Don’t own my driveway on a SFH

4 Replies

My very first SFH I bought at an absolute auction in 2010. I went cause I never seen a house auction and figured I would watch. The House was a 2 bed 2 bath 1100 sq ft. I knew from my appraiser friends that I done computer work for that it would be at least 45000 value, and I figured I could rent it for 550. I purchased it for 34500. I rent it for 600 and only but about 2000 in windows in it. So it does very well. But what I found out after having it survived is the land stops about 3 feet from the side of it so the driveway and the air conditioner are not even on my property most of the septic are not on it either. My question has anyone ever dealt with owners that block a driveway or other part of a property before and how bad does it get. I know the people that owned the property behind and next are the ones that sold it to the lady the lost it at auction so I don’t think they will come after it but I’m not sure either.

It would be unusual for a property to be zoned for occupancy and have a structure built on it if it was land locked.  More than likely your property has an easement for ingress/egress across the neighboring property out to the road.  Need to review the property titles to confirm.

It's possible there in no easement due to previous owners subdividing and neglecting to include an easement. If that is the case you'll need to come to an agreement with the neighboring owner, And/Or you have an adverse possession situation and you're going to want to contact an attorney.

Since you bought it at auction, you most likely bought it without title insurance and all that goes with it. There is no recourse to the driveway/easement issue other than the suggestion of getting the court to give you a right of way.  They cannot stop you from accessing land locked property but the route is determined by the arbitrator/court. That being said you can find out if you can negotiate with the other land owner reasonable terms for purchase/use of the property. Do not approach them until you have spoken with an attorney as you may actually cause a complication by talking to them about it without the advice of counsel.   I have a friend who is trying to negotiate the piece of land next to them as they found that half of the house is on their property.Good luck.

Since you purchased this property at a foreclosure auction (i.e. there was a lender involved) I would be surprised if there is truly no access. 

A quick title search would disclose the existence of an easement, right of way or shared driveway agreement. 

If you purchased owners title insurance, pull out your policy and review the section on special exceptions. See if any agreements are identified. 

ROW should be in the deed as mentioned I don’t believe the previous owner could have financed the property without clear ROW. Also, you should find the septic plan at the town office...not sure what your recourse there is. Definitely spend some of your cash flow on good legal advice

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.