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Question about a driveway easement accessibility & up keep…

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Question about a driveway easement...
Question about a driveway easement accessibility & up keep.
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/22/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 9 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,231
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a California licensed attorney admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions do you have? Additionally, Most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
My driveway is owned by the neighbor. There is no house there. I have access via the easement. I have been the only one using the driveway since I moved here 23 years ago. The neighborhood is in the hills so the driveway is up from the street it's pretty steep. Over 100' long. A couple of years ago the prop. was sold & last year they began geological work on the lot. Hundreds of dump & concrete trucks going up & down the driveway. As parts of it broke the contractor did temp fixes. They stopped all work in 12/16. Since then the driveway has continued to decay, especially at the bottom where the street is, as now it's wider many trucks use it to back-up in to turn around. There is no outlet up the street. The condition of that section on the driveway is so bad the my car scraps entering & exiting, to the point it's causing damage to my car. I've spoken to the owners rep. & he keep saying it's going to be fixed "soon" this has been his story for many months.
What rules are written to keep such a driveway acceptably passible? At some point they will be installing new pipes in it requiring complete excavation of the driveway & I want to know my rights on how long they can leave it un-drivable. As then I would have to park on the street & "hike" up it. If I used a walker or crutches then what ?
Thanks *****
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Thank you very much for providing that information. Generally, the owner of an easement has the right to not have the easement blocked or otherwise tampered with by the servient estate holder (your neighbor). Accordingly, you could potentially sue for damages on the basis of breach of contract because your easement cannot be accessed as it normally would. To clarify, this appears to be a breach of contract based on the failure to perform within a reasonable time. Courts regularly look toward the Uniform Commercial Code as their guide, since many states have adopted this code into their own statutes. Under UCC Section 2-309(1), the law says that each party has a reasonable time to perform if it is not expressly stated in the contract. What is considered “reasonable” is a matter of fact and depends on the circumstances, but it is an argument that you would have to make that it is unreasonable. Regardless, there is a legal basis for your particular claim. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Sounds good. Other than maybe getting the address of the owner (I know his name & have his father's phone #) from his rep. How would I get his or what address to send any letters to?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
how can I add a valuabletime element to this, since they always say "soon"
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Good question. You may have to ask around a bit to see what his address is. Sometimes, finding a defendant to an action is a tricky thing itself. What you could do is find an investigator or even a process server if you go to www.thumbtack.com and search for someone there. As far as the time element, I would probably find out how long it would normally take to do the job that they are doing so you an find out how long "soon" should realistically be if another, similarly situated company was doing the same thing.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Did you have any other questions for me at all?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Is there anyway to make them fix the existing damage when who knows when "soon' will ever happen? What could make them act.
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I'm so sorry for the unexpected delay. One moment...

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Ok, thank you for your patience. A possible remedy for breach would be to fix the damage done to the easement.

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