Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Massachusetts

i own a property and a house behind me has the right of way on my drive way can i make them responsable for the up keep of the driveway?

Asked on 7/30/21, 4:19 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

You may not get many replies to this, as your query has nothing to do with the category "Intellectual Property" (such as copyright, trademark, and patents). "Real Property" is different.

That said: a right of way entitles the holder to transit the land of another (here, yours), and also to do such repairs as are necessary for the successful enjoyment of the right of access. The "servient estate" (yours) has no duty to repair or maintain the path of access. Because the "dominant estate" (the other guy) has a right, but not a duty, to do repairs as he sees fit, you have no ability to compel him to maintain the driveway. Essentially, it is a game of "chicken" when a shared driveway is involved; the one with the off-road SUV will tolerate deterioration more than the owner of a low clearance touring sedan. As yours is probably more in public view, the eyesore will be associated with you and not the neighbor with right-of-way access.

Best wishes,


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Answered on 8/01/21, 6:13 am

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