in order to have buried power to a new house that i am building on our 1800 ft of road frontage. Very interested in your thoughts.Thanks, Brian.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I know you likely don’t want to spend more money…but getting an attorney involved is really the best approach. Property rights are a big deal here in NH, I’m sure both parties need to learn what’s at stake here. I’d speak with the power company about the transformer, that really depends on how owns it…if the power company owns it and it has sufficient capacity then there should be zero problem with tying into it…but typically they are sized for one property.

  53. Hello, our neighbor has a right of way on our long driveway, his land touches my driveway for about 100 yards, it’s a 50 foot right of way, 25 feet from the center both sides. This neighbor is parking junk trailers and old campers on his side of the easement, but they’re only about 8 feet from the center of the road, not 25. Can he do this? It’s so close to my driveway that I really have to hug my side when I drive my truck through. Can I get a court order or something so he has to move his junk off of the 50 foot right of way? Thanks.

  54. Nikki Stone says:

    Dealing with a driveway issue. We have a neighbor with a house built behind us without direct access to the road. When that house was built in the 40’s a driveway was by built to the street and the houses on either side given access. The problem is that for some reason, the home behind owns land 28 ft back from the street, then there is a 10ft gap where our neighbor to our right owns the land, then the driveway owners land picks up again all the back to their home. Our new neighbor has threatened to tear up the 10ft of driveway they own to expand their yard in an attempt to force the driveway owner to move the driveway over 2 feet into what is currently our yard. The driveway owner owns a 2ft slice of our yard along the driveway all the way to the street. Driveway owner is furious and upset and so are we since we would lose a good chunk of our back and side yard if they are able to do this. Our hones have been on this site over 100 years and no other owners have had an issue with something like this. What rec ok use might we have?

  55. Jermeiah G.S. says:

    It is very important to know what the language is that is an part of your deed which allows ‘others’ to travel through your property.
    There is an Easement noted on my property allowing the owner of the land behind my property – to have egress, ingress and regress – This means into, out of and if the owner had accessed their property by some other avenue to exit their property via the easement. No standing/parking or blocking your ability to travel to your/my property is also on record PERIOD

    This means – ‘that’ property owner or anyone they contract to perform an service on their property MUST travel without stopping INTO their property – beyond the property line. They do not have the right to park on your property or the easement (blocking it for any period of time)when they need to inspect/perform an service on their property which is wild and remains in an natural unchanged/unimproved state.

    Only the owner of record has the right to travel [only] on the easement to their property – not their entire family living elsewhere. After all the event should not violate your right to maintain the existence of Private Property and not create an nuisance. The owner of the property must notify me IF they contracted someone to travel across the easement – this restriction I place to assure SECURITY! IF – I see someone other than the owner of record traveling on the easement – the State Police is called immediately with the No Trespassing violation [posted] applied.

    It may seem strict BUT – IF – you allow an exception you are then forced or may be forced to allow ANY others the same consideration.

  56. Carl says:

    I just bought house and an acre of land. My neighbor has access to her property on the main road. But has a toed through the middle of my property. Can I stop them and make them use the main road?

  57. JJC says:

    I have a deeded ROW to my 30 acres of landlocked property which I purchased in January.
    There are no deeded rights to access over my paved driveway to the back part of the property of the landowner whose land my ROW goes over.
    The landowner has traditionally used the (my driveway now) driveway to access the back part of his property. Recently there has been partying going on with beer cans and cigarette butts thrown in my driveway and now spinning tires across my driveway.
    The landowner is a nasty old man who has told me in no uncertain terms he WILL be accessing the back part of his property through my driveway. When I asked him if he would be paying for repairs for any damage done he snorted and said “no way!”. He has access (no driveway or road) on the left side of his house so it is not like he has no way to get there. He just wants to use my driveway because it is easier for him to do so and he can get a vehicle there over my driveway.
    What are my rights in this situation? Can I put up a gate and block any access to MY DRIVEWAY which I am maintaining? Can I prevent him legally (Sheriff has been called already about the partying, littering and burnouts on my driveway) from going on my driveway?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Really a question for an attorney. You have a right of way over his property, so it’s likely he has a right to be on the driveway. Can he damage it? Doubtful…do yourself a favor and hire an attorney so you know your full rights.

  58. Jeff says:

    I am part of a homeowners association. When we built our development we had a private road with all our houses having driveways off of the road. There is a large swath of common land that we all pay to maintain, the road goes through this common land.

    There was an easement to allow a new development to connect to the head of our private road as it was the same developer. Since then the town started plowing our road in the winter.

    Now another abutting landowner (who is not part of our association or the previous development) Wants to subdivide their property and have a curb cut placed on our private road.

    Does the town have the right to allow this person to curb cut onto our road?


