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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    My question involves an easement in the state of: Virginia

    We purchased a house 6 years ago in the process of being built. There was a driveway on the property prior to the house being built. Our neighbor has to use the top third of our driveway to access her drive. The entire maintained driveway is all on our property and there is no driveway agreement. We had a little issue after we had been in the house about a year and I researched all the deeds and we sent a letter stating the entire drive was on our property and we could fence if we chose. There was no easement or ROW on any of the deeds. No more problems so we just let it slide.

    Fast forward to two years ago. The property was divided into a family subdivision with 3 lots. The owner of the 2nd lot has recently been using our driveway till it comes to an end and then drives through the grass onto his property. There is a 20 ft easement on their plat for all three properties but he insists that he has an right to use our drive. Our plat shows "existing driveway" it continues onto their property and it is now marked as "trace of old road" on their plat. Both properties used to be on one plat owned by a timber company, then by a relative. Only the most recent of both of our plats has these markings.

    What right do they have to use our driveway that we maintain when their subdivision has over 250 feet of state road frontage and an easement clearly marked for all three lots to use. They are not landlocked nor is any of the property behind us.

    Any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,338

    Default Re: What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    There was no easement or ROW on any of the deeds.
    The easement could be in a separate recorded document, such as a deed of easement, an affidavit, etc. It could also be unrecorded. You will need to run down those possibilities before taking action to restrict them. If you obtained title insurance when you purchased your home, look in the title report.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    Title insurance has an exception... Easements or claims of easements not shown by the public records, boundery line disputes, overlaps, encroachement, and any matters not of record which would be disclosed by an accurate survey and inspection of the land.

    There is nothing in any of the deeds about easement. The property was subdivided two years ago and the person who's using my drive has an deeded easement on his sisters property which was divided per instructions in their fathers Will (including the easement of their property)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,338

    Default Re: What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    Title insurance has an exception... Easements or claims of easements not shown by the public records, boundery line disputes, overlaps, encroachement, and any matters not of record which would be disclosed by an accurate survey and inspection of the land.
    Yes, I am aware of that. It does cover recorded items and my point is that you cannot limit your search of recorded items to just the current deeds.

    What right do they have to use our driveway
    Recorded items need to be completely ruled out before moving forward on possible valid unwritten rights.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    So is the statement in the title insurance just a standard statement?

    I guess I need another trip to the courthouse to see what else I can dig up.

    Thanks Landsurveyor

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,338

    Default Re: What Right Does a Neighbor Have to Use Our Driveway

    Title insurance also typically excepts items more than 40 or more years ago. That should also be listed in a policy. And the policy, even though you may have paid for it as a line item at closing, most likely insures the lender, and you are not the insured party.

    A title search is not a particularly expensive item. All that I am suggesting is that a thorough search be done before pursuing the goal of excluding the neighbor from your driveway.

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