New York, NY asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York

Q: In NY can you claim ownership of someone else's property because you have used it for some of period of time?

We have an adjacent neighbor whose driveway has two exit points: at one end onto a main road which is what they are supposed to be using, the other end onto our church parking lot and then onto a side road. Part of the driveway that leads to our parking lot crosses over part of our property. The concern we have is if they use that as an exit for some amount of time can they eventually claim ownership of it?

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes and no on the ownership. If you write to them and tell them to stop, that cuts off any ownership issues. You can legalize the driveway through your land by doing what it called an easement. It is a recorded document, like a deed, that states that the driveway is for access but subject to your ownership. If you wanted to do things the legally correct way, that is it.

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