Private Road Agreement Solution in New Hampshire

Managing Real Estate Broker with Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., NHRE# 02863

Many times in the past buyers have called about properties that they wanted to view and potentially buy. Only to find out that a financing option was not available due to the access being from a private road. We have told the sellers the solution is to get everyone on the road to sign a joint maintenance agreement. This would state who would take care of the plowing, and general up keep of the common road…and who pays for that. This document would need to be recorded and run with the property deed. The problem is not everyone is willing to do that. If you got your work done for free by one neighbor with a plow, why put yourself on the hook for this cost? The answer is if you don’t there can be a real problem getting a loan on the home you want to sell. New Hampshire has come up with a solution if adopted.

     private road

Realtors Call for Action success:
House passes private road maintenance agreement legislation 

After three-and-a-half years of debate, the NH House of Representatives finally passed legislation clearing the path for both the Veterans Administration and Fannie Mae to take a mortgage on a private road in New Hampshire even if there is no written agreement between the property owners.

Six hundred Realtors responded to NHAR’s Call for Action alert on 
Senate Bill 39. After a brief debate, the House voted on a voice vote to pass the legislation. The Senate had already passed the bill earlier this year.

The House version of SB 39 makes it clear that the intent is to codify existing common law practice in the enforcement of easements. The bill states that in the absence of an agreement governing maintenance of a private road, when more than one residential owner enjoys a common benefit from a private road, each residential owner shall contribute equitably to the reasonable cost of maintaining the private road. The legislation applies only to residential properties while making it clear that none of the new language applies to Class V and Class VI roads.

Both the VA and Fannie Mae require written agreements among all property owners unless there is a state law governing the maintenance of private roads. SB 39 is designed to provide that minimum requirement.

The Senate will still need to agree to the House version of the legislation before SB 39 can be sent to the Governor for his signature.


Let us hope the Governor signs the bill.

Posted by


                                                                                                                                                                              Your-White Mountain New Hampshire real Estate Expert

           toll free 800-926-5653 /cell 603-381-7898

                        MLS search and Realtor web site:

                         My outside Blog:

                    Lincoln NH &  Local interest site:

    Grafton County NH MLS search

Comments (16)

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Congratulations on a successful piece of lobbying and hopefully everyuone can move this forward so it is resolved and this road bump can be removed.

Jun 19, 2019 06:43 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

thanks Nick this may be a small step in the right direction, but I believe it is an important one. These private roads in the past made it possible for only cash buyers to take a shot at buying.

Jun 19, 2019 06:59 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Steve Loynd that's a great piece of legislation... we need that in our state.... I don't think we one, but we have properties that will need it...

Jun 19, 2019 08:03 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Barbara... this is why I shared our experience here. The work of our Realtor's group to get this passed would be useful elsewhere.

Jun 19, 2019 08:37 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

That's an interesting problem, with an interesting solution.

Jun 19, 2019 10:19 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Steve Loynd glad to hear NH cleaned up the legislation on private road maintenance agreements.  I imagine you run into this situation more than we do as most of our sales are in town. But we do some country properties but typically there is a private road agreement in place already. I've never run up against clients not being able to get a loan based on the NH previous issue.

Jun 19, 2019 03:54 PM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Steve Loynd your post is spot on. If there is not an agreement of who is going to take care of the road a loan is for the most part, not an option. 

Just came across this and a buyer had to pass on the property because of it. 

Jun 19, 2019 04:23 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Steve

Sounds like the right move that can really make a difference. I have run into several private road issues with homes in certain areas here and the lack of an agreement in the title can be a big problem, for a number of reasons including the would-be buyers simply not wanting to live with the unknown. But of course we do not have to worry about snow maintenance!


Jun 19, 2019 08:20 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

You just took me back in time. When I was an agent we sold a lot of property on un-maintained private access roads. In order to get financing, there HAD to be a road maintenance agreement when two or more people used the same road.

Some of the owners were not willing to agree to chip in for maintenance, but we finally did find a way to word those agreements that would satisfy all concerned and allow for financing.

Your new law is good for financing, but how will they enforce it if one or more homeowners refuses to pay their share?

Jun 19, 2019 10:52 PM
Rep. Brian Chirichiello,

Marte Cliff: To answer your question. Court. The NH Supreme Court in 2015 has been the basis of the new law which follows common real estate law. If one enjoys the benefit of a private road ( easement) then you are obligated to maintain as well. I am the legislator and REALTOR who has sponsored this bill. Took 3 1/2 years and many political battles but finally getting passed

Jun 20, 2019 04:10 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Necessity is the mother of intention / we do have families who built homes (large parcels) these then became private roads and while it was relatives there are no issues. But when one wants to fly the nest...all use to have to put an agreement on record, or face not getting a loan. 

Jun 20, 2019 05:11 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Good example of finishing what was started....

Jun 20, 2019 06:09 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Congrats on the feature and on the passing of the legislation. Getting the politicians to agree is no easy thing.

Jun 20, 2019 07:08 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Sharon This Legislation was brought by a committee from the Realtors board, to fix and on going issue. I was not part of that group, but fully support their efforts. 

Jun 21, 2019 06:05 AM