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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38257
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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If I pay for road repairs on property I have easement

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Hi, if I pay for road repairs on property I have easement through in order to safely get to my home do I have any recourse in obtaining money from the land owner (fair share of bill), if the owner does not want to help out. Such as small claims court or other venue?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Idaho.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

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What does the written easement state about who is responsible for maintaining the road?

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thanks

Barrister

Barrister and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It does not state specifically who.

Ok, then the general rule is that the owner of the underlying land has the duty to maintain it in the same condition it was in when the easement was granted. The landowner doesn't have any duty to improve the property, and the easement holder can't improve it without permission..

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So if the landowner isn't maintaining the road, then you could maintain a cause of action against them under a breach of contract action and ask the judge to order him to pay for any repairs or maintenance.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
would this action occur in small claims court or other?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have cancelled the phone call.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can I send you the single page .pdf copy of the easement?

If it is under $5,000 then you can sue in small claims court..

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, thanks. Appreciate the info.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time. And you can upload that PDF if you like and I can take a look.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How do I send the .pdf?

There should be a little paperclip icon that you can click on and upload a file.. I haven't been on your side of the computer for years so I am not positive..

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ah, figured it out.

Ok, four paragraphs in it states that the Grantor, who is the landowner, doesn't have any responsibility to maintain at all and ""those costs shall be borne by the immediate adjoining land owners at their own discretion and expense.""

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So that changes things entirely and means that you and any other easement holders are responsible for maintaining the property. The landowner was pretty smart to put this in as it means they aren't liable for anything.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Actually, I am talking about my fellow easement holders. It takes three separate easements to get to my property (house), but the only one of interest is the one I sent you. There are 6 separate easement (land owners), that are involved on the road to my house in which I am at the very end of the road.

Ok, then the underlying landowner is not responsible for any maintenance costs, but all the other neighbors who use the easement basically have to pitch in for maintenance costs if they can all agree among themselves on what they are going to do.

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Or they can try to get the county or city to take over maintenance of the road by dedicating it to them..

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
basically if I maintain the road (and I have to in order to get in and out year round), I would have no way to get help out of the fellow easement holders if they do not wish to help?

I don't see anything in the easement grant that makes it mandatory for any other easement holders to contribute to the maintenance of the easement route.. So no, you can't force other owners to pitch in if they refuse..

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You could contact the county or city to see if they would accept the dedication of the road so they would maintain it, but that will result in property taxes going up..

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
OK, sort of what I thought. Thanks again for your help.