Neighbors tore out 40 ft. of grass on the easement replacing with gravel, leaving a small section beautified for their enjoyment. We planted flowers along the fence line where the strip of grass is and they tore them out mowing this area weekly. The maintenance agreement specifically states that only the road is required to be maintained. However, the road is eroding and they refuse to repair it stating it is our responsibility because we have UPS deliveries. They also claim we are harassing them when we walk up and down the easement (watering) because we don't need to be there. They are controlling our land as if it belonged to them and we are the mere easement holders. They have been sent a C&D letter to stop mowing but they refuse. What can be done?
You will need to review the documents granting the right to use the easement to see what the right includes.
If the documents do not require the dominant estate (the property with the right to use another property) to maintain, then the dominant estate likely has choice of maintaining.
Unless you have really heavy traffic, damages to the road likely is not only your responsibility.
You can review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
The posted question does not say enough about the easement or property ownership to be able to answer very well. Maybe that person can explain more.
Is the easement a grant from the property owned by "neighbors" that gives rights to your property to go upon their property for access ["ingress and egress"] to your property? Or is the easement a grant from a prior owner of your property that gives rights to the neighbor's property to go upon your property for access to their property?
What exact rights are granted in the easement document? If it only says ingress and egress, that only allows the user to walk or drive on the burdened owner's land to get from the public road to your property. There is a right to maintain the path as needed to be able to use the neighbor's land for that access.
Does the easement document state that the rights given to the other property are "exclusive?" If not, then the owner of the land burdened by that easement also has rights to use that same land. The rights of the owner of the burdened land may not unreasonably interfere with the rights given to the user.
The easement document is not likely to prohibit either party from putting gravel on a road instead of grass, planting flowers on the side of the road within the easement width, mowing the grass, or a dispute resolution procedure if the two parties cannot agree between grass, gravel or flowers.
A meeting with a lawyer with the documents will help you to understand the rights of both parties and maybe to reach an agreement with the neighbors on those details.
There is no attorney-client relationship established between me and other persons who may post a question or answer. My opinions are without investigation of the facts, based on presumptions. My opinions may not be relied upon as the opinion of my employer or used against the company in a claim.
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