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The property with the easement we have used for 30 years was sold to a new owner, he will not allow us to use this easement now.

Bakersfield, CA |

We have been landlocked now for over three years. He sent us a letter wanting $12000.00 and 5 acres of our land in trade for using the road on his property. We have been landlocked for 3 years now. What do we do?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

If the prior use was made with the consent of the prior owner, then you do not have a prescriptive easement.

If you lot is truly landlocked - meaning that none of its boundary lines touches a public roadway - then you may have a claim for an easement by necessity. If any boundary line touches a roadway, you may need to cut in a new driveway.

You should consult with a local real estate litigator.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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Asker

Posted

We had no prior consent with the previous owner, and used the easement regularly with no problems. Yes we are truly landlocked. We have to park on a public road and walk a quarter mile to get to our cabin, we have 69 acres and this area where the easement is, is the closest to the road. This is the only way to drive into our property, and he has put his lock on the gate and taken ours off . He also put up private property and no trespassing signs. He has damaged the small bridge on the easement that we have always maintained and repaired. We did not respond to his letter a couple years ago wanting land and $ for use of the road, in my opinion it was along the lines of extortion. Please help, I need to know how to deal with this matter and do not know where to start. Thank You

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

You need an attorney. If you fail to assert your rights to a prescriptive easement, which it appears you have, you will use it after 5 years of non-use. You have already, according to your first post, been unable to use the easement for 3 years. If you are wrong on your dates, time may be very short. There is no short-cut to a lawsuit to establish your rights unless you settle with the owner. You may have other easement rights: implied and/or by necessity. You need an attorney to sort out the facts and file suit. Doing nothing, and simply asking for help here, is not going to do the job you need done.

Asker

Posted

Thank You Very Much!!

Posted

What do you do? You need to consult counsel whether or not you wish to agree to the terms offered by the new owner.

You may have established an easement by prescriptive use or there may be some other legal basis, depending on the exact facts, which would establish an easement assuming you do not have one by grant. You can then determine your best option: litigate or settle with the new owner.

Litigation is expensive and would definitely cost more than $12,000. Depending on the value to you of the 5 acres, settlement where you obtain a recorded grant of easement that runs with the land, might be a preferable option to litigation especially if you can get the new owner to settle on more favorable terms. The new owner should be anxious to avoid litigation, too.

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Posted

You may have a prescriptive easement already. Consult an attorney in your area.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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Posted

First, consult your deed and see if the easement is actually on there. It may have been granted by the previous owner. If not, you may have acquired this easement by prescription, but you will need to consult an attorney in any event, unless you can convince him the easement was granted previously.

This response is not to be construed as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and provides general information on the subject at hand only.

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Posted

The easement is not extinguished simply because the property has been sold. Easements run with the land. You should consult with an attorney right away to determine whether you need to take legal action within a statute of limitations.
Timothy V. Kassouni
(877) 770-7379

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