For 25 years my customers have enjoyed easement to the rear door of my business (bicycle shop) through the main section of another parking lot that adjoins my section of the lot. (The entire lot is aprox. 10,000 sq. ft., my section is aprox. 1550 sq. ft. My building is the N. boundary, the W. boundary is a building owned by a third party that is not involved, the E. and S. boundaries are the said adjoining parking lot. )The entire parking lot has been used on an indiscriminate basis for the three businesses involved.
Recently I was offered a chance to buy the building, which I accepted. Now the primary parking lot owner has indicated that my customers will no longer be allowed to park in the lot. Is he able to deny me easement to access the back door of my business as well?
There is, as far as I know, no written easement agreement.
Commercial Real Estate Attorney
Easy answer: Today, yes. But since it has been over 10 years you may very well have the legal right to a permanent easement, called an "easement by prescription. You should either initiate that suit or wait until the neighbor tries to block you and then seek an injunction along with that claim. you will have to show a number of factors in addition to the 10 years, the most significant being the use has been "adverse," that it, the neighbor had not been giving consent and has no made objection for a continuous 10 year period. You should speak with a real estate litigation attorney soon.
This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.
Leonard is correct again. I submit your arguments will be strong for an easement if your use has been continuous for ten years. An experienced attorney should be able to help with this one.
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