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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Unhappy 20 Foot Right Of Way In North Carolina

    I live in Western North Carolina, Haywood County and own 2.0 acres that is land locked by my neighbor that owns 6.0 acres, in my deed is reads I have a 20 foot right of way across the back of his property to the road which is about 100 feet.
    several questions I have. What rights do I have with a "right of way" ?
    As this will be a driveway can I pave it or put rocks downs ? can I maintain a right of way is he he to do that ?
    My neighbor tells me I can only cross it and not park on it, he has place trash in the middle of the right of way and now tells me he will place gates at each end of the right of way that I will have to open and close as he said he will buy cows. What legal right do I have ?
    All I want is to have access to the road from my property, he tell me that it is his property and to stay off of it unless I just cross or drive accross it which with the trash I can not.
    Would be great to get something legal that decribes in NC, right of way or easement and my

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: 20 Foot Right Of Way In North Carolina

    Well, if the easement is recorded in your deed, you have a right to use it and maintain it as necessary for the purpose of access(paving or stay-mat, etc).

    He may not pile trash on the easement, as it hinders your right of use.

    The issue of the gate isn't so clear. Generally, owners of the property the easement crosses can't interfere with the use of an easement. However, the owner does have the right to reasonably protect/contain his livestock, and some form of fencing and/or gates might be reasonable. This would depend a lot upon the exact wording in the deed, the original purpose/intent of the easement, historical use of the easement and properties, etc. It's all about the gray legal area of competing interests.

    But I would offer the opinion that if you had to four times exit your vehicle to manually operate a gate at both ends of the easement every time you went in or out, it might well unreasonably interfere with your right of passage/use, especially as you never had to do this in the past. All that is something that you and the owner(or your lawyers and a court) must decide.

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