If you share a common access road or area with one or more property owner(s) you should have a road maintenance agreement in place. Sharing a common access point is also known as a right-of-way or private road easement (the right to use the property of another without possessing or owning it).
Sometimes the only access to a property is on a private easement road from a public right of way; this means that the responsibility of the road maintenance falls on the people who have the right to use the road.
A road maintenance agreement will generally contain these items:
- The legal description of the property that has the right of way on it
- All parties that have the right to use this access
- How the responsibility for repairs is to be shared by the parties
- How the costs for repairs will be incurred by the parties and how emergency repairs will be addressed
- The consequences for non-participation in the maintenance
Road maintenance agreements are a great thing as long as all parties involved share in the repairs as spelled out in the agreement.
In some cases, if buying a home, a lender will require that a maintenance agreement be in place prior to them approving the loan if there is any type of private road easement on the property.
So remember when you are looking at property that takes access on a private road easement to check with your real estate agent and check the title report to see if a road maintenance agreement is in place. Reviewing a preliminary title report during your feasibility or inspection period to check for these kinds of red flags can save you time and heartache in the end.
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