My Neighbor Built a Driveway on my Right of Way Easement, Can he do This Legally?

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“I live in the state of NY and I have a right of way on a piece of property from 1970. This was used for a turn around and a place for the kids to play. It is 50-100ft, we are at the end of a dead end street. The town just abandoned this piece for a neighbor to have a driveway to get to there new house. Can this be legally done? My right of way was also included with the deed given to the town when they took over the road in 1992. Thank you.”

[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.]

It depends. You will have to look at the document which created the easement to be certain, but most easements of this sort are “non-exclusive,” meaning that while you have certain rights to use the property, the property owner retains the right to use that area as well. (An exclusive easement would be one where the property owner cannot also use the land, and these are more unusual.)

Assuming that you have a non-exclusive easement, the owner of the land (the town, in this case) retains the right to use the property itself in all the normal ways . . . including the right to grant an easement. The restriction on this is that it cannot be done in such a way that it restricts your rights to your pre-existing easement. Again, you’ll have to refer to the originating document to see exactly what those rights are.



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Author: House Attorney

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