Road easement of 22 years to be taken away.

KennethLeger1February 28, 2012

Hi! I purchased my home in 1989 and was told I had a road easement into my driveway over a neighbors road, about 50 feet. It is not on my deed but we have used it with no problem until now. All of a sudden because of hard feelings the neighbor says they are going to block our right of way in 2 weeks! I live in Pennsylvania and was wondering if this is possible for them to do after all these years?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is some kind of "exemption" but for the life of me I can't think of what it's called. You might want to talk with your local zoning/code enforcement folks. Or an attorney that specializes in real estate law.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not a real estate person so again, check with your local attorney. mike might be referring to adverse possession where you've had exclusive and continuous possession. But there's more to it than that so consult an attorney. I found this statement online regarding your state "In Pennsylvania the period of time for adverse possession must be at least twenty-one (21) years. Pennsylvania Code �42-5530"

If there was an easement, was it ever recorded? You might want to check at your courthouse.

Is this your only means to your property? As I understand it, your neighbors cannot land-lock you leaving you without a means of entry/exit. Now if there's another way to get in or out, then this doesn't apply.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"mike might be referring to adverse possession "

You do not need 'adverse possession' to have an easement.

Simply using the area is often enough to establish an easement, but every state has different rules.

You never had an easement if nothing is recorded.
It may have been recorded under the grantors name though.

It may well be time to find a title attorney and have them look around at the courthouse.
Things like no other access to the public road can be grounds for an easement in some states.
A local title attorney should now all the local ins and outs.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Local laws are all over the place.

A shopping center had a cut thorough road they built and allowed everyone to use.
They had to close the road off periodically for a few days to prevent it from becoming a permanent public easement.

After a few years the state of Virginia finally negotiated to purchase the right of way (and brought the street up to state standards).

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Adverse possession requires that the use of the property be "hostile, actual, open and notorious, exclusive and continuous" and that you have paid taxes on the land during the use of the land. That doesn't seem to apply here.

More than likely you have a prescriptive easement which arise from continuous use of the property for a given period of time. Some jurisdictions require that the use be substantial and simply driving to your house my not be deemed substantial

Depending on how your property is situated, you may have an easement by necessity. As mentioned previously. an adjacent landowner can't create a situation where you become land-locked and no longer have access to your property.

This is all based on Calif law so YMMV depending on where you are.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"simply driving to your house my not be deemed substantial "

If is the only access it will be substantial.

See a local RE attorney with easement experience.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree you may have legal recourse even if there is no official easement recorded. Second the suggestion to talk with a RE attorney and look at a title search (get one if you don't have one in your files from when you bought the place). It's possible it was recorded earlier either separately or as part of an earlier deed or deeds. NOTE that since the easement is on THEIR property it is not necessarily going to be in your deed for YOUR property. You need to be looking at their chain of title.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I, too, thought that a real easement would be recorded in your deed--we have an easement because of a common driveway, and it's definitely legally recorded.

Another vote for enlisting the help of a real estate attorney.

Actually, I just looked at the date of your post--have things been resolved? Hopefully by now they have. If not, get that attorney under retainer, and start working on an equitable solution.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:55AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Advice On New Neighbor
This family moved in next door to us (they are renters)...
Water Leak - Home Addition- HELP
We are right in the middle of a 1400 sq ft. home addition/...
Help! what kind of biting insect has invaded my home?
Over the last few weeks I've been itching from something...
Home disasters
Folks, before hiring a contractor go this website
Bleach stains on bathtub
My son just moved into an apt., and the tub area was...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™