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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I purchased a property 4 years ago. It has a driveway to one

Customer Question

I purchased a property 4 years ago. It has a driveway to one side of the home that goes to an out building/second garage. There is about 5 ft of grass between the edge of the driveway and a tree line which I believed to be the property line. I have maintained the grass since purchasing the home. The tree line begins a vacant lot on that side. Someone has recently began showing up and clearing out the lot, trees, brush ect. He claims no immediate plans to build, but he had a survey done and according to the survey half of that driveway along with the 5 ft of grass is his property. What rights do I have to the existing driveway, if any? I live in Hinckley Township, Medina County, Ohio
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
County auditors page shows the out building/garage was built in 1978.
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Assuming the driveway has been there since 1978, at a minimum you have the right to use the whole width of the driveway under the doctrine of prescriptive easement. Cutting the grass does not get you any more rights. My experience is that when a driveway straddles a property line, like yours, there is usually a recorded driveway or access easement entered into by prior owners of your and the neighbor's lots. Look at your purchase deed's legal description, if it says something like, " together with such and such easement . . . " or " Subject to such and such easement . . ." there is probably a recorded driveway or access easement. You can also pay a title insurance company to do a chain of title search to see if there is in fact a recorded easement for the portion of the driveway on the neighbor's lot.