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Maintenance of easement property

Tacoma, WA |

My next door neighbor and myself share a common driveway (easement) that runs thru the two properties in front of ours. We are the only two home owners that use this driveway consistently as it's our only access to our homes.

My question is who maintains this easement property, we have been cutting the grass and trying to keep it nice since we have moved in five years ago, as it runs alongside our driveway. Now the homeowner below us (who is a troublemaker by the way) is saying she wants to maintain it. I'm pretty sure they own the property, however, they don't use it. I wish I also knew if the easement was exclusive or not.


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Attorney answers 1


You might try checking with the Pierce County Auditor/Recorder’s office to see if there is any written and recorded easement regarding the driveway. Any written easement language will be the first step in determining what governs the maintenance or exclusivity of any easement. Some records can be found online, see link below. You may also have these records in your title report from when you purchased.

If there is nothing in writing regarding maintenance or exclusive use of the easement, then it may be an easement by prescription. An easement by prescription is generally created by use over the passage of time (10 years). Whether or not this applies in your situation or whether there are additional factors you should consider discussing with a local real estate attorney.