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  1. #1
    polydac1 is offline Junior Member
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    Installing Gate Across Easement

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? TN

    Hi, I would like to fence in my property for livestock purposes, but the fence will cut across an existing driveway/easement. The easement (30' wide, ingress/egress only, gravel road) is used by my neighbor to access his property. My question is, can I put a gate across this easement, as long as I do not lock it or, otherwise prevent my neighbor from crossing? I had been told that an easement only guarantees my neighbor access but cannot restrict how I use the property (i.e. putting up a gate). Nevertheless, in scrolling through some of the similar posts on this website, it appears that this is a fairly controversial subject, with the answer depending on the state and underlying circumstances, hence my confusion!

    Not sure if it is relevent, but there is already an old gate across one section of the driveway, although not currently in use. Furthermore, my neighbor installed a gate on the same road, on his side of the property line. My new gate would go in adjacent to his.

    There is also a driveway agreement in place, but it only spells out maintenance, boundaries etc. Is there any particular language I should look for in the driveway agreement (or deed) that would indicate whether such gates would be prohibited?

    Thanks in advance for any help on this matter!
  2. #2
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    You are correct that the ROW only gives the neighbor the right to use, not to control. However, it would be a good idea to get the neighbor's agreement on this, and if you need to lock the gate to offer him/her a key.

    Or an electric gate with button access as we have.
  3. #3
    Indiana Filer is offline Senior Member
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    Could you fence up to the edge of the road and then use one of those cattle guard-thingys in the road so that the livestock can't cross? (It looks like a section of fence lying on it's side covering a hole.)
  4. #4
    Indiana Filer is offline Senior Member
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    Could you fence up to the edge of the road and then use one of those cattle guard-thingys in the road so that the livestock can't cross? (It looks like a section of fence lying on it's side covering a hole.)

    No need for a gate, and the road isn't blocked.
  5. #5
    polydac1 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the input! I had considered both an electric fence and/or one of the cattle gates but am worried that that I'd be liable for their upkeep and maintenance (my neighbor has already refused to do driveway maintenance even though it is spelled out in driveway agreeement). My neighbor's son is likely to build another house on a spare lot, so the heavy construction traffic would probably destroy the cattle gate.

    Unfortunately my neighbor is also a classic neighbor from hell so talking to him about it is probably not an option. After refusing to do his share of maintenance on the road, I came home one day to find him digging up my driveway to install utilitiies. I called the sheriff to stop him, he sued, the judged ruled in my favor (i.e. no utility easement) and he and his family have been trouble ever since. They had to run their utilities through another neighbor at considerable cost (I'm not the only neighbor they've sued). To retaliate, they routinely spin their tires in the driveway (throwing gravel), knock over my garbage cans, and try to run me and my girlfriend off the driveway. As if that is not bad enough, someone (99% sure it was his son), shot through my front porch window earlier this year trying to kill my dog. So the gating serves another, albeit secondary purpose, in that it helps me control traffic in and out of the property for security reasons.

    If he hadn't been such a jerk, I would have let him run the utilities, and would install the convenience gates, but I'm reluctant to now, given all the additional circumstances. I'm sure, when I put up the gates, that he will sue, which is why I want to make sure I'm staying "legal". Rgds,
  6. #6
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by polydac1
    Thanks for the input! I had considered both an electric fence and/or one of the cattle gates but am worried that that I'd be liable for their upkeep and maintenance (my neighbor has already refused to do driveway maintenance even though it is spelled out in driveway agreeement). My neighbor's son is likely to build another house on a spare lot, so the heavy construction traffic would probably destroy the cattle gate.
    If the neighbor's traffic damages the roadway then you can sue them to recover costs of repair.

    Unfortunately my neighbor is also a classic neighbor from hell so talking to him about it is probably not an option. After refusing to do his share of maintenance on the road, I came home one day to find him digging up my driveway to install utilitiies. I called the sheriff to stop him, he sued, the judged ruled in my favor (i.e. no utility easement) and he and his family have been trouble ever since.
    Then flip him off every time you drive down the road.
    [quote]
    They had to run their utilities through another neighbor at considerable cost (I'm not the only neighbor they've sued). To retaliate, they routinely spin their tires in the driveway (throwing gravel), knock over my garbage cans, and try to run me and my girlfriend off the driveway.
    [/qutoe]
    Then you need to call the police.
    As if that is not bad enough, someone (99% sure it was his son), shot through my front porch window earlier this year trying to kill my dog. So the gating serves another, albeit secondary purpose, in that it helps me control traffic in and out of the property for security reasons.
    all the more reason to provide a gate.
    If he hadn't been such a jerk, I would have let him run the utilities, and would install the convenience gates, but I'm reluctant to now, given all the additional circumstances. I'm sure, when I put up the gates, that he will sue, which is why I want to make sure I'm staying "legal". Rgds,
    Come back here and post the EXACT wording in the easement.
  7. #7
    polydac1 is offline Junior Member
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    Here are excerpts from the driveway agreement. It is a bit messy because there are multiple parties described (besides my troublesome neighbors).

    For visual reference, the driveway enters from the road and first crosses over a 50' strip of land owned by the Party of the First Part (Lot 1). It then clips a section of land owned by the Party of the Second Part (Lot 2), before reaching me (the Party of the 3rd Part). The driveway then crosses the width of my property and enters the land owned by my troublesome neighbors (Lot 4). Note that when the agreement was originally drafted, the "Party of the 2nd Part" owned both Lot 2 and Lot 4. They used my portion of the driveway to access Lot 4 for farming.

    Main excerpts from The Driveway Agreement text are below. Thanks for all of your input on this as it has been very helpful!


    -------
    The driveway shall be a driveway for the mutual non-exclusive use of the parties hereto for ingress and egress to and from their repsective properties for the common and joint use of the parties hereto, and said driveway shall be and become an easement appurtenant to the respective properties of the properties hereto and the rights to use this driveway shall be and remain rights that shall run with the land of the parties hereto.

    The obligation to maintain the dirveway shall be and remain the obligation of the Parties of the Third Part hereto, their heirs and assigns. Provided however, if the driveway, or any portion thereof, is used by the parties of the First Part, or the Parties of the Second Part, or their heirs and assigns, the maintenance of the driveway shall be the equal responsibility of the parties hereto or their heirs and assigns.

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