  59. Tracey says:

    We own a property which we are main owners of right of way easement off a MTO kings highway, there is a house on each side of us, the property on one side is respectful of our property, but neighbor on other side which could easily apply for there own driveway thru MTO, refuses to do so. He constantly drives reckless thru our property at speeds same as highway 60km zone, we have young boys that want to drive there bikes on our driveway, there is so much traffic thru our driveway to his house, he is destroying our property by girdling trees, removing wood for front parking spot. just a bad situation that could be easily rectified if he put in own driveway. which we offered to pay for application and half of driveway. The cops have been out here now 5 times for different offences. Do we have a legal ground if we take to civil court in Ontario, Canada

  60. Elaine says:

    My driveway runs straight to road and has been there since the 1960s. I just moved in and am replacing it but my naighbor is preventing me from sticking it in the same spot. He said it was on his land. The driveway is actually 12 ft away from his actual property marker and on the right of way. it is however on his properties right of way border not mine. Can he stop me from putting it back?

  61. Amanda Stephens says:

    We live on a private 30 ft right of way (Stated as that in our deed as well as everyone else’s deed) Our problem is people park on the right of way right behind out driveway and have trouble exiting our driveway. We privately maintain the road and have only asked the sheriff to enforce the no parking. Do you think we are going to have to go to court over this? They say they ” own the road and will not stop parking on it” This becomes a huge problem when the garbage truck can’t get to the end of the road and/or emergency personnel. During the fires last year, we had to ask the neighbor at 3am to move his vehicle so we could get our travel trailer out. Mind you this was during a HUGE fire storm that killed over 40 people.

  62. Jen says:

    Hi Todd,

    My parents own around 200 acres in New Hampshire. One of the neighboring properties has a century-old deeded easement to cross the land, right down the middle, from a street to her property. However the easement has not been used in ages and is in fact covered by trees and brush – completely impassable. The neighbor has a house on her property with access from another street – a driveway, etc. She absolutely does not need or use the easement on my parent’s land. The easement is now interfering with a pending sale of their property.

    I would think that the easement was lost through adverse possession to my parents and is now unenforceable. Thoughts?

    Thank you,

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I”m no lawyer…but deeded rights are a very significant right in most states including here in NH. I’d speak with a lawyer, but that right of way is likely legal and still in effect.

  63. rob Yok says:

    In Pennsylvania, our neighbor, an attorney, has sued us in the county court. He demands that we not build our new lake house on our property since any location that we choose will reduce his view of the water by a certain percentage. All of the local rules, regulations and covenants are being followed by us. And, all of the HOA rules, regulations and covenants are being followed as well. Our Deed restrictions allow us to build as we prescribed. Does anyone have any associated case law to reference from Pennsylvania. P. S. A view is not a protected right in Pennsylvania

  64. suzanne says:

    I share a driveway with a renter. I have lived at my house for 18 years. About 10 years ago I convinced the landlord to repave the driveway. Recently, the landlord died and a family member now owns the house. This woman is a nasty human being. Every time I mention repaving the driveway she tells me she doesn’t have the money. What can I do to get her to pay her half? There is no easement agreement.

  65. Andrew Valdez says:

    On my easement, neighbor has his house rented and rd the renters they could park the easement.
    There is parking on the neighbors property for thier vehicles.
    Myquestion is: I am paying taxes and insurance on the easement portions, is the owner entitled to use the easement for tenant parking and collect rent for it and not compensate me for my out of pocket expenses that benefit him?
    Thank you,

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Gotta ask a lawyer…..every situation is different…if they are not impeding your access than it’s likely ok

  66. Dennis Eberwein says:

    So I am a landowner that has a easement for property owners landlocked behind me. The easement is paved across my property . One of the properties behind recently sold and the new owner is running a business with large 18 wheelers coming in and out. they are tearing up the pavement across my property. Is there anything that I can do?

  67. Sarah Britton says:

    I have a property line with 25 foot right away on each side.

    I only use a small corner of the right away to get to my landlocked property.

    Is the other owner allowed to put garages and kayaks, tar a driveway, put a culvert in, and park three cars on rest of the 50 foot right away? Am I required to pay for the culvert repairs? (I don’t drive over the culvert.)

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      These really are questions for a lawyer. It REALLY depends on how the deed is written. It’s likely only things that are permanent and impeded your access are not allowed.

