House Bill #7337 (2018)

AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY - MAINTENANCE OF PRIVATE EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY

Requires that the cost of maintaining an easement or right-of-way be the responsibility of the owner(s) of the property that the easement benefits.

View latest version | View original version
View status on official RI website

Subscribe to email updates


Changes since original draft

  • 2018 – H 7337
  • 2018 – H 7337 SUBSTITUTE A
  • ========
  • LC003929
  • LC003929/SUB A
  • ========
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2018
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PROPERTY - EASEMENTS
  • RELATING TO PROPERTY - MAINTENANCE OF PRIVATE EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS-
  • OF-WAY
  • Introduced By: Representatives Hearn, and Keable
  • Date Introduced: January 31, 2018
  • Referred To: House Judiciary
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Chapter 34-7 of the General Laws entitled "By Possession and Prescription" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 34-7-10. Maintenance of private easements and rights-of-way.
  • (a) For purposes of this section:
  • (1) "Benefited property" or "property that benefits" includes residential real property burdened by an easement or right-of-way, the owner of which residential real property uses such easement or right-of-way; and
  • (2) "Easement" or "right-of-way" means a private appurtenant easement or right-of-way.
  • (3) "Residential real property" means any real property located in Rhode Island, upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling, but does not include property owned by the state or any political subdivision of the state;
  • (b) The owner of any residential real property that benefits from an easement or right-of- way, the purpose of which is to provide access to such residential real property, shall be responsible for the cost of maintaining such easement or right-of-way in good repair; the cost of repairing or restoring any damaged portion of such easement or right-of-way; and for all liabilities, including, without limitation, injury to persons or damage to property, attributable to the maintenance of such easement or right-of-way by such owner. Such maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, the removal of snow from such easement or right-of-way.
  • (c) If more than one residential real property benefits from such easement or right-of- way, the cost of maintaining and repairing or restoring such easement or right-of-way shall be shared by each owner of a benefited property, pursuant to the terms of any enforceable written agreement entered into for such purpose. In the absence of such agreement, the cost of maintaining, repairing or restoring such easement or right-of-way; and for all liabilities, including, without limitation, injury to persons or damage to property, attributable to the maintenance or repair of such easement or right-of-way, shall be shared by each owner of a benefited property in proportion to the benefit received by each such property.
  • (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, any owner of a benefited property who directly or indirectly damages any portion of the easement or right- of-way shall be solely responsible for repairing or restoring the portion damaged by such owner, and for all liabilities, including, without limitation, injury to persons or damage to property, attributable to such damage.
  • (e) If any owner of a benefited property refuses to repair or restore a damaged portion of an easement or right-of-way in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, or fails, after a demand in writing, to pay such owner's proportion of the cost of maintaining or repairing or restoring such easement or right-of-way in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, an action for specific performance or contribution may be brought in district court against such owner by other owners of benefited properties, either jointly or severally.
  • (f) In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this section and an agreement described in subsection (c) of this section, the terms of the agreement shall control.
  • SECTION 1. Title 34 of the General Laws entitled "PROPERTY" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
  • CHAPTER 9.1
  • MAINTENANCE OF PRIVATE EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY
  • 34-9.1-1. Definitions.
  • As used in this chapter:
  • (1) "Benefited property" or "property that benefits" means and includes residential real property enjoying the use of an easement or right-of-way;
  • (2) "Burdened property" means and includes residential real property over which the easement runs;
  • (3) "Easement" or "right-of-way" means a private appurtenant easement or right-of-way; and
  • (4) "Residential real property" means one to four (4) family residential real estate located in this state, but does not include property owned by the state or any political subdivision thereof.
  • 34-9.1-2. Maintenance of private easement and rights-of-way.
  • (a) In the absence of an enforceable written agreement to the contrary, the owner of any residential real property that benefits from an easement or right-of-way, the purpose of which is to provide access to such residential real property, shall be responsible for the cost of maintaining such easement or right-of-way in good repair and the cost of repairing or restoring any damaged portion of such easement or right-of-way. Such maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, the removal of snow from such easement or right-of-way.
  • (b) In the absence of an enforceable written agreement, the cost of maintaining and repairing or restoring such easement or right-of-way shall be shared by each owner of a benefited property in proportion to the benefit received by each such property; provided, that the market value or assessed valuation of each such property shall not be taken into consideration in the calculation of benefit received.
  • (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, any owner of a benefited property and/or any owner of a burdened property who directly or indirectly damages any portion of the easement or right-of way shall be solely responsible for repairing or restoring the portion damaged by that owner.
  • (d) If any owner of a benefited or burdened property refuses to repair or restore a damaged portion of an easement or right-of-way in accordance with this section, or fails, after a demand in writing, to pay the owner's proportion of the cost of maintaining or repairing or restoring such easement or right-of-way in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, an action for specific performance or contribution may be brought in the superior court against such owner by other owners of benefited and/or burdened properties, either jointly or severally.
  • (e) In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this section and an agreement described in subsections (a) or (b) of this section, the terms of the agreement shall control.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
  • ========
  • LC003929
  • LC003929/SUB A
  • ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PROPERTY - EASEMENTS
  • ***
  • This act would establish rights and obligations of residential property owners concerning the maintenance of private easements and rights-of-way.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC003929 ========
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PROPERTY - MAINTENANCE OF PRIVATE EASEMENTS AND RIGHTS-
  • OF-WAY
  • ***
  • This act would require that the cost of maintaining an easement or right-of-way be the responsibility of the owner(s) of the property that the easement benefits.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC003929/SUB A ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for PASSAGE

May 15, 2018 at 4:44pm
Yeas: 65 / Nays: 6 / Not voting: 4 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney NV
Rep. Ackerman NV
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida NV
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros Y
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario Y
Rep. Carson Y
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale Y
Rep. Corvese NV
Rep. Costantino Y
Rep. Coughlin Y
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha Y
Rep. Diaz Y
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi N
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn Y
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard Y
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian Y
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia Y
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan N
Rep. Morin Y
Rep. Nardolillo Y
Rep. Newberry Y
Rep. Nunes N
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips Y
Rep. Price N
Rep. Quattrocchi N
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell Y
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts N
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh Y
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield Y

Floor vote for PASSAGE IN CONCURRENCE

June 23, 2018 at 5:18pm
Yeas: 55 / Nays: 7 / Not voting: 13 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros Y
Rep. Bennett NV
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario NV
Rep. Carson NV
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale Y
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino Y
Rep. Coughlin Y
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha NV
Rep. Diaz Y
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi N
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso N
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn NV
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard NV
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian NV
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia NV
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall NV
Rep. Marszalkowski NV
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan Y
Rep. Morin NV
Rep. Nardolillo N
Rep. Newberry NV
Rep. Nunes N
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips Y
Rep. Price N
Rep. Quattrocchi N
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell Y
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts N
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon NV
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh Y
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield Y