I Live on a Busy Street and my Neighbor with Easement Access Leaves my Gate Unlocked and Open, What can I do?

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“My neighbor has an easement across my property to access his driveway to his home. I have lived on my property for 18 years and the main gate at the entrance to the easement has always remained closed (locked at night) except for ingress and egress. This is for safety and security as I live on a busy street and I do not want people driving onto my property. This neighbor bought his property a few years ago. Recently he decided that he didn’t like having to get in and out of his vehicle to open and close the gate so he just leaves it open all the time. If I want it closed I have to do it myself, and, of course I have to be here to know that he has left it open. I am afraid that when I am away someone might drive in. I have posted signs that say “keep the gate closed” but he refuses to do so. Last week he damaged two ceramic signs that I have near my gate and ripped my State Farm teddy bear that says “good neighbear” and hangs on the gate into the gully below. Is there anything I can do to get him to close the gate and to stop breaking my stuff? The sheriff suggested that lock the gate with a different lock but I know he can sue me if I stop him from accessing his property. Thanks.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

The first thing I would suggest is to look at the document that created the easement, just in case it says anything about the gate. If it does, that might help convince your neighbor to keep it locked.

If not, you could attempt to sue your neighbor for maintaining a nuisance (the unsafe condition caused by the unlocked gate), but that could be an expensive option. Perhaps if you subtly point out that he could be financially responsible for any damage that comes from leaving the gate open, that might motivate him to see things your way? Alternately, how much would it cost for you to split the expense of a gate that is self-closing?



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Author: House Attorney

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