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right of way

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yellowduc

Guest
What is the name of your state? Massachusetts

I recently bought a house with a driveway that is shared with our neighbor. I own 12feet of the driveway and he owns 4 feet. We each have a right of way that runs four feet into each other's property. I looked up a definition of right of way on this web site which notes: "A right of way is a form of an easement granted by the property owner that gives the right to travel over your land and to have the reasonable use and enjoyment of your property to others as long as it is not inconsistent with your use and enjoyment of the land."

Here is my issue, the neighbor's children continue to play on our side of the driveway and in our garage to the point that we are hesitant to park our very expensive car in the driveway as they have already damaged it. They have also been parking partially on our property so that it is difficult to get one of our vehicles out of our garage at times (they have a spot behind their house that they usually do not pull all the way into). I have already had several conversations with him on the issue and his response was essentially, "hey, they're little kids. I can't control what they do all the time." Sounds like a parenting issue to me but it really doesn't even seem as though he has tried to encourage them to play in an area that doesn't endanger our vehicles and other property. Our neighbors are apparently unwilling to respect our property rights and use the right of way in a manner consistent with our use and enjoyment of the land. What are our rights and/or remedies?
 
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HomeGuru

Senior Member
yellowduc said:
What is the name of your state? Massachusetts

I recently bought a house with a driveway that is shared with our neighbor. I own 12feet of the driveway and he owns 4 feet. We each have a right of way that runs four feet into each other's property. I looked up a definition of right of way on this web site which notes: "A right of way is a form of an easement granted by the property owner that gives the right to travel over your land and to have the reasonable use and enjoyment of your property to others as long as it is not inconsistent with your use and enjoyment of the land."

Here is my issue, the neighbor's children continue to play on our side of the driveway and in our garage to the point that we are hesitant to park our very expensive car in the driveway as they have already damaged it. They have also been parking partially on our property so that it is difficult to get one of our vehicles out of our garage at times (they have a spot behind their house that they usually do not pull all the way into). I have already had several conversations with him on the issue and his response was essentially, "hey, they're little kids. I can't control what they do all the time." Sounds like a parenting issue to me but it really doesn't even seem as though he has tried to encourage them to play in an area that doesn't endanger our vehicles and other property. Our neighbors are apparently unwilling to respect our property rights and use the right of way in a manner consistent with our use and enjoyment of the land. What are our rights and/or remedies?

**A: call the police and file a trespassing notice, file a lawsuit and invoke your private property rights.....
 

ChrisViper

Junior Member
Re; Right of way

What you should have done, if you havent done that already, is taken pictures of the damage done to your car. And explained that its ok for them to use there right of way how they want because you do also, but not to damage your property. If you guys cant come to some sort of agreement i would just make it so neither of you could use each others property. That way you dont have to worry whether or not his kids are in your garage. Unless you absolutely NEED the part of his property that you have access to.
 
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yellowduc

Guest
Okay

Thank you for the replies. Pictures have been taken of the car. I don't know if I want to call the police on the guy, he is my neighbor after all. What I do want to do is explain reality to him in a way that he will be more proactive with his children.

Because he only owns about 4 feet of the paved driveway, elimination of the right of way would mean that he would not be able to park his car in his back yard. I own 12 feet and would have no issue at all if I had no right of way on his property. If there is a way for me to dissolve his right of way and, as an equal measure, our right of way on his property, perhaps he will realize that we have some leverage and will tell his children that they are prohibited from playing in the driveway.

Question: Is there a legal way to dissolve the right of way? We each have 4 feet onto each other's property so the value of each should be about equal if measured in terms of square footage. If I can effectively threaten him with the dissolution of his parking rights, perhaps he will pay attention. I want to let him know that he is legally violating the arrangement without pushing our relationship to the edge right away. In order to have that conversation with him, however, I need to educate myself on what I could do if I wanted to. Ultimately, I want to be able to say, "look, if I wanted to I could do __. But I want a good relationship so I will only do __ if you continue to allow this behavior to continue."
 

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