Thu. Feb 2nd, 2023

Q: A shared alley separates my Staten Island household from my neighbor’s. The home line runs down the center of the alley, so we each individual personal fifty percent of it. A gate attaches the two qualities. My neighbor place a padlock on the gate, and has not provided me a crucial. So I have no obtain to my house from that facet — I can not accessibility the air-conditioning condenser and gear. I have prepared to my neighbor asking for a important, but she has not responded. What can I do? If I need to make repairs on that side of my home can I cut the lock with a bolt cutter?

A: You can reduce the lock if it’s restricting accessibility to your house. But 1st, give your neighbor the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she skipped the letter and does not know that you can not obtain your own property. Knock on her doorway and check with her if she received the letter. Talk to for a spare important, and choose it from there.

If she doesn’t answer, or if she rebuffs your request, compose a next letter. Send out this a person qualified mail so you have a file that you sent it, mentioned Eric D. Sherman, a actual estate lawyer and a companion in the Manhattan workplace of the legislation organization Pryor Cashman. Demonstrate that you need to have accessibility to your residence and would like a duplicate of the essential by a established day. If you do not acquire a key by the deadline, explain to her that you will cut the lock and switch it with a new 1.


“If the deadline passes and you even now have not read anything, cutting the lock appears realistic below the situation, as long as you give a important to your neighbor,” Mr. Sherman mentioned.

Consist of a duplicate of the original letter with the 2nd a single you mail her, as properly as the crucial for the new lock that you prepare to set up so you never have to go to the problems of writing her all over again if you have to alter the lock.

Nonetheless, prior to you place on a new lock, make guaranteed that the gate should be locked at all. If a utility meter, for illustration, is on the gated facet of one particular of your houses, it’s surely attainable the gate demands to remain unlocked.

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