What Is The Difference Between Maintaining And Upgrading An Easement?

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I own property which has a deed easement. This easement is used by two other neighbors who all own property along the drive. The deed states “A non-exclusive easement of right a way.” Also stated is that we pay equal amount of the cost of maintenance. We have paid our share to maintain the gravel drive, but the other two owners want to pave the road. I contend that this is not maintenance, but is upgrading. What is our responsibility? 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.]

The answer will come down to an interpretation of the deed language, as well as the understanding of the parties. However, it is common to distinguish between maintenance and upgrades, so your position seems reasonable.

I would politely let your neighbors know that you don’t believe you have an obligation to contribute toward upgrades, but that if they believe you do, you’re open to them explaining the legal basis for that.



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Author: House Attorney