We have purchased our house last March in Beverly Hills. It is a single family home on a hill. From street, you enter the second floor, but to get to the first floor, we have to go through our neighbor
's gate and go down the side of our house to the entrance. The previous owner had a verbal agreement with the neighbor and had been using the gate for about 8-10 years to get to the first floor. Though, the neighbor's husband recently past away and since then the wife decided to take that privilege away from us. I received a letter on 11/9/2015 which states that she's giving me a 60 days notice to close the gate.
I mentioned about the easement
and she told me that it won't apply since my house is an illegal dwelling. My house is permitted as a single family home, but the previous owner converted it to a duplex and split the first and second floor. Thus, there's no passage between the first and second floor unless we go through our neighbor's gate.
The house came with a tenant who lives in the first floor who agreed to leave on a 30 day notice once we are ready for renovation. He ended up refusing to leave and we had to go to court to evict him. He is scheduled to leave by 2/7/2016. Although, with the gate closed, our tenant won't be able to leave nor take his belongings out of the property.
My question is, do we have any type of easement that applies to our case?
If so, how can we proceed?