PA real estate law, easement

Asked over 5 years ago - Clifton Heights, PA

I am looking at a property in PA that is a regular, rectangular lot. The neighbors have an irregular lot. The driveway of the house I am looking at looks like it was added after the house had been there for some time. Apparently, the person who added it did not look at the property lines. At the foot of the driveway, the entire width is on "my" lot. As you walk up that driveway, the property line slowly creeps in. By the time you reach the top of the driveway, nearly 1/2 of the driveway is on the neighbors lot. The neighbors also have a brick outline defining their back yard. This spills over the property line by about 4 feet.

The title of the property I am looking at says something about an 8 foot wide easement due to a common driveway. The width of the driveway is only 4-5 feet and the neighbors have a driveway on the other side of their house. I am assuming that, at one time, the driveway was 2 times as wide, and the neighbors parked there. Eventually, they removed their "half" of the driveway and had one added on the other side of their house.

My first question is, does the fact that their half of this driveway no longer exists make this easement null and void, or are they still allowed to park in my driveway? What I don't want is to move into this house, only to find the neighbors are parking behind me and blocking my car in, leaving oil stains in the driveway or having a party and filling up my driveway with their cars.

The other issue, as I mentioned earlier, is the neighbors bricks are a few feet beyond the property line. I would assume that a driveway easement gives them no right of an easement on another part of the property. So, if I wanted to ask them to move their bricks so I could put a fence up, I could do so, as long as it wasn't restricting their easement (if it still exists).

If I wanted this easement removed, or wanted to find out if it was null and void, how would I go about doing this? What kind of costs would be involved with this kind of thing (ballpark, are we talking $50 or $2,000)?

Thanks! I appreciate your help.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Paul H Begemann

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Was the width of the easement eight feet in total (maybe four on each property) or was it 8 feet on the neighbors' property? By you saying common driveway that leads me to think maybe 4 on each side and both people use the 8 feet (shared). The lack of use of the easement would not generally mean it is extinguished without some other agreement to that effect - simply not using it is not usually enough. Does the easement allow for parking or is it just for driveway use? I do not quite understand the bricks, but I would say that would probably not be covered by a driveway easement, but you would have to read the language to be sure (same as to the parking). Having theeasement removed or made null and void would require either agreement from the neighbor (you could do a new easement or a modification of the easement) or a court case against the neighbor. Modifying the easement should not be too expensive (maybe $1,500.00 depending on how much drafting and negotiaion is involved) while suit could be quite costly. NOTE: This is educationa, information, not legal advice. Please consult a local attorney for legal advice.

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