Can a Neighbor Block Access to My Property
1. No a neighbor can’t block access to your property.
2. There is an existing easement which allows you to cross into your property.
3. The easement lasts as long as the properties are there.
As a property owner, one of your main concerns is the use and enjoyment of your property.
Whether it be neighbors making loud noises, or your neighbor preventing you from doing something you are otherwise legally allowed to do.
One of the biggest things that we see in real estate law, is a neighbor who prevents a property owner from using their right to an easement.
What is an Easement
Without getting too far in the weeds, an easement is the right to use another person’s property for a particular purpose.
By law, easements don’t expire, and they run with the land. What this means is that each time there is a sale of the property, the easement continues.
Easements come in many forms, but the most common types in residential property investment are those dealing with the right to cross the property, and the right for utility companies to use certain portions of the property.
For your purposes, the right to cross the property is going to be the most relevant.
How am I Entitled to Use the Easement
The easement entitles you to cross the property legally, to get to your own property.
What this means is that the neighbors property you are crossing, referred to as the servient estate, is done legally to get to your own property, referred to as the dominant estate.
Under the law, the servient estate holder cannot restrict the movement of the dominant estate holder.
What this means is that your neighbor cannot do anything which makes it impossible or difficult or your to continue the lawful use of your property.
Can My Neighbor Change the Conditions of the Easement
No. Your neighbor can’t change the conditions of the easement.
As we stated earlier, the easement exists so long as the properties exist.
When the developers carved up the land, they include the easement in each of the deeds, with the easements “running with the land.”
Sure, there is a way to get rid of the easement, but that would mean consent of all parties that are beneficiaries to the easement rights, and it is reasonable to assume no one would do that.
What Can I Do If My Neighbor Doesn’t Stop Infringing on My Easement
The first step we recommend is simply telling your neighbor they are infringing.
If your neighbor doesn’t listen, write a certified letter to your neighbor to have them stop.
Again, if they don’t listen, now is the time for you to go to court.
Sometimes people need a little push in the right direction, and the court system may be the only way to take care of it.
The judge will order him to stop his conduct. If he fails to follow the judicial order, the police can then enforce the court order.
You have a right to enjoy the use of your property in any way that is legally permissible.
If your neighbor is interfering with that right, you also have the right to seek help from the courts to correct the problem.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We are here to help.
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As always, information on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice, or the retention of our property management services, and is for general information purposes only.
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