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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2241
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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I own a piece of property bought in 1973 that has 20ft wide

Customer Question

I own a piece of property bought in 1973 that has 20ft wide easement. we have used easement since 1973 as a driveway ,even have signed permission for utility pole to be place on it by owner, was told to use as I wanted. Owner has passed away a son has taken over and has requested that I pay $10,000 for strip of or stop using. Also, previos ower his father, gave permission for me to concrete driveway which I did. Do I have any legal rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I look forward to providing you information. Please note:
(1) this is general information and is not legal advice. I never propose a specific course of action. There is no attorney-client relationship or privilege that is formed when communicating to an expert on this site. The site repeats this disclaimer numerous times. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and
(2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
Sorry you are dealing with this situation. Your leverage here will depend on the language of the easement. If the easement is appurtenant (benefiting a particular property) without a termination date, the easement may not be extinguished unilateral. What this means is, if the easement agreement states that it benefits the land or runs with the land (appurtenant) the benefited property is the dominant estate and the property with the 20X50 is the servient estate. The easement remains in place even after the properties are sold or ownership is transferred. Sample language would be something such as "This easement shall be an appurtenant easement and shall benefit future owners of the properties," or "shall run with the land".
The other type of easement is an easement in gross. This is a personal easement granting someone the use of a portion of property. This is for personal use and does not survive the transfer of ownership of the servient property. Language in an agreement for an easement in gross would be "this easement shall be in gross for the benefit of Party X and Party X only and shall not be deemed to run with the land".
However, even if the easement is in gross, it may still be possible to assert an easement by implication, that is by necessity or many years of use. It would take a court order determining your rights however.
In any event, if the owner continues to be unreasonable you may have to seek the assistance of a local attorney to resolve the situation. Even if you have an appurtenant easement, if the son decides to block your access even though he would not have a right to do so, you would have to file for an order seeking to remove any barricade and prevent him from doing so in the future.
All my best & encouragement.
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All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.