Every property should have a driveway, be it owned by a person or jointed ownership. It is a short segmented road that leads to a house or property from a public way, which is maintained by an individual or group of people.
To some, a driveway isn’t needed, but a few who own it declare it to be an added value to a property. It means owning a driveway increase the value (Price) of your property. It gives you a free will to lease out at a higher rate or sell at a self-appealing price.
A driveway is a free space, non-congested with cars; it ensures those who come to your property don’t walk in dirt. It keeps the property clean and attractive.
What is a Shared Driveway?
Just as the name implies, “shared driveway” means a driveway owned by two or more people, in which they supervise, shares its profits and maintenance.
A driveway isn’t another property on its own; it is a part of the property or home. It requires that each owner is on agreeable terms to avoid suing each other in court.
The ever-challenging problem of owning a shared driveway is to have a neighbor block the other from gaining access or with maintenance.
Both parties might neglect to bear the weight of maintaining the pathway. Sharing driveway comes with benefits and frustrations depending on who the neighbor is.
Is There a Legal Ownership Law to a Shared Driveway?
You can’t be so sure you don’t have a right to a shared driveway until you read this. A shared driveway can be explained using three categories in terms of legal ownership. They include:
1. One Person Ownership
The driveway is owned by one and the other has an easement over the driveway, i.e. The neighbor has a right to also use the driveway.
If you are bounded by this, you have the right to use the driveway in alignment with the dimensions drawn to you.
According to Utah’s Property law, an easement holder has an equal right with the owner to use his easement in accordance with the space given to you.
If you own the driveway, you are not allowed to prohibit your neighbor from using the allocated portion in terms of the easements.
2. Both Parties Ownership
The driveway is owned by both parties with each one having an equal right to everything including maintenance fees.
Each neighbor having equal rights makes it easy to maintain boundaries. Each neighbor is expected to maintain the allocated slots without having to disturb the other neighbor.
3. Both Parties Owns and Equal Easement
Each neighbor owns and has an equal easement to use the other neighbor’s space. This is also dependent on where your neighbor chooses to use it. If your neighbor doesn’t interfere with your comfort in regards to the easement, there is no need for a lawsuit.
To know which of these legal laws is assigned to your driveway, it is required you discuss with a lawyer and present a copy of your agreement to have a clearer definition of what you are to do and what you are not permitted to do.
These are shared driveway laws you should know. Moreover, you should be able to know when the landlord can tow a car parked in a shared driveway.
Can You Put Gate on a Shared Driveway?
Legally, it isn’t right to install a gate without the permission of your neighbor. If you hunger to install a gate on the shared driveway because of some reasons best known, ensure your neighbor permits you.
A shared driveway isn’t yours alone. Because of this, everything done on it requires each party have the consent of the other, including the cost for maintenance.
Who Pays to Fix a Shared Driveway?
According to the Land transfer regulation, the maintenance of a shared driveway must be shared equally between both parties or shared in alignment with the initial agreement. Because of their equal right to possess the driveway, we expect that both parties bear the weight of the maintenance.
Fixing is based on the agreement between both parties. If one owns more rights over the other, it is expected that the one with more rights gets to pay more and the one with a lesser right and access gets to pay lesser.
On a shorter note, fixing a driveway comes with its own type of stress. Without a clear statement of these things, it is possible one neighbor disagrees with the terms.
It is advisable you share a driveway with a law binding both you and your neighbor. Without the law, one of the neighbors is likely to go wild in terms of maintenance. You must have “shared driveway laws”.
Can You Build on a Shared Driveway?
Ownership of a driveway depends on the agreed spacing for each party. In every shared driveway, we have established boundaries, highlighting how much is owned by whom.
It can be owned equally and it can be based on variations. Either way, you can only use your share of the driveway; building on it depends on your choice because it isn’t affecting your neighbor.
The important factor when you intend to erect a structure on a shared driveway should be a consideration of the rules binding the shared driveway and your portion of the rules.
How Do I Know if my Driveway is Shared?
A shared driveway sometimes doesn’t mean the driveway is equally owned. It can be shared, but still belongs to a particular individual guided by rules.
If you are uncertain about who owns the driveway, you must take a quick peep into your document title. It is also essential to understand the document given to you, explained perfectly to you so you are sure of what you own and what isn’t yours.
Sometimes, rules might miss, maybe no written documents to be sure who owns what. In cases like this, consider asking for a legal document (shared driveway laws) stating the rules of each neighbor to avoid any sort of peace-draining incidents.
For more information on the “shared driveway laws”, you can watch the video of Aion Law Partners explaining the laws of shared driveway and your rights on their YouTube channel below.
A driveway can be profitable and peace draining, depending on what rules bind you to your neighbor. With a legal statement supporting you, it is easy to prevent law cases and threatening behavior, particularly if your neighbor isn’t so well in manners. It is better to know the shared driveway laws beforehand.