Neighbor Asked for An Easement - Do I Have to Agree?

Easements involving neighbors usually require an agreement between the two parties that becomes legally binding. There are times when the neighbor can seek a legal remedy for certain complications with the land and attempt to force the property owner into the easement.

The Good Relationship

The person with the property often has a working or good relationship with neighbors. This is generally necessary to prevent problems from occurring on the land or in the vicinity. If this the case when an easement is necessary, the landowner may enter into an arrangement with the neighbor to benefit from the land in some way while retaining the ownership and the easement details in a legally binding contract between the two parties. The easement is sometimes a necessity because of restrictions of the land the other person owns or is leasing such as a company or organizational situation.

The Company and Association

If the neighbor is a company, the owner may need an easement to provide parking, a way out of the lot or to have benefit and use for trash or other tasks with the company. In these situations, the property owner may have a working relationship with the new owner or form a business association. If the relationship is positive, the landowner may provide an easement for the benefit to the business depending on the clauses placed in the contract and any possible other benefits the landowner can acquire for the benefits of the land.

Granting the Easement to a Neighbor

If the landowner has a strong or positive relationship with a neighbor, he or she can grant the other person with an easement. However, if the process is only verbal, it is not often legally binding if there is a complication or legal problem that arises in the future. It is usually better to hire a lawyer and work through the matter on paper with a clause that provides the easement benefits and how the legal matter can become broken and lead to court proceedings. Often, if the neighbors are friends, breaches may not occur that require legal interactions. However, a lawyer should still review the matter and ensure the preparty owner does not give away his or her rights.

The Easement Process

Whether the neighbor seeks the courts for an easement or the property owner grants it, the process usually involves the county clerk’s office to record the matter. This will encumber the property owners’ title to the land. Some easements are possible through public utility company needs such as with plumbing or power lines and access. The same is often necessary when a neighbor seeks the same benefits. He or she will need to continue the matter through the county courts to seek the necessary benefits from the landowner via an easement. He or she may use a lawyer to help along the process as well.

The Easement to the Neighbor

If the landowner proceeds through possible forcible situations such as when the neighbor seeks the help of a lawyer or petitions the court based on need, the property owner can use a revocable license which can later terminate the benefits based on the easement granted. It is important to have a lawyer draw up the paperwork and help to protect the rights of the property owner in these situations. With a revocable license, the landowner can terminate the agreement at any time without any cause. It is important to only grant what is necessary if the neighbor attempts to force the issue.

Easement Based on Need

Usually, the neighbor will only seek to acquire an easement with the landowner when there is an express need. This generally involves the use of the land to get out of the property, to acquire parking benefits or to have use of the land in another way that does not harm the property or the owner even when benefiting the neighbor. Talking to a lawyer about the situation is important to make the best use of easements available.

Legal Support to Grant an Easement

Seeking the services of a lawyer when the neighbor attempts to force the easement is vital. The landowner may need to retain his or her rights to the property and apply an easement that is only beneficial for the one neighbor or for specific situations, and a lawyer can assist with these processes.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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