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Must we allow access or an easement to a land locked parcel surrounded by our property located in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin |

A 10 acre parcel of wetland is owned by another party which is completely surrounded by our property. The owners of the parcel have recently (we think within the last month or so) built a bridge on our property over a small stream which makes it easier for them to get to their 10 acres. It is a permanent structure. It is built of welded I-beam spans with heavy wood decking and is about 30 feet long by 8 feet wide. This was done without notification and without our permission. We have not given an easement to allow access. Must we give them access, and if so, what are the limits to what they can do? The "road" they built leading up to the bridge has caused damage to our wetland property. We are not on good terms with this "good neighbor" because of their previous behavior.

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Attorney answers 1


You should consult with an attorney on this. There are specific facts that your attorney will need to fully assess this situation. Your attorney will need to know, for example, how long that they've been using that road for ingress and egress. If they or a previous owner have been using that road openly without your consent for long enough, there might be a basis for a "prescriptive easement" which would give them the right to use your land and make necessary improvements such as the footbridge.

Please see an attorney so you can discuss the specific facts and figure out the best course of action. If you don't have an attorney, the Wisconsin Bar Association has a referral service that can connect you with an attorney that deals specifically with real estate issues. Go to

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