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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38182
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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How is an neighbors easement shown on a plat or plan for a

Customer Question

How is an neighbors easement shown on a plat or plan for a zero lot line house? Does an easement have to be included in the covenants and restrictions to exist?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

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 as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

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How is an neighbors easement shown on a plat or plan for a zero lot line house?

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Typically is is shown as a shaded portion with a note out to the side on the plat referring to where it is recorded in the land records office in what Book and Page. But if the easement was created after the plat was done, it might not even show up on it.

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Does an easement have to be included in the covenants and restrictions to exist?

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And no, CCRs are rules that govern a neighborhood, they have nothing to do with an easement, which is a burden on one landowner in favor of another landowner, entity, or group of people... An easement just has to be in writing showing the servient estate (the one with the easement) and the dominant estate (the easement holder). They are typically recorded in the land records office in either a Deed Book or an Easement Book or a Misc. Book.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I cannot see a shaded area on the plat. How can I get the land records? My neighbor is claiming an easement for access to her wall and is demanding that I remove my landscaping. If such an easement does exist does it prevent me from having a flower bed or other landscaping?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

You would go down to the county land record office where they record deeds and ask them if they have a specific book for easements. Most records are computerized now and you can look up your property on their computer system and see all the records that is attached to it, including any recorded easements.

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But she may be bluffing and just saying she has an easement if she has been using your property for a long time to access her wall.

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However you don't have to go hunting for an easement, you can just tell the neighbor to get you a written copy of any easement and you will then take the appropriate action.. That puts the burden on her if she wants to claim an easement to prove it to you..

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Another definitive way would be to contact a local title / closing company and have them do a title search on the property to see if there are any easements or other encumbrances on your land.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have been to the county website and looked up the plat records and the deeds and restrictions and I can't find anything about a easement for homeowners. I know that such easements are common because of the shared wall and I am concerned that I maybe missing something on the plat - a symbol of some kind. She has never tried to access the wall since she moved in some years ago but is threatening to sue for damages. If the easement does exist do I have to remove the landscaping or is it sufficient that she can access the wall?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

There are no "secret symbols" on a plat... if there is an easement, it will state so in plain English and say who it is in favor of and where it is recorded.

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If there actually was an easement, it depends on what it is for. If she can still access the wall with your landscaping, then you wouldn't have to remove it. But if you were obstructing her access, she can force you to remove it..

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But again... you don't have to go hunting for an easement... if she wants to enforce one, tell her she needs to provide you with a copy of it.. That calls her bluff if she is just lying to you..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
In a related matter, the property that I own has a half height wall that encloses the front of my side yard. The wall extends straight out from my neighbor's house wall along the lot boundary for about four feet and right angles on to my lot for about four feet. My neighbor claims that the entire wall belongs to her because it is attached to her house. I argue that at least the area of wall that lies on my property lot belongs to me. Who does the wall belong to?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

If that wall is on your property, then it would be considered your personal property up to the property line. It would be illogical for a fence that is entirely on your land to be owned by someone else..

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I think the neighbor is just making things up here and you may find out that she has no easement rights at all to your property and is just blowing smoke..

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She is claiming that the wall is hers because it is attached to her house and not attached to mine. I believe that it is the property line that dictates ownership. She is also claiming that the wall is there to secure the foundations, although the wall is not on the foundation slab. This seems wrong to me, especially since the last house in the row, which is the exact same design as ours, does not have such a wall. And neither do other patio homes within the HOA. It doesn't make sense that the builders would build a structural component of the house across the property line.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

I believe that it is the property line that dictates ownership.

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Agreed. There is no logical reason why a neighbor's wall would be entirely on your property.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. I will write her a letter asking for documentation to support her claim of an easement.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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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