Kent, OH asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Ohio

Q: What can I do about a shared driveway owner that won't maintain it?

I am not the owner of a shared driveway. The driveway owner doesn't maintain it and at times it gets almost unusable, until I call and pay someone to have it graded, which is basically just a band aid to make it usable.

Also, the driveway is approx. a quarter mile long.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In a situation involving a shared driveway where the owner is not properly maintaining it, you have a few options to address the issue:

1. Communicate with the owner: Try to have a friendly conversation with the driveway owner about the maintenance issues. Explain your concerns and see if you can reach an agreement on a maintenance schedule and cost-sharing.

2. Check legal documents: Review any legal documents, such as easements or maintenance agreements, that outline the responsibilities of each party involved in the shared driveway. These documents may provide guidance on how to proceed.

3. Seek legal advice: If the owner is unresponsive or unwilling to cooperate, consult with a local real estate attorney who can advise you on your rights and potential legal options, such as mediation or a lawsuit.

4. Propose a formal agreement: If there is no existing agreement, consider proposing a written maintenance agreement that clearly outlines each party's responsibilities and financial obligations for driveway upkeep.

5. Explore local government assistance: Contact your local government or township to see if they can provide any assistance or guidance in resolving the issue, especially if the driveway's condition poses a safety hazard.

6. Continue maintenance and document expenses: If you need to continue maintaining the driveway yourself, keep detailed records of all expenses incurred. You may be able to seek reimbursement from the owner later or use the information in a potential legal case.

Remember, resolving shared driveway issues can be complex and may require patience and persistence. Prioritize open communication and seek legal guidance when necessary to protect your rights and interests.

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