As a person who lives in the state of New Hampshire, you probably discover private roads while out driving. Every time you pass one of those roads, you might wonder why it is private. Or you might wonder what the difference is between a private road and any other road in the state. Well, today we are going to share the five things everyone should know about private roads. This should clear up any confusion you may have the next time you are on, or near, a private road.
5 Things Everyone Should Know About Private Roads
1. What is a Private Road?
A private road is a road that only certain people can drive on. This is obviously much different than public roads that everyone can use at any time.
Most private roads have a recorded easement in writing. Some do not. In those instances, it is simply implied that those who have homes on the private road can use it.
2. What is the Difference Between Private Roads and Class VI Roads?
These two types of roads are kind of similar and yet quite different. A municipality is not required to maintain a private road or a Class VI road. However, everyone can drive on Class VI roads, while only certain people can drive on private roads. And those same municipalities we mentioned above can create some guidelines for regulating Class VI roads. But they cannot create any guidelines for the use of private roads.
3. Can a Person Obtain a Building Permit on a Private Road?
Anyone can obtain a building permit on a private road. It just isn’t as simple as obtaining other building permits. It is simpler to get approval when the private road is already shown on the official map in the area. However, when the private road is not on the map, a person may need to do a little extra work to get approval from the local governing body. Once one obtains approval, a person may need to have it in writing that the municipality is not responsible for maintaining the road. Or for any personal injuries that may occur to a person using the road.
4. Who is Responsible for Maintaining a Private Road?
There should always be an agreement in place between everyone living on the private road that states what each owner is responsible for when it comes to maintenance. If there is no agreement in place, then each owner must contribute an equal amount of the cost to maintain the private road.
If a certain owner happens to damage any portion of the road on their own, they are then responsible for the repair costs.
5. What is a Private Road Maintenance Agreement?
The agreement we mentioned above is officially called a private road maintenance agreement. Everyone who uses the private road should sign this agreement. The goal of the agreement is to ensure everyone knows who is responsible for maintenance and how they should address payment.
When we create private road maintenance agreements for clients, we make sure to include the following:
- The people who are responsible for private road maintenance
- The types of maintenance that should be performed
- The people who should make the decision that maintenance is required
- How much money each owner should contribute
- The consequences for any owner who doesn’t contribute money for maintenance
Hopefully you now know what you should do about private roads. If you have any other questions or need assistance with a private road you have, please contact our office today for a consultation.