We are on a private road and must maintain it. One of the 20 residents refuses to pay their yearly dues. How can we remedy this?
Since you share a private road, the best approach is neighborly persuasion not legal. As my mom always told me you catch more flies with honey then vinegar. Start by asking why they won't contribute (maybe the non-paying neighbor has a legitimate beef about how the road maintenance has been handled that is worth hearing).
If you really cannot persuade the neighbor to bear their share you'll need to go the legal route, if you can. You need to look at how the arrangement or obligation to pay the dues was created. In some instances these arrangements are merely voluntary and you might not have much recourse other than not inviting the offending neighbor to the annual block party. In many cases some type of legal arrangement is created for the maintenance of a common private road. This could be done in the form of a deed restriction (a provision in each deed going back to when the property was first sub-divided --- is it in the offending neighbor's deed?), a private contract signed by all neighbors (did they sign?), or perhaps by all homes using the common roadway signing a contract with a maintenance company (did they sign?). Whatever you find, you're probably best off having a local real estate attorney review the governing document to see what recourse you have. A letter from that attorney to the neighbor may solve the problem. If not, then you or the neighbors collectively, will have to head to court with your attorney. Before you go down that road (pun intended) be sure you've evaluated the costs versus the money involved.
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