Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Can a Servient Estate Install Multiple Gats on a Shared Driveway

    My question involves an easement in the state of: North Carolina. My mother purchased a small plat of land (approximate .64 acre) that was part of a joint estate which was broken up at auction. Her house has already been on the land for over 17yrs at time of purchase, and the use of the driveway as a shared easement was always allowed. When she purchased the land her house is own it was done so with established easement via the shared driveway all the way to the back end of her property line. The servient property has since had new neighbors move in under a rent-to own type of lease with the original buyer, who still owns the property. When these new neighbors first began looking at that house my mother informed them of the easement and asked if it would be a problem, which they of course said no.

    Since then they have become more hostile and aggressive about her use of the drive and parking location. There are a small row of trees and rose bushes that prevent her from driving across the easement onto her property, which they refuse to cut down; as such she has been parking just off the easement as close to her property line as possible. The husband and my mother have been working on plans to build her a new driveway parallel to the current driveway that will extend to her property and allow for parking, however his wife became irate when my mother refused to sign over her rights to the current easement till a lawyer reviewed the contract they had written up regarding the new driveway. On multiple occasions the wife has came to my mother complaining about one thing or another, getting irate and pointing out that she has a concealed carry permit (I am sure that should be considered a physical threat since she has done it multiple times and only when irate and angry).

    Their latest comments to her is in regards to fencing in the property to bring in farm animals, with plans to put in multiple gates along the shared easement. I have looked at the deed she sent me and while it does mention the property easement there is no specific language I have seen, which I assume would be on the map maybe? My mother is 100% disabled due to early MS and walks with the help of cuff-crutches, so affording attorneys will be tough for her, which I am certainly willing to help with, but expecting her to get out of her car multiple times on a 50-yard (estimate) driveway seems excessive.

    Any advice will certainly be helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Easements: Neighbor Threatening to Put Multiple Gates Along a Shared Driveway

    It is your mothers obligation to clear the easement if needed. If the rose bush is in the way I would tell the servient tenant that you (your mother) intends to clear the easement so as to be able to pull into her property and if they wish it to be saved, they should move it now before she clears the easement.

    If the area supports animals they quite likely have a right to install gates if there are no other less obstructive means to prevent the animals from escaping. With cows you can use cattle guards in the ground. if a different species of animal is I have no idea if there are similar types of crossing guards available for them.

    It is not the servient tenants fault or truly their concern your mother has medical issues. After all, it is their property even though your mother has a right to use it for ingress and egress.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Can a Servient Estate Install Multiple Gats on a Shared Driveway

    Quote Quoting delle002
    View Post
    ...however his wife became irate when my mother refused to sign over her rights to the current easement till a lawyer reviewed the contract they had written up regarding the new driveway.
    And then your mother had the contract reviewed by a lawyer, and the lawyer told her... that it needed to be renegotiated? That it was acceptable? Something else? If the contract was acceptable, why aren't the parties proceeding with the plan to build the new driveway? If the original easement is to be vacated in favor of a new one, the question of gating can be expressly addressed in the negotiations and grant.
    Quote Quoting delle002
    ...with plans to put in multiple gates along the shared easement.
    Are there presently any gates on the right-of-way, such as at each end? Why would more than two gates (or containment devices) be required to contain farm animals?

    Where an easement is silent on the issue of gates, "whether the plaintiffs may require the defendants to keep the gate closed depends on the relative advantage to the servient estate and the relative disadvantage to the dominant estate". Williams v. Abernethy, 102 N.C.App. 462, 402 S.E.2d 438, 440 (1991). Given that the suggestion of gating, and the suggested use of multiple gates along the right-of-way as opposed to gates at either end, came in the context of a dispute, and given that your mother's physical condition is likely known to the neighbors, if the matter goes to court I think the court could be persuaded that the neighbor's plan was designed at least in part to create a special burden on your mother. But ideally they'll be able to work things out without going to court, and incurring the expense and uncertainty of litigation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Can a Servient Estate Install Multiple Gats on a Shared Driveway

    Might depend on what animals, and what the purpose of the gates may be. How big is the neighbor's property? I have one pasture that requires passing thru 3 gates to get hay in. For example if they want dairy goats, they would want to divide and rotate pastures and there are no goat guards (that I know of) available.

    My impression was that they presented her a contract to sign, and objected when she wanted to have it reviewed, but maybe I'm misreading.

    I would check any boundary surveys that were made when the property was sub-divided. I'd check out the "established easement" and see what that shows

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Easement Use and Enforcement: Does the Servient Estate Have the Right to Install Gates Across an Easement
    By texwmson in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-12-2015, 10:31 AM
  2. Easement Use and Enforcement: How Many Gates Can the Servient Estate Install on a Right of Way
    By Larrybob in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-30-2015, 11:42 AM
  3. Easement Use and Enforcement: Can the Servient Estate Reroute a Shared Driveway That is Not On the Granted Easement
    By mwebbnc in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-03-2015, 12:58 PM
  4. Easement Use and Enforcement: Can a Servient Estate Place a Fixed Driveway for a Right of Way
    By thomashorton in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-12-2013, 12:21 PM
  5. Maintenance and Repair: Neighbor Won't Sign a Maintenance Agreement for a Shared Driveway
    By CallMeTres in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-20-2010, 06:58 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources