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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    3

    Default No One Owns the Driveway

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Connecticut

    The house we are looking to buy was built in the 1880's and has very little land, there is a driveway that is almost like a road, it basically runs the length of two side streets. The realtor (seller side) said the drive was shared and that we would need permission to continue to use the driveway. We talked to the Neighbors (owner of the other house) and they claimed they didn't own the driveway and that the state-owned it and used it as a throughway. We went to the town hall and dug up all the deeds back to the 1880's, talked to the town officials and were told that basically no one owned the land that the driveway was on, not the neighbor, not the owner of the house we wanted to buy and not the state. I have tried to look online and can't find anything that deals with this type of issue. There is easements, no agreements verbally or written between the two owners, absolutely nothing. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,382

    Default Re: No One Owns the Driveway

    First of all, NEVER believe anything a realtor tells you without verifying it six ways from Tuesday.

    Because of the doubt, you write your offer CONTINGENT on getting a written, recorded agreement, that runs with the land, with the neighbor as to the shared use of the driveway no matter what the ownership question.

    Talk to a lawyer about how to write the offer and the agreement. DO NOT take any legal advice from a realtor or any lawyer referred by a realtor. Doing so invites DOOM. Find your own lawyer.

    And if, during escrow, you do not get the written easement/usage agreement, cancel the purchase and walk away. DO NOT rely on promises.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: No One Owns the Driveway

    We didn't take the advice of the realtor, not sure why your entire post emphasized that point. We went to the town and the town told us no one owns the land, as such, we can't get an agreement from the neighbor or easement as they don't own it. Please read the entire post before you reply.

    to make this super clear here is what the town said:

    Own of the house we want to buy - DOES NOT OWN THE DRIVEWAY
    Own of the house which the driveway is shared - DOES NOT OWN THE DRIVEWAY
    The State - DOES NOT OWN THE DRIVEWAY
    The Town - DOES NOT OWN THE DRIVEWAY

    When we asked the town who owns the driveway they said:

    NO ONE

    Hope this makes it a bit clearer on what we are working with and trying to figure out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,612

    Default Re: No One Owns the Driveway

    Quote Quoting epicrean
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Connecticut

    There is easements, no agreements verbally or written between the two owners, absolutely nothing. Thoughts?
    That doesn't mean that an easement by prior use was not established. The requirements for an easement by prior use, easement by necessity, or implied easement are all pretty much the same. That the land was once a single parcel before it was subdivided and the driveway was used to the benefit of both (or more) properties.

    Just because you can't find a recorded agreement doesn't mean that an easement wasn't created by the predecessors' as a matter of law. Have you checked all the recorded surveys on your land and the neighboring lands to see if the driveway appears on one of them? Don't just go by the recorded deeds and agreements. Look at the surveys.

    In the US all land is owned by someone be it the government or a private party.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,382

    Default Re: No One Owns the Driveway

    Quote Quoting epicrean
    View Post


    Hope this makes it a bit clearer on what we are working with and trying to figure out.
    I did read the post and I understand what is happening. My point is - get this resolved before you buy. Otherwise you might one day find yourself embroiled in expensive litigation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,361

    Default Re: No One Owns the Driveway

    What anybody tells you verbally is of entirely no USE to you when you are dealing with a real estate purchase. NONE OF IT CAN BE RELIED UPON IN LEGAL ACTIONS.

    You get a survey and a title search and owners insurance. As you were told, make things continent on this being worked out. Given the survey/title search, you'll find out just what legal rights you have to the driveway and then an attorney can recommend what to do about it.

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