What are some of the negatives involving an agreement such as a private road / shared driveway? We only have one way in and out.
A private road agreement is usually an arrangement where several land owners (say homeowners) have homes along a private road. The agreement addresses issues as maintenance, snow plowing, etc. The negatives are the potential for disputes with other users of the private road, not being part of a town or other government system that provides services, etc. The more issues that you and your neighbors address in the agreement the less likely you will all be to have disputes at a later date. Some of the issues to consider are the following: o How do you allocate the costs of maintenance? For example, if the road is 500 feet, and there are 5 homeowners, does each pay 20% or do you charge the homeowner who lives at the end more? Is it fair to charge the homeowner who lives 50 feet from t road entrance the same as the one who lives 500 feet from the road entrance? o How should repairs be charged? Even if you charge homeowners the cost of maintenance in a manner that reflects the distance on the road they use, should the same or a different allocation apply for repairs? o What if damage is caused by a particular homeowner? Shouldn't that homeowner bear the cost? If so, how do you define what is damage caused by a homeowner versus general damage? o How do you determine if the road should be taken over by the town and be made into a public road? o How and when should fees be collected? o What happens when someone doesn't pay the fee they are assessed? o Where is the money to be kept? Which bank? What name? o How should disputes be settled? o How are vendors (e.g., snow plowing) selected? Be sure to hire an experienced real estate lawyer to help you work out the agreement.
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