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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2242
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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We have been using our access road past 13 years it

Customer Question

We have been using our access road for the past 13 years it crosses our neighbors vacant land do we have rights to this road?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 1 year 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.
Potentially there may be easement rights to the road if it is necessary to access your property (an easement by necessity), by a prescriptive easement (similar to adverse possession) or by an equitable easement (court determines it is only fair that there be continued use of the road).
An easement by necessity requires basically that the land by landlocked and no other means to access is available other than over the strip of land currently be used and has been used in the past 13 years.
A prescriptive easement may be granted if for 5 years or longer the road has been used openly, exclusively by you and without the property owner’s permission. If permission was granted to use the road, a prescriptive easement does not exist.
Currently courts favor granted an equitable easement. Grounds would exist to petition the court for a grant of equitable easement as the road has been used for the past 13 years and it would be an undue hardship to not allow access via the current road.
Unfortunately, while grounds may exist to assert a right of easement for road access, unless the neighbor agrees to be reasonable and consents to an express easement (which would be the most economical for both parties) it will require a court's decision to resolve the matter. Courts are currently leaning toward a liberal view of equitable easements and finding in favor of the dominant estate (the land that is being accessed and benefited from the easement) over the servient estate (land in which the road goes over).
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.

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