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Can I put a gate up and charge people for using the road on my property?

Sequim, WA |

There are several people who have to drive on my road to get to their property. There is an easement of record that allows them to do that. The problem is, my property is the start of this road. I only drive on about 50 ft. of it. All the other people are in and out all day long wearing the road down. No one contributes anything to the maintenance of the road, accept for myself. Can I put up a gate on the front of the road and charge a fee to help pay the cost of maintaining the road? What other manner would you suggest that I do to get the other people to help pay for what they are using?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

No, you absolutely cannot gate the easement against the wishes of the other easement owners.

You only have four legal options as I see it. First, ask the other easement owners to contribute. Second, search for a road maintenance agreement that could have been recorded at the same as the easement or any time thereafter. Third, assuming there is no such agreement, make an appointment with a local real estate lawyer who can advise you about what it would cost to bring a lawsuit to seek contribution from the users for maintenance costs and have the court issue a declaratory judgment that would bind all owners in the future. Fourth, if the maintenance costs are small, consider filing a small claims action yourself against each of the owners asking the judge to set a fair allocation.

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Posted

Your response is extremely helpful. Thank you.

Posted

Mr. Daudt is correct and leaves no doubt as to your four best choices. A fifth option is to sell the property and move to a home that does not have a shared driveway. Best wishes. Dealing with neighbors is rarely easy, but can be rewarding.

Rani K. Sampson (509) 663-5588 is a Washington attorney whose clients ask her to solve problems and negotiate difficult situations in real estate development, business formation and operation, estate planning, probate administration, and other matters. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.

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Posted

I agree with both previous answers and have the same situation myself. I pay for dust control along my property and I put in speed bumps to control excess speed. This does not make me popular however the dust is down and so are the speeds. The people at the far end have attempted to have me contribute to maintenance at the far end I respectfully have declined their request. In your case at some point someone will sell and some banks require a road maintenance agreement and for you that be your opportunity to get some equity in the maintenance and repair aspect

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

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I am looking up more court records on the subject. As you, I do not go past my place so do not feel I should have to maintain any road past my place. However, all of them drive on the road in front of my place. Some of them have trucks with mud tires that tear up the road leaving big pot holes. In any event, I am spending around $2,000.00 a year keeping up the road in front of my place. There are two of us and about 34 of them. I am sure I will hire an attorney to get something equitable figured out.

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