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  1. #1

    Default Easement Abuse

    State of WA
    We have an road easement over our property for Homeowners in our association to use to get to the beach. It is one of two easements accesses, ours, the shortest. It is eroding away and the HOA has voted to not maintain nor properly insure the now path for years at their annual meetings. There is merely 3 feet left of the former road easement( formerly used by cars, but closed when becoming too narrow 10 years ago) with a 50 ft drop to the beach. At what point can we say this is dangerous, unuseable and threatening to our home that sits on top of the hill? People seem to think they can just keep crawling up the hill,destroying it as they trample over the vegetation. We are concerned for the safety of our home on top.They have already encroached beyond the easement boundary, as it was surveyed 4 years ago and discovered they were using our land not within the easement. They want to claim a prescriptive easement for that which they are using now too. We purchased home 2 yearsago. Can they ? What happens when trail gone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,463

    Default Re: Easement Abuse

    Have you done anything to exclude people from using the supposed "prescriptive easement" as opposed to the area subject to the explicit grant?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Easement Abuse

    we gave written permission for them to use the small piece of land that was not on the easement,and that is not bothersome for us as it seems everyone was using, along with us, but the primary area of danger and erosion has been used fully in compliance with the survey and easement and that portion does not at this time pass the easement line. I dont understand what value taking by presciptive easement at the entrance portion, at this time, that has only moderate erosion,is for them, unless by law that somehow redefines the rest of the easement, or the lawyer was trying to get language inserted on their behalf that would somehow give them the right to keep moving the easement uphill as the land parralleling the hill became eroded and became destroyed downhill. Also can they change directions of the easement and just slide down the hill, or build steps straight down? ccr's say association required to maintain roads, beach and easements. The fix on the road esement now would be $150,000 or more, of course when it was brought for a vote many years ago it was a fraction of that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Easement Abuse

    If they are claiming a prescriptive easement and you permit them to continue the allegedly prescriptive use, they will likely continue to claim an ongoing adverse use (not a permissive use). The threat of trying to establish a prescriptive easement is an implied threat of litigation. You should consider consulting a real estate lawyer about your rights and options.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Easement Abuse

    thank you very much for responding
    my most serious question is not if they can take a small piece of land at the entrance that was used to cut the corner as a prescriptive easement, we are not so concerned about that small piece, but when they pass the easement line in the eroded area, further down, can they keep destroying the uphill and downhill land to continue passage to the end...the road , now trail easement, follows the edge of a cliff where there is a 50 ft drop....tramping on the hill causes erosion and eventually will threaten our home above. What are my legal options and rights to protect my home above, potect my property, the hill and waterfront, and stop them from encroaching the easement line.....they say the easement line exists along the shore at the bottom on the hill, some in the water now, going under the what was a road and all the way down to the beach, perpendicular, and they can do whatever on the lower part of the hill because it is still the line of easement, just eroding..is this so? on i am sorry I probably confuse you not explaining it so well.

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