Catonsville, MD asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Maryland

Q: Can my neighbor keep her gate open if it is blocking my driveway. What are my options for relief?

My neighbors fence is partially blocking access to our driveway. We've closed it since it is accessible from our own property, but she continues to open it. What are our options, and what maryland provisions cover this?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: I suppose it's a form of trespass. Have you tried talking to your neighbor? If that fails, provide her with written notice not to open her gate across your driveway, which blocks your access in and out of your property. If she does it again, I suppose you can file trespass charges (I doubt seriously the police will be happy coming out for this kind of dispute) or you can sue civilly for nuisance and interference with property rights, and request an injunction against her from obstructing your driveway with her gate. All of that seems like overkill and a very expensive way to go. You might also consider erecting some form of barrier or install a post along the property line that prevents her gate from opening past the edge of your property. Or perhaps you can convince her to have her gate open the opposite way than across your driveway, and offer to help her do it if you're handy with tools. That's not legal advice, just a few practical common sense solutions. You will have to live next door to this neighbor, so whatever you do, try to keep the peace as opposed to taking actions that will escalate matters.

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