If a neighbor has used my driveway without my permission, can she force an ingress/egress easement?

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If a neighbor has used my driveway without my permission, can she force an ingress/egress easement?

There have been arguments over the use of my driveway over the years since I bought the property and no permission was ever given. This is a rental property. An easement will lower the value of my property and is an issue with tenants. An easement also forces me to maintain a severely sloped asphalt driveway which I may need to eliminate if it falls in disrepair, for financial reasons.

Asked on July 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you and your neighbor have had disputes over the years as to the use of your driveway then most likely the use has not developed into an easement for the simple fact that you have grudgingly allowed the use with your permission.

However, if your neighbor has for five plus years used the driveway exclusivley, under claim of right, in an open and notorious manner used your driveway, an easement issue may have developed. I suggest that you consult with a real estate attorney to discuss ways to nip this use issue in the bid so as not to be a detriment as to your ownership interest in the property you have written about.


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