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Top Five Things to Know About Shared Driveway Easements

Shared driveway easements are a common arrangement in residential neighborhoods, but they can sometimes cause confusion and misunderstandings. In this post, we’ll explain the top five things you need to know about shared driveway easements.

What is a Shared Driveway Easement?

A shared driveway easement is a legal agreement between two or more property owners that allows them to use a shared driveway to access their properties. This agreement is typically in the form of a written contract, and it outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party. For example, a shared driveway easement might specify that one property owner is responsible for maintaining the driveway, while the other property owner is responsible for snow removal.

Who Benefits from a Shared Driveway Easement?

A shared driveway easement benefits all of the property owners who are party to the agreement. It allows them to access their properties by way of a shared driveway, which can be more convenient and cost-effective than having separate driveways. In addition, a shared driveway easement can help to improve the appearance of a residential neighborhood by reducing the number of driveways and creating a more cohesive look.

How is a Shared Driveway Easement Created?

A shared driveway easement is typically created by express agreement between the property owners. This means that the parties involved come to an agreement and sign a written contract outlining the terms of the easement. In some cases, a shared driveway easement may be created by implication, which means it is inferred from the circumstances. For example, if two property owners have been using the same driveway for many years, a shared driveway easement by implication may be created.

What are the Terms of a Shared Driveway Easement?

The terms of a shared driveway easement will vary depending on the specific agreement between the property owners. However, common terms might include:

  • The specific route or path of the shared driveway
  • The responsibilities of each property owner with regard to maintenance, snow removal, and other upkeep
  • The rights of each property owner to use the shared driveway
  • Any restrictions on the use of the shared driveway, such as prohibiting commercial vehicles or overnight parking
  • How disputes regarding the use of the shared driveway are resolved

It’s important to carefully review the terms of a shared driveway easement before signing the agreement.

What Happens if a Property Owner Violates the Terms of a Shared Driveway Easement?

If a property owner violates the terms of a shared driveway easement, the other property owners may have legal remedies available to them. This could include seeking an injunction to prevent the violation from continuing, or suing for damages if the violation has caused harm to the other property owners. It’s important to consult with an attorney if you have questions or concerns about a shared driveway easement.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, shared driveway easements are a common arrangement in residential neighborhoods. They allow two or more property owners to use a shared driveway to access their properties, which can be more convenient and cost-effective than having separate driveways. A shared driveway easement is typically created by express agreement between the property owners, and the terms of the easement will vary depending on the specific agreement. It’s important to carefully review the terms of a shared driveway easement before signing the agreement and to consult with an attorney if you have questions or concerns.

The real estate attorneys of Lucent Law are experienced in drafting and reviewing shared driveway agreements throughout Washington and Idaho.

Author: Brett T. Sullivan, Real Estate Attorney and Partner of Lucent Law, PLLC

 

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