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Driveway easement after long time use

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by Driveway, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Driveway

    Driveway Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    My fiancee purchased our home 3 years ago. His bank used a survey from 26 years ago and said that it was reliable. Our driveway has been here for at least that long and I know it has been here longer because I have lived in the township my whole life and have family near by. The neighbors purchased their property 24 years ago and has left all previous owners of our property use the 26.4 inches that our driveway encroaches at the corner, but now she says that it is hers even though we maintain it and need it because the sewage line and manhole is to the other side and we can not move our driveway. Does she have the right to access our entire driveway because she is upset over 26.4 inches? She even blows the horn at our house while turning around and the kicker is she has her own driveway and only uses ours so she doesn't have to walk to her mailbox.
     
  2. jayh991

    jayh991 Member

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    You need to speak with a local real estate attorney familiar with adverse possession and easements by prescription. An adverse possession claim (if successful) will allow you to gain real title over the 26.4" which you use if it has been done if the possession is actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, notorious, distinct and hostile for a 21 year period. Your post seems to indicate the owner of the property also uses the driveway which would defeat several of the criteria for adverse possession which is why a local attorney would be needed to review the usage.

    If not an adverse claim, you can also make a claim for an easement by prescription which is like an addendum to the title granting your property the right to use the space. An easement of necessity is also possible if you can argue you can only enjoy your driveway through the continued use of the space.

    Talk to a local real estate attorney though, but it sounds like you have a good case.
     
  3. mary1986

    mary1986 New Member

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    Thank you for your advice and may I add that she has only been using the my driveway to turn around and the block traffic on a state road while she retrieves and reads her mail. She started this after she was told to keep her dogs in her own yard and out of my gardens. She even stares at my children as they play in my yard as if they doing something wrong. She is starting to creep my youngest out , as the little one would say.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Well, you've apparently started a pissing contest between you and your neighbor that's going to end up costing you attorney fees if you expect to stop her behavior.

    In addition to Jay's comments it occurs to me that there may be a remote chance of a written easement somewhere in the distant past. That's something that the lawyer can look into as well.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Benjamin Franklin is known to have said, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.”

    Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall", spoke to the same subject.

    The last line ends as follows:
    He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."


    Frost, Mending Wall
     

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