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I have a neighbor that has an easement across my property.

This winter a culvert washed...
I have a neighbor that has an easement across my property. This winter a culvert washed out and they are saying I have to pay for half the replacement cost. I do cross the culvert about 30 times a year as I farm property on the other side. Am i responsible for half the cost?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Ca.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: don't think so.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: If they are wright can I create my own crossing and not be responsible for theirs. (about 500.dollars)
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
5/3/2017
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,081
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses, but rest assured, I am working on your question. The website may offer a phone call option, but it is optional.

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Is this a written easement or is it just implied?

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If written, what does the actual written easement say about maintenance costs and how they are apportioned?

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
where would I find this info? Easement was done around 25 years ago.

The easement would actually be written into the deed of the property or recorded in a separate easement document. Both would be located in the local land records office where deeds are recorded.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Found the easement info nothing about maintenance cost.

Ok, then if there is nothing about it, then the default is that the easement owner has the duty to maintain the easement in its present condition. if you have an easement that allows you to use a portion of another person’s or company’s land, then it is your responsibility to maintain the easement – it is not the responsibility of the servient tenement (the person whose land is burdened by the easement...i.e. you)

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So it is their duty to maintain unless the easement states otherwise.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
What about the Culvert?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
My neighbor states his attorney says the culvert is a different issue and should be a shared cost..

If the culvert was there when the easement was granted, then I would opine it is up to the easement holder to maintain it... just like the gravel, the road, and anything else related to the route..

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But did you really expect the neighbor to say "No, actually my attorney said I was entirely responsible for everything"?

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The culvert was put in after the easement was granted.

Ok if you put it in, then you voluntarily improved the easement route and since the easement holder only has the duty to maintain it in the condition is was in when it was received, then it is up to you whether you basically return it to its previous condition by not replacing the culvert, or you put it back to "re-improve" it back to the upgraded condition. You had no duty to put in the culvert in the first place, so you have no duty to put it back if it washed out.

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If the easement owner put it in, then this is totally on them whether or not to reinstall a new one..

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Nothing was on the backside of the property when the easement was granted.

Ok, so are you saying that the easement holder put in the culvert or did you?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The person who built the house (not the current owner) was granted the easement and put the culvert in.
...wont' be bothering you much longer! Sorry.

Ok, then clearly they are the ones who voluntarily improved the property and they are the ones who have to pay to maintain and repair it. To take it further, they really would have needed permission from you to even put the culvert in in the first place since they only have the right to use it and the obligation to maintain it, not the right to improve it without your permission..

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So the current owner has inherited that responsibility for the culvert, easement and any road..

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
If our neighbor sues are you able to represent us on this issue?

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to represent customers from the site or recommend anyone personally under my agreement with JustAnswer. However, these are a couple sites that we attorneys actually use if we need foreign counsel in a state where we aren't licensed. Further, customers have consistently reported good results with these sites:

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www.martindale.com

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www.lawyers.com

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They screen their attorneys based on geographic location, area of practice, time in practice, cost and customer reviews. You would be looking for a civil litigation or real estate law attorney..

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,081
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
Barrister and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,081
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Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

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