When you buy a house, you may find yourself sharing a driveway with a neighbor. As long as both parties are willing to respect each other’s needs, sharing a driveway won't be an inconvenience. However, if your neighbors starts using your side of the driveway for their own vehicles, guest parking or even for activities and entertaining, it may become necessary to divide the driveway with a legal, binging contract or dividing wall. In fact, many municipalities require that neighbors sign a shared driveway contract when a new tenant or owner moves in.
Negotiate and sign a contract agreeing to share the driveway and respect each other’s needs. This contract should include details on sharing repair costs for the driveway if the homes are not the property of a landlord. Include terms that require each party to ask the other’s permission before using the other party’s half of the driveway. You may only need to negotiate an agreement not to block the driveway with bikes, toys or vehicles that prevent the other neighbor from accessing his parking spot or garage. Have two copies of the contract signed and notarized; each party should retain a copy of the final contract.
Seek mediation if you are struggling to agree with your neighbor regarding the terms for sharing the driveway. Ask an unbiased neighbor to listen to both sides of the dispute and offer a compromise that is fair to both parties sharing the driveway. If necessary, you may need to seek a real estate lawyer, landlord or local officials to negotiate a contract for shared use of the driveway.
Divide the driveway with a decorative wall made of stone, brick or stacked wood beams if the driveway is wide enough to divide this way and still provide roadway access to both neighbors. You may also place attractive, oversized potted plants and miniature trees along the center of the driveway’s width to create a division between the two sides. When dividing the driveway in this manner, you may want to sign and have notarized any new contracts or additions to existing agreements.
- Shared driveways may also be called “common driveways” and refer to shared driving spaces used to access back yards, garages or parking spaces at the rear of the home.