Shared driveway disputes could need legal action

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes, Real Estate Disputes, Residential Real Estate

Shared driveways are common in New York because they are practical, especially for multi-unit or attached residences. The legal concept governing their creation and use is often an easement.

An easement is a right given by one property owner (the grantor) to another (the grantee) to use a specific portion of the grantor’s land for a particular purpose. In the case of a shared driveway, the easement grants access rights to both property owners. However, circumstances change, and disputes can happen.

Common shared driveway disagreements

When two or more individuals share a driveway, both can use the driveway, but neither can unreasonably interfere with the other’s access. When the principle of “fair use“ is not upheld, disputes can arise over:

  • Parking: Disagreements can arise over who gets priority parking or how many vehicles each household can park on the driveway.
  • Maintenance: Sharing responsibility for repairs, snow removal and cleaning can be a point of contention.
  • Usage: Issues might include limitations on vehicle size, guest parking restrictions or using the driveway for storage.

If one or more of these arise and become a disruptive concern, the easement agreement must be able to address them. If it cannot, legal intervention may be necessary.

If communication fails, it is time to act

Neighbors may try for negotiation first, but litigation could be the solution if that approach fails. Legal advice from an experienced real estate lawyer who handles real estate disputes and litigation can guide clients through the process. They can review your situation and advise you on your rights and options.