What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NJ
My husband and I own a property that we are currently renting out. Our neighbor has sent us two letters through his lawyer, asking us to put new gravel down in front of our house. The road the property is on is all gravel, and there are only three properties. Our tenant says there is no problem. We also looked at the road and it is perfectly fine. Here is the letter:
I represent your neighbor, [Neighbor's Name], owner of [address].
[Neighbor's Name] is attempting to obtain your cooperation in helping to maintain the easement without having to resort to filing a lawsuit.
You are the only owner that utilizes the easement that has not at least covered the roadway with stone in front of their house to prevent deterioration from water run off, problems of airborne dust from disturbances and use of the easement in front of your property and creation of potholes.
Your failure to maintain the easement is causing a nuisance and depreciating the property values of the other owners.
The other two easement-holders recently put down stone on the roadway abutting their lots which only cost $580. The area you must cover is only 12.5' x 50' or 625 square feet. The area covered in stone by the other owners was much larger. Therefore, your cost should be less than what they incurred.
[Neighbor's name] is trying to resolve this matter amicably without resorting to litigation. If you do not take action to place stone down in the road bed in front of your lot within the next two weeks, [Neighbor's name] intends to file a lawsuit for your failure to maintain the easement and the creation of a nuisance.
I checked with the township and it does not seem as though we are in violation of anything. This neighbor has consistently started issues with us in the past over nothing he had control over. It is very tiring and we just want him to leave us alone. We are not the only ones he has started problems with.
My questions are:
• Since this appears to be a baseless case, is my neighbor still able to file a lawsuit for this?
• If this does progress, what type of lawyer do I need?
• Is there anything we can do legally to stop him from constantly bothering us? It is becoming a nuisance to us and causing a great deal of stress.