Can I block access to my driveway that my neighbor used before we bought the house?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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Can I block access to my driveway that my neighbor used before we bought the house?

We bought a home and the neighbor uses the driveway. However it is completely on our property and there is no easement in our deed. They are also not landlocked and can make their own driveway. I’m wondering if I can block access and make it our “private drive”. They are constantly running in and out all hours and that part of the driveway is a mess. They also park on our grass so much it’s ruined. They have been asked many times to stop.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your neighbor is using a portion of your property against your wishes and after asking the neighbor to stop, he or she refuses to do so, you can block the neighbor's use of your property since it is yours.

You need to be careful that your neighbor does not have an easement of record allowing him or her access through your property.

You need to be prepared that if you block access after attempts to obtain a voluntary stoppage of your neighbor's use of your parcel that he or she may file an action against you to establish a prescriptive easement if the use over your property has been over five (5) years and was not permissive by you or the prior owners of your property.

I recommend that you consult with a real estate attorney before you embark on a course to resolve.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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