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How can we change an existing "easement"?

Frederick, MD |

We HAVE to change the path of an easement that cuts through the middle of our front lawn! Nobody uses it yet (except for a RUDE landowner) but after this land is sold, this path will take away half of our front lawn! Whoever devised this easement must have been crazy or "greedy." How can we change this before the land on the side of us is sold? Once it's sold, it will be much harder to fight with people who are used to using it. The guy who owns the property now is pretty rude. He will do things just to make us angry (like putting up "for sale signs" right in the middle of our yard and now planting a MAILBOX right next to ours, when nobody even lives on the property!!! It's forest area!!!! We have to change this. Also, how much would this cost us. We have no extra money. Help

Attorney Answers 1


I handle these types of claims for many title insurance companies, and have litigated easements in cases up to the Maryland Court of Appeals (including several in Frederick County). Here are some thoughts:

1. If the easement is in writing, a lawyer needs to read that document and it must be compared to the easement that is "on the ground." Is it possible that the neighbor is not using the easement that is described, but one that has developed in a slightly different location?

2. If the easement is not in writing, then a lawyer needs to discuss with you how that easement came to exist, and over what period of time. Or, perhaps, both your land and the neighbor's land were once owned by the same person?

3. And once these questions are answers, a lawyer can discuss whether the easement can be modified by agreement. This is very possible, and is done all the time. But when neighbors don't get a long, easements often become weapons in a larger war.

And if I can't help you, I will refer you to some very good lawyers in Frederick.

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