I write there blogs to help people get easy answers to problems that they may come across in the purchase sale or upkeep of their home. The intent is to give the reader a basic understanding of the topic but is not an in depth analysis. If you encounter something I have blogged about I strongly suggest getting professional advice as things do change from thime to time.
Bearing this in mind, I would like to talk about shared drives and the problems I have encountered. The shared drive is a fairly simple concept - two houses situated on long narrow lots with neither having room to access the back yard with a vehicle, but if each gives up a few feet a garage or parking can be accommodated behind ones home. They are registered on title and they work well if everyone follows the rules and I might add these rules are by-law enforceable. The main rule is the drive is only to be used for ingress or egress and not for parking or even standing a vehicle. Problems arise usually when one party does not use the drive and when you purchase the property, the neighbour feels it belongs to them as this is the way it has been done for years.
Old habits die hard, other confilects I've encountered - one wants to pave the other not or one patterned concrete, and the side paved. Also the use of salt, very contentious, repairs are always a bone of contention.
As you can probably see, I am not a fan of the shared drive, but if for reasons of cost or location, you find yourself considering this option I strongly recommend you have your realtor contact the people prior to your purchase and t ry to get a feeling as to the course this agreement might be going. Remember new owners might come along. As always conflicts can be avoided if all parties have a clear understanding of all rules and regulations pertaining to their agreements. But the bottom line is in the majority of situations, these agreements are beneficial to both parties and work well.