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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16394
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Real Estate Law Mentor
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I need Maryland law regarding shared driveways. Client is

Customer Question

I need Maryland law regarding shared driveways. Client is buying a house with shared driveway and there is no joint maintenance agreement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** will be happy to answer your question.

Is the driveway equally shared by this client and his/her neighbor?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are two houses side by side with a driveway in between that is shared. I am a loan officer working with the buyer and the shared driveway became a last minute issue. What I am looking for is a state statute in Maryland that addresses whether or not there is a requirement for a joint maintenance agreement. This is not a private road...it is shared driveway that is two cars wide so that in theory you don't even need to use the other homeowner's side. Also, half of the driveway is on the survey and on the title indicating it is part of the subject land. Case law might help and I did provide Drolsum v Luzuriaga, 93MD.App.1(1992) but it is not being accepted as sufficient. I need the statute. Thank you.
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a specific Maryland statute addressing shared driveway situation, so it is likely it simply doesn't exist, since shared driveways are generally treated as easement by necessity.

Is the bank requesting shared driveway maintenance agreement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there isn't one. House has been sold before with no issue but naturally my bank would make it an issue.
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

Well, generally, there is no requirement to have a formal written agreement when it comes to maintenance of the shared driveway, as it actually presumed under the law that both house owners would be equally responsible for maintenance of the shared driveway and if one party fails to do their part or contribute their share of maintenance costs, then the other owner can sue to recover the cost of the maintenance owed by the non-paying owner.

It would appear that this is more of a specific bank's underwriting policy and it would make sense to have the situation reviewed by the bank's legal department, which should be able to apply the common law presumption (since there is no specific statute that would address the issue) and waive the requirement for any type of legal agreement related to the shared driveway.

Please let me know if you have any related question.