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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am being asked private easement road [ 8 feet wide ]

Customer Question

I am being asked for a private easement road [ 8 feet wide ] across my property to reach another parcel of land. the parcel has another viable access but access across my property is easier. My concern is 8' wide a legal width. can I be complled to grant wider later if fire dept regulations or county made new codes. I am ok with the 8' but in no way could accept anything wider.
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Customer: no
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Customer: I have checked with the city and they indicate there are no codes for private easements in the specific location. but my concern is what happens if that should change in the future. Can I be compelled to increase the width even though I protest
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum, my name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today.

In general, an easement cannot be expanded. The scope and use of the easement is limited to the terms as it is granted to the dominant parcel (your neighbors) by the servient parcel (yours).

  • While not the focus of your question, I would suggest that you explore potentially less expansive mechanisms for assisting your neighbor with their easier access path. You may be willing to work with this neighbor, but what if they sell. Also, what if the easement makes your property less marketable (you may be okay with it, but what about a buyer).
  • Consider potentially less aggressive alternatives such as a "right of access" which permits your neighbor to utilize your property to travel across a specific area to reach their property (much like an easement) but does not give them any property rights for your property. Also, if they abuse this right of access (such as having too many vehicles drive it, driving too fast, etc.) you can simply terminate their right of access. If they have an easement, you cannot do this - your neighbor now has a real property right to the easement, and you will ultimately be forced to go to court to sue them for abuse of the easement - they will still own the easement rights, but will be forced to cease the abuse, or to repair any damage.
  • An easement is a very excessive thing to ask a neighbor for if you already have reasonable (albeit lengthy) access to your property.