Have inherited a small (100 acre+) parcel of farmland in Iowa. I would like to sell it but I am told there is no legal access to the property which is surounded by adjacent farmalnd on all sides. I understand current law does not allow the sale of land without access. Is there any solution to my problem?
Country relating to Question: United StatesState (if USA): IowaWhat have you tried so far?: I have not tried anything. I am in the planning stage at this point.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.My apologies, I am a bit unclear. Is it your property that has no outside access, or is it adjacent properties that have no access and use your property to obtain access to a roadway?
It is our property that has no access.
Dan,Thank you for your follow-up.That is not as a serious issue as it may appear. Under law and public policy, the courts assist property owners such as yourself in obtaining access. What this is called is an 'easement by necessity', which is a property right that is granted to you via your neighbor's land to essentially traverse it so as to obtain ingress and egress (entry and exit) rights to and from your land. You would need to see whose neighboring land would be less affected, contact that neighbor, and ask for the easement. If they refuse, then consider taking it to court. The courts generally help because they want all property owners to be able to get to their land, and consequently if your neighbors refuse to help, you could compel them to open their land to you for this purpose.Good luck.
When you say courts generally help, does that apply to Iowa courts?
Dan,Thank you for your follow-up. Courts in all jurisdictions, including Iowa, tend to favor owners who file for an 'easement by necessity' where it can be shown that the easement is as short and unobtrusive as possible, and the cheapest or easiest to construct. The courts disfavor properties to which the landowner cannot reach, so they will create an easement in situations where your property is land-locked. My answer is based on your jurisdiction.Good luck.
JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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