Driveways,right of ways and sharing the costs...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We just got back from NC where we met the contractor who is doing our driveway and foundation work as well as a barn builder.

    Got to look around at some of the barns he has built and that is somewhat sorted out but the driveway is another matter.

    Our land has a LONG driveway(about 1/4 mile all told) and would be used by possibly two other parcel owners.

    It was suggested we contact the owners and see if they would be willing to help pay for the driveway.

    IF they were willing to go in on the costs what would their legal standing be on our property(the actual land the driveway is on)??

    Is this a good idea or a possible boondoggle?

    IF the other owners do not want to share the costs we are going to fence and gate the driveway so as to restrict access.

    We are also getting the estimate in two parts-the part of the driveway that ONLY we will use and the part where the other two land owners would be able to use it...

    Thanks oz.
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i dont have an answer, but i just noticed you have 11,000+ posts, oz. i think that's some kind of record.

    sorry for drifting so early.......................
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    If there is an easement or deeded access that allows other property owners to cross your property to get to their property, then you cant restrict their access whether they share cost of improvements or not. If you put up a locked gate, then you have to provide them a key. I personally share a deeded access driveway across somebody elses land. Drive is in a mess, but nobody wants to help repair it. If I repair it, then I cant lock anybody else out with right to it despite them not sharing cost. I pretty much decided to go 4wd mode. If and when I eventually put property up for sale (area getting crowded for my tastes) then I will pay all by myself to make driveway pristine enough that you could drive a lowslung sportscar up it. The property is worth enough now to make this a good thing to do to sell it.
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well one land owner can have access IF they choose to clear land and run a driveway NEXT to ours while the other has access but would need to put in a culvert,etc to access most of his property.

    Ours is the only driveway cut in at this point...and we suspect that the other land owners think that our driveway IS their access..

    Hope this is clear enough....

    On another note,we found out ALL the parcels have sold and some have already been resold...which in one way is good(property values) but in another a bit worriesome(how will these people react to a homestead..)
     
  5. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

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    A few hundred bucks worth of grader work goes a long way. You could do that on the shared part and forget about negotiating with neighbors.
    I take your land is burdened by an easement and the 2 other parties are the dominant tenements on that easement. If so HermitJohn is correct.
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Let me see if I can explain it better.

    Our land lies at the end of a cul de sac.
    From the cul de sac, we have a 20' or 30' strip of land extending back to the bulk of our property.

    NEXT to this is another strip of land going back to the neighboring property-this is NOT cleared however so the owner would have to start from scratch.

    On the other side the parcel of land touches the cul de sac but the bulk of this parcel is across a stream-so it would require a culvert...

    Does that all make sense?

    We are actually a bit worried about how much the driveway is going to cost....we keep getting told it will be expensive but no firm figure yet although the contractor is getting one together.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  7. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

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    I think you have what developers call a "flag lot" It is a tract that includes along skinny lane (the pole of the flag) that is part of the tract, yours and only yours, and not burdened by any easement.
    If that's the case, Yes you can gate it off and that is the best solution anyway. If you share costs and use the driveway with a neighbor, they would want an easement on your property to use it. Otherwise it would not make sense for them to pony up the money. I would just build the driveway and keep it private.
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You are describing the property, but the key is: do you have an easement on your deed or not?

    If you do not have an easement, do _not_ let anyone else use your driveway. Fence it, gate it, lock it, do not let anyone even use it 'temp' just to check things out.

    You will lose control of that piece of land, and people will take advanage.

    Don't bother contacting anyone, just keep them clear of this.

    If you have an easement, then all the money you spend other people can use for free is the bottom line. You can ask, but you ain't really going to get any checks. Welcome to human nature.

    A 1/4 mile is pretty short, no big deal. It's a few bucks, but it means you have some privacy - priceless. :)

    --->Paul
     
  9. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have to figure out exactly what your status is first. Is the land involved actually yours by deed? Is this driveway, private way or lane or whatever in any way a shared, public access or multiple user type roadway?
    Have the other parties used it in the past and do they have any legal right to continue to use it in any manner.

    The devil is always in the details and maybe depends a bit on your local rules. Private ways can come in many different modes, usually you do not own the actual land. Normally when you use the term driveway, it means you own the land and should have exclusive use, except for all the other potential tricky stuff that might come into play.

    I have a little road behind my house. It is my access road to the back of my property, exclusive for my use, except two neighbors have a right to use it for the truck to cross my lot to pump their septic tanks. Is the only right they have to use it. Must understand exactly what you have, who owns what and exactly what rights others have to use what. Just doesn't sound like you have the basics down pat yet.
     
  10. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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  12. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    One other thing to do is have your attorney-probably the one who drew up your deed/title paperwork run an easement search. We found out that the standard searches done for liens and such that show's clear title Do Not routinely check for easements. So if there's one on there it wouldn't necessarily show up without running a specific easement search. Our title showed up as clear but with an easement search there was, in fact an easement.
    That search was the only way we found out about an old easement on our place in KY. :(

    Just something to consider before gating/fencing it off and then finding you went to the expense for nothing.
     
  13. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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  14. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    I have been at the end of a mile long private road and would never do it again. Only 1 other person out of 4 would help with a bit of gas money everybody else just complained and even wanted to sue when their kid wrecked every car he got near. I ended up building a big ugly 4x4 truck just so I wouldn't have to maintain it the last year I was there. Keep it to yourself unless you have a legal contract and can stop them if they don't live up to their end and I still probably wouldn't do it.

    mikell

    One family even complained that they paid me 10$ and I didn't plow their driveway only once.
     
  15. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well thank you all for all the replies,seems it is definitely NOT a good idea to split the costs....

    I guess human nature being what it is we should have known this...it is sad really to think that paying to maintain access to your property can lead to so many problems...

    So we should NOT let anyone use our driveway at all?
     
  16. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Never buy land or a house with a road use agreement or another persons right of way or easement through it, never, never, never, never, never. I don't care if it's a friend, relative, or the supposed deal of the century. If you live there you will somehow, someday regret it.
     
  17. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    IF it is your driveway, Then i would put up a gate and fix it myself. I currently have a driveway shared between two properties, and I am the only one who ends up fixing it so that i can get in and out. The other property owner just don't care since it is a rental and doesn't stick one dime ofhis money out for repairs.
     
  18. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Sharing a driveway, lane or whatever you call it also gives each person equal use. That sounds reasonable until the other person sharing it invites his friends to come hunting and the visitors park along the drive blocking your access. :grump:
    Trash, 4wheelers running up and down the drive whenever they want plus not knowing if the person on the drive is a visitor or a potential thief who's just casing the homes are all problems that sharing a driveway/lane can bring.
     
  19. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well now I guess we can build a big gate ala Bonanza....LOL...
     
  20. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    You'll need a big western hat to go with the gate!! :D