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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    7

    Unhappy Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Virginia

    Hi, There is a Driveway that is in the middle of my property and the property next door, the property line is straight down the middle of a 10 ft wide gravel driveway, there is a 163 ft ( in length ) 20 ft wide easement from the main highway to where the property next doors driveway starts, separate from the main driveway, the property plot map is worded like this and I quote " The new 20 ft easement for ingress and egress shown hereon was requested by VDOT" ( Va Dept of Transportation ) It further states that " The existing drive that serves the lots is wide enough so each owner can remain on its own lot to reach the existing dwellings " Nothing noted about maintenance or anything else.

    My question is this, first if they state the existing drive is wide enough for both owners to reach the dwellings while remaining on their own lot why is there an easement??
    If 2 cars had to pass at the same time one would have to go into the grass on one side or the other to pass.

    Secondly, anyone have an idea how the 20 ft wide easement is actually divided? Is it the width of the 10ft driveway plus 10ft further onto each owners side for a total of 20 ft?? And if so does this mean the other property owner can come onto my property an additional 10 ft from the edge of the driveway??

    I'm so confused, any help is appreciated,
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,377

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    Quote Quoting Slick
    View Post
    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Virginia

    Hi, There is a Driveway that is in the middle of my property and the property next door, the property line is straight down the middle of a 10 ft wide gravel driveway, there is a 163 ft ( in length ) 20 ft wide easement from the main highway to where the property next doors driveway starts, separate from the main driveway, the property plot map is worded like this and I quote " The new 20 ft easement for ingress and egress shown hereon was requested by VDOT" ( Va Dept of Transportation ) It further states that " The existing drive that serves the lots is wide enough so each owner can remain on its own lot to reach the existing dwellings " Nothing noted about maintenance or anything else.

    My question is this, first if they state the existing drive is wide enough for both owners to reach the dwellings while remaining on their own lot why is there an easement??
    If 2 cars had to pass at the same time one would have to go into the grass on one side or the other to pass.

    Secondly, anyone have an idea how the 20 ft wide easement is actually divided? Is it the width of the 10ft driveway plus 10ft further onto each owners side for a total of 20 ft?? And if so does this mean the other property owner can come onto my property an additional 10 ft from the edge of the driveway??

    I'm so confused, any help is appreciated,
    Thanks
    Before I try to answer your questions, I need to know why it matters. What is going on right now that has you asking these questions?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,989

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    Quote Quoting Slick
    View Post

    Hi, There is a Driveway that is in the middle of my property and the property next door, the property line is straight down the middle of a 10 ft wide gravel driveway, there is a 163 ft ( in length ) 20 ft wide easement from the main highway to where the property next doors driveway starts, separate from the main driveway, the property plot map is worded like this and I quote " The new 20 ft easement for ingress and egress shown hereon was requested by VDOT" ( Va Dept of Transportation ) It further states that " The existing drive that serves the lots is wide enough so each owner can remain on its own lot to reach the existing dwellings " Nothing noted about maintenance or anything else.
    Your post is a bit confusing at least to me. You say that there is a shared driveway that is 10 ft. wide and the property line runs down the middle of the driveway. That would mean that there is only 5 ft. on either side of the property line that remains on each property in the easement (the shared driveway). So each property owner would have to expand the driveway on their respective properties outside of the original driveway easement to remain on the respective properties for ingress and egress. That would effectively extinguish the driveway easement. But not so fast. You can only extinguish a granted easement by agreement of property owners or by order of a court.

    What you need to explain is why the new 20 ft. easement is to only your neighbor's driveway. Doesn't the existing shared driveway start at the same point?

    Quote Quoting Slick
    View Post
    My question is this, first if they state the existing drive is wide enough for both owners to reach the dwellings while remaining on their own lot why is there an easement??
    If 2 cars had to pass at the same time one would have to go into the grass on one side or the other to pass.
    You first need to know if the shared granted easement is only 10 ft. wide (the actual width of the driveway) or is the easement wider and only a 10 ft. wide driveway was constructed down the middle of it.

    Quote Quoting Slick
    View Post
    Secondly, anyone have an idea how the 20 ft wide easement is actually divided? Is it the width of the 10ft driveway plus 10ft further onto each owners side for a total of 20 ft?? And if so does this mean the other property owner can come onto my property an additional 10 ft from the edge of the driveway??
    There is no way for anyone here to answer the question without seeing the grant or the plat map. If for example the new VDOT easement overlaps the original easement, then the easement would be 10 ft. on each property making the easement 20 ft. wide. I would guess that VDOT wants access for emergency equipment to reach the properties. You should research how this easement came about and when.

