Real Estate

How can you guarantee that all cottagers pay their share of road maintenance fees?

On a private road with a volunteer road association that pays for annual maintenance and repairs, how can you guarantee that all cottagers pay their share? What if they refuse to pay?

Before things get litigious, approach holdouts one-on-one and try to work out a solution. But assuming you’ve already done this, you’ll be happy to know other road associations have gone to court before and won the argument. Take a look at the case of Point Abino Assn. vs. Lee [1997] O.J. No. 3262, File No. 7376/96. In this case, a Lake Erie cottagers’ road association wanted Stewart Lee to pay annual fees for maintenance and repairs along with the rest of the users of a private cottage road. Lee refused. So the association took him to the Ontario Court of Justice. The judge ruled that Lee should pay up on the basis of “unjust enrichment.” Since Lee enjoyed all the benefits of the maintained road, he had to pay his fair share.