What’s wrong with this picture?
A.) Anything more than ½ inch differential settlement or a ½-inch crack in a sidewalk or driveway should be repaired or replaced by a qualified concrete contractor to eliminate the trip hazard.
B.) This is a terrific spot for bicycle tricks or bird baths.
C.) The cracks and settlement are not large enough to cause concern. Clean out the loose rocks and it will be fine.
D.) This much deterioration indicates the sidewalk should have never been there in the first place. Remove and re-sod.
The correct answer is A.) Anything more than ½ inch differential settlement or a ½-inch crack in a sidewalk or driveway should be repaired or replaced by a qualified concrete contractor to eliminate the trip hazard.
Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a property owner when it comes to sidewalks and vegetation in the right-of-way is important. The right-of-way refers to property adjacent to a road or other thoroughfare where people have the right to travel. These areas can be roads, sidewalks or alleys and generally connect with residential and commercial properties. They are unmarked except during road repairs. These right-of-ways may be owned by a city, other municipality or part of another tax-levying body, such as an improvement district. As a residential property owner, it is likely you will be responsible for some of the maintenance in the right-of-way that abuts your property.
In many places, homeowners are responsible for sidewalk installation, repair and maintenance in the right-of-way. Homeowners may also be responsible for keeping trees trimmed, vegetation mowed and garbage or debris picked up in the area. Many times, municipalities will have ordinances governing how long residents have to remove snow from the area, or height limits for low-hanging branches that could reduce the line of sight for vehicle drivers in the area.
Being aware of your rights and responsibilities in regards to the right-of-way near your property can be helpful as you prepare to buy or sell a home. A little time spent researching these issues can allow you to be prepared for maintenance and replacement costs.
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