  68. Hello. We have an issue that several different Atty’s have addressed regarding a right of way and they all have come to the same conclusion. My husband and his brother were awarded sold ownership of a ROW in Chichester, NH. An easement was granted to a cousin who owns property that is landlocked. A neighbor has the right to access his property but not the complete right of way. This neighbor is claiming the right to use the whole ROW and is using it to operate an illegal junkyard. In your opinion, who is right?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      My opinion is you’ve got to settle it with a lawyer. he likely has the right to use the ROW….the junk yard is a different zoning issue altogether

  69. Cynthia Moore says:

    I live on a rental property that has 2 separate houses. We share a common drive way that has a gate. I live in the back house. I work all kinds of different shifts. Coming in and out various times of the day and night. The tenant in the front house keeps shutting the gate so everytime I leave or return i have to get out of my car and open gate. It is very inconvenient and frustrating. She doesn’t work and is home all day. She recently informed me ” it is a requirement to keep the gate shut at all times”. The realtor who I rent from has recently sold their franchise to a corporation. I am very frustrated what can I do??

  70. Peter says:

    We live on a private road in cottage country. We are full time residents as well as a few others. Our main road has been there for over 60 years, but now a few owners below us have decided to change the direction of the road and have already cleared and laid gravel. I might add that they are seasonal owners. We have said over and over that we will not be using the new road as it goes way up into the woods and the design makes it hard for larger vehicles to make the turn, besides that one part of the road is uphill and again we are here year round so this causes problems in bad weather. There has never been any discussion legally from any of them and basically they act sneaky. I know deeds would have to be changed,there are people on this road that do not agree with the changes. What are your thoughts.

  71. Brian says:

    I have purchased a house with a 60ft right of way granted to property behind me. This 60ft is actually 2 feet into my house, and encloses my whole driveway and parking area for my home. I have just been informed the property owner behind me intends to build and he intends to use the entire 60ft for an access road. He does have ROW access for the 60ft, for access, egress, utilities and road building. Can he just take my land and give me no place to access my own house? I thought a right of way was just to access property without road frontage, he intends to take a 60ft swath of my property and leave me no ability to use it. Can he do this??

  72. Tessa Baker says:

    I purchased a property recently & my neighbor claims to have a right of way over my property. He has his own driveway to a public road, there is no need for him to use my property. After doing some research, there is a right of way in his chain of title, but none in mine. Do have any recourse to dispute the legality of this claim based on the fact that there is no necessity & there is no ROW recorded in my chain of title? (This is in NY)

  73. Dennis P Smith says:

    My neighbors have a quarter mile right-of-way through my property for their access to their property and home. There are no specific details about the right-of-way in the deed. They have recently renovated a shack on their property into living quarters and rented it out. I now also have their tenants driving through my property. I tolerate this because they are real good neighbors but I wonder if this legally permissible. They have also made mention of possibly starting a bed and breakfast, which would cause an even greater flow of people and traffic through my property. Doesn’t this go beyond the legal scope of a right-of-way?

  74. Diana says:

    My significant other owns 9 beautiful acres he hopes to preserve for rare plant habitat. Our neighbors have commenced walking through his property regularly using what may be an old road then down our driveway to their place again, like an exercise run for them. It was 9 years ago that I first saw them. My understanding is that 10 years may be adverse possession in Oregon. They can be nasty people and the father was in prison for drug dealing. I don’t believe there are any easements or right-of-ways to permit them to do this. What can I do to stop them without using my shotgun before they have permanent permission to walk on our driveway and beyond?

  75. Heidi H says:

    I have a Deeded ROW over a neighbors property through his driveway to access our landlocked property behind his property. The driveway access is now blocked by a bank and stops us from driving to the property. The new owner was not aware of the deeded ROW.
    The ROW is 60ft wide from the street. How much of the neighbors property can we cross into?
    We own land on both sides of the neighbors property and half of the driveway. Do we have to stay on our property lines?
    Can we go around the bank if it is in out limits to access the property?

  76. Ray Wolfe says:

    Hello, I recently bought 84 acres from my grandparents in West Virginia. The deed mentions a purchased right of way through the neighboring farm to access the main road. The new highway was built on the neighbors farm, cutting off my right of way. Can I force the state to grant me access to the highway? The updated property map shows my right of way going directly into the new highway. I’m not landlocked but this would be way more convenient. Thanks in advance!!!

  77. I purchased a property about three years ago and have walked the property lines looking at the markers many times. I had a small prefab house out on it about a year after the purchase. My neighbor who abuts me on the left has been very pushy and keeps trying to use a small portion of my land for parking his truck etc. Several months ago I took photos of the property boundaries in that area and warned him that the he was not granted access to use any of my property in any way. Well recently I realized that he carved out a chunk of my property right where he’s been pushing to get usage to create his side-oriented access to his property/driveway. When I was planning to purchase the property he commented that he should have bought my property first. He is the kind of guy to do whatever he wants and take whatever he wants in bully fashion which is why I felt compelled to write to him (email) about the land encroachment that I had noticed which is right by the driveway I didn’t realize he stole prior to my purchasing the land. Can I simply drop some boulders on MY property in front of his driveway after giving him a 30-day notice to relocate the entrance to his driveway? I’m afraid if I do nothing that he can and WILL claim that slice of property is his in short order. What do you recommend?

