WIll I Owe My Neighbor Money for the Improvements to Our Property?

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I live on a private paved road with 17 other homes. We were approached by a neighbor who was interested in repairing the road and spoke to a contractor, got an estimate, and wants us to pay $1700 for our portion. We told him that we are not financially able to pay for any portion of the road and do not see being able to in the future. He continues to press us, coming to our door, calling us, leaving notes in our mailbox, trying to get us to agree to redoing the road. He has told us to refinance our home, use our credit card, or that he would be willing to lend us the money if we signed a document stating that we agreed. He will not accept our answer that we aren’t financially able to do this and we refuse to sign anything. Does he legally have the right to continue to harass us?

[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.]

He doesn’t have the right to harass you; the question is whether what he’s done amounts to harassment. The other question is whether you have a legal obligation to pay for a portion of the road, since it is private.

The answer to that second question will depend largely on the (hopefully written) agreement for shared ownership of the private road. But typically private roads come with a reasonable maintenance requirement.

So, assuming you do have that obligation, your neighbor could potentially sue to enforce it. That’s a road neither of you really wants to go down, I’m sure.

You may want to consider looking into whether there are free or no-cost mediation services available in your area, and try taking advantage of
them. Hopefully, you’ll be able to come out of that process with an agreement you both can live with.

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Author: House Attorney