My question involves an easement in the state of: MD
My family recently purchased a single-family home in the downtown area of a city. The property abutting ours to the north is a multi-family dwelling, with seven units of various sizes. Both lots (ours and neighbor's) are small, close together, and currently unfenced. Four of the units and the laundry facilities are accessed solely through doors and/or a staircase that exit out close to our back entrance.
Generally, we've had good experiences with our neighbors. However, we've also had some issues with a few tenants using our backyard for their dogs' bathroom needs, parking and driving mopeds across our lawn, tossing cigarette butts into our yard, and having some, ahem, altercations in the adjoining space between our houses (there's been one arrest and several police calls since we've moved in), so we looked into getting a fence. When we had the land surveyed, we found out that there was an easement, which was news to us, as the easement never appeared on our deed.
The surveyor didn't seem to have an exact idea of the dimensions of the easement (to be fair, we hadn't paid for that to be staked, as we didn't know it existed!), but he was under the impression from the plat that the easement didn't run the full length of the property.
The land survey reads: Property X (the neighbor's property) "is benefitted by a 3' easement for staircase fence and sidewalk per" L X and F X.
Obviously, the easement specifications would affect the placement of our fence. How should we interpret the above language and would more specific information about the easement be available at the County Clerk's Recordation Office? Both properties are pre-1900 structures and continue in their original use.
I apologize if these questions are too simple for this forum. We're just beginning to gather information and resources as our few conversations with the landlord indicate that we're going to need to be very specific and very formal about any plans that may affect the property line. Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.