  78. Maria P says:

    This is very interesting. I will have to go home and read my deed.
    We purchased a property with 2 houses about 11 years ago, one side of our propterty had a parking lot, that lot has since been turned into 5 new homes. The new builder tore down our fence saying it was on their property and that a new fence would be going up which would restrict entry to our back house. Now the other side neighbor sold and house tore down. The new owner is looking for a varience to build his house only 1 foot from property line which will also restrict access to back house. I’m wondering if there is any way to fight this if its not on the deed.

  79. joe murphy says:

    we have lived in our house for 21 years, have a good relationship with our neighbors of which we share a driveway that is owned by our neighbor. This driveway has a right of way for us in our deed just like it has had for the last 62 years. Unknown to us at some point during our purchase the owner of the driveway put language in the deed stating that if we ever sold our home they had the right to revoke the right of way. This has now become an issue with us about to sell our house. Are there any laws/rules stopping them from doing this? We have plowed the driveway, done maintenance on the driveway for the last 21 years. We had been told that as a private road he must close it off for a 24 hour period once a year or it looses that status? any truth to this?

  80. Camille says:

    My family has owned a piece of land since 1930’s on top of a mountain. We have used access on the only road into this property through other landowners property for over 70 years, now our adjoining landowners are trying to deny access through its about a 3 mile stretch and not only denying but threatening to shoot me if they catch me on the road
    Are there any grandfathered access laws?

  81. Friday says:

    I have a Shared Driveway with Two neighbors to access their lot’s on my Easement Agreement, I’m the Administrator to at the top of our driveway.
    The neighbor recently, after 50+ years has family/company/ church members/gangster’s who block our lot to our house. His lot is to the Left, closest to my backyard. And he and his company will block or park in my lot WITHOUT permission on camera. Come onto our property. Destroying my company’s car’s parked on our driveway.
    Police and Town Hall advised us to get a No Parking Sign put it in the Window and a security camera installed, we did.
    2 years later they dug up the water pipe, not fixed yet, 6ft deep hole (eye sore) and sofa and old pipes coming out of his backyard.Town does nothing but give me a Court date about a unregistered car on my property, but can’t arrest him for banging on my company’s car?
    I have had the Deed read by a lawyer, but the town suggested Court. Is there a way in order to legally have them stop or ticketed WITHOUT the lawyer’s fees?
    Do you have any advice for me please?

  82. Colby says:

    I am building an addition to my house. Can my contractor dig into my neighbors property if needed for the foundation? The setback requirements in my area are 5 ft from the property line, and the over dig for the foundation may extend through that 5 ft setback into my neighbors property.

  83. Sandy Driveway says:

    Have a 250′ driveway parallel to my property allowing access to two properties: one directly behind me, who shares the property line, and the other on the other side of the driveway end. The dirt/sand driveway is not maintained: filled with potholes and dust debris drifts up and over to my property and in my pool every dry day and night. She knows and deliberately drives fast to kick up dust to annoy me. Between her and the neighbor behind me, they travel the driveway at least 10 times a day, not to mention garbage trucks, landscape trailers & machinery, UPS, FEDEX, and grocery truck deliveries…to name a few. There is a tree barrier that has thinned from the bottom. Planting cover is not an option. A fence is the best option though I’m struggling with stockade which is pricey…vs. maybe deer fence-type/wire fence that I can hang 6ftx100ft privacy screens…seems cheaper. ANy suggestions or recommendations? The neighbor is whack job and unapproachable.
    My quality of life and enjoyable peace of my home is suffering. :(

  84. Ashley says:

    I currently moved into a triplex and the neighbor on the side of me says I cant have packages delivered to the front of the house because that’s her entrance way but my mail box is on the front porch with hers. I do have a back entrance way that is my “private” entry but also have a front door that access to her hallway of the front of the house. lEGALLY IF I HAVE A FRONT DOOR I CAN USE IT, RIGHT?
    She has moved my packages to the back of the house and I have spoke with landlord about it twice. I told him if she touches my mail again I will call the police for tampering with mail. TBH i dont want to do that. so please i need answers. LEGALLY IF I HAVE A FRONT DOOR I CAN USE IT, RIGHT ?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I’m not attorney so you’d have to consult with one. However, my personal opinion is if that’s a legal means of egress (exit) then she has zero right to say anything. Also, the postal service has pretty tight rules on where they deliver mail. Being an apartment ultimately the landlord is responsible for such issues.

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