Providing Real SolutionsSince 1999
Brent D. Ratchford photo

If your neighbor sells their property, does your easement end?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Real Estate Disputes |

When you bought the land to build your dream home, you knew that you wouldn’t have any access to the road. Based on the other plots of land around it and the position of the roads in that part of the state, your land was cut off. This is why it was such a good deal and why no one had done any development on it beforehand, and you went into it with the knowledge that you would have to solve this.

To do so, you talked to your new neighbor and got them to agree to an official easement. With it in place, you are allowed to drive up their driveway and onto your land. You don’t own their land, of course, but they also cannot legally stop you from using that access point. Only after getting this guarantee did you build your dream home.

However, that neighbor recently informed you that they’re going to move and they’re planning to sell the property. If they do so, does that mean that your easement is going to end? You can imagine how problematic this is since you’ve already invested so much money in the construction of the home, and you only did so with the idea that you would have access.

Generally speaking, an easement stays with the property

There are exceptions, such as an easement in gross, but it is more common for the easement to stay with the land. This is known as an easement appurtenant. Once you legally have access to that land through the easement, this is not taken away through a sale. The new owner has to uphold your rights to continue using the easement.

For this reason, that buyer should be made aware of the easement in advance. If they do not want to honor it, then they simply can buy a different property, or they can talk to you about taking the legal steps necessary to end the easement. But they cannot simply inform you that you’re no longer allowed to use their driveway and that your home is now cut off from the road.

Are you involved in a dispute?

Of course, your new neighbor may not understand this, and it can lead to some serious disputes over land rights. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s imperative that you know about all of the legal rights you have.

 

 

Archives