    Then consult with a local land use attorney to find out what you should do (if anything) to quiet title.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    The easement that I quoted has been in place since the properties were built both in 2007, so it's not new per say it is the original. What is going on is that the property next door is been foreclosed on and the owners were evicted and left, however they left a family of squatters in the house with whom I am having issues with over the destruction/damage to the gravel driveway, the sheriff offers no relief nor does the judicial branch as they don't believe the damage is intentional. Since the squatters are not legally responsible I have no cause of action against them.
    My intention is to install a new paved driveway from the center property line onto my property that extends the full length of the easement 163 ft, this would essentially look like, when finished, a half gravel half paved driveway being split down the middle.I also intend to install RR ties down the middle to prevent the squatters from using the paved half, not to concerned about that as they have no cause of action against me since they don't own anything with regards to the property, BUT someday a legitimate property owner will buy the property and I will have to remove the RR ties. Just trying to figure out how much off center each property is entitled to use for ingress/egress.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    This is the same residence where the bank that foreclosed is only claiming that they own the mortgage and not the property?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    Ref to response to first question, the driveway is 10 ft wide from the highway to where there is a left turn into the other properties gravel driveway ( separate drive owned totally by that property ) the gravel driveway in question continues up another 30-40 ft to my property and ends, the easement of 163 ft ends at this left cut in to the property next door, and the remainder is completely mine with no easement. I intend to expand my side by 10 ft the entire length of the easement and beyond by paving, so it would look like a 1/2 gravel 1/2 paved driveway for 163 ft. I also intend to divide the driveway with RR ties the entire 163 ft length to keep the squatters living there now from damaging the new asphalt. I am aware when a new property OWNER comes along I may have to remove the RR ties to allow ingress/egress as described in the easement, but squatters have no legal recourse since they don't own any property there.
    BTW this is the original easement from 2007 when I bought my home and the former owners bought there home, ( since foreclosed on and moved ). I just don't know what they mean with a 20 ft wide easement on a 10 ft wide driveway, and how is that divided, they further complicate by saying each owner can remain on there own lot to reach there home, seems contradictory to me, unless as you stated it is for Emergency vehicle access, but there is no mention of that, or who maintains the driveway either.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,377

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    Quote Quoting Slick
    View Post
    Ref to response to first question, the driveway is 10 ft wide from the highway to where there is a left turn into the other properties gravel driveway ( separate drive owned totally by that property ) the gravel driveway in question continues up another 30-40 ft to my property and ends, the easement of 163 ft ends at this left cut in to the property next door, and the remainder is completely mine with no easement. I intend to expand my side by 10 ft the entire length of the easement and beyond by paving, so it would look like a 1/2 gravel 1/2 paved driveway for 163 ft. I also intend to divide the driveway with RR ties the entire 163 ft length to keep the squatters living there now from damaging the new asphalt. I am aware when a new property OWNER comes along I may have to remove the RR ties to allow ingress/egress as described in the easement, but squatters have no legal recourse since they don't own any property there.
    BTW this is the original easement from 2007 when I bought my home and the former owners bought there home, ( since foreclosed on and moved ). I just don't know what they mean with a 20 ft wide easement on a 10 ft wide driveway, and how is that divided, they further complicate by saying each owner can remain on there own lot to reach there home, seems contradictory to me, unless as you stated it is for Emergency vehicle access, but there is no mention of that, or who maintains the driveway either.
    It is not unusual for an easement to be much wider than the actual road that is on the easement. However, I think that you will find, once the bank starts the process of selling the property, that some legal screaming will start happening about the easement. What you are planning on doing is going to seriously detract from the value of the property and would almost force the bank or the new buyer to widen and pave the other half of the driveway, which no one is going to want to spend the money to do. Real estate agents and prospective buyers will not be able to access the property. All in all, I understand your upset about the squatters, but don't make things worse for yourself by doing something that will ultimately cost you big.

    If I were you I would make a separate driveway and pave that, rather than widening the other.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Driveway Easement How is It Actually Divided

    Yes it is, my previous post.

    Hi Thanks for responding, I cannot install a separate driveway due to utilities/water lines etc that would be covered by pavement if I went that far over, which at some point would cost money if they ever need to be accessed. I do not intend to keep the RR ties in place permanently, my thought was that I can remove them when necessary and revert back to the current situation with the only difference being that there will be a 1/2 paved 1/2 gravel driveway.
    Let me be clear that the property in question can still be accessed by the squatters, real estate agents etc, however it would be more difficult because that side of the property hasn't been maintained, eg; large ruts, overgrown grass, large potholes. I don't feel that's my problem that the previous owners did not maintain there side of the property, I shouldn't have to not improve my property ( which paving will do ) because of a failure of the former owners and bank to maintain said property. I was notified this morning that the county is going to mow the grass and bill the bank for it since it is violation of local ordinance.

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