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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    3

    Default Does Long-Term Use of a Driveway Create an Easement

    My question involves an easement in the state of: North Carolina

    I have been using a driveway to my property for 20 years. Family member just got property that I cross and now is saying I have no right to cross the land. I have a house number to the land. Is there a law about using a roadway for a number of years making it permanent?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Easements

    well, it takes 20 years for a claim of adverse possession to ripen so you have that going for you unless...


    how did it come to be you used this easement to access your property? Was it used by permission of the owners of the land?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Does Long-Term Use of a Driveway Create an Easement

    Quote Quoting goatlady
    View Post
    Is there a law about using a roadway for a number of years making it permanent?
    Nope! There is nothing that will just "make" an easement. There are laws that give you the right to an easement but to have the easement it must be awarded by the courts or be purchased from the landowner.

    There are several 'reasons' an easement will be granted, one is continuous use over a period of time as mentioned by JK. Another is losing access to a road by subdividing property into smaller parcels. But to get a legal recorded easement requires either an agreement between landowners or a lawsuit through the courts. If you need to sue for the easement, plan on it costing lots and lots of Time and Money on both landowners.

    Is your parcel landlocked or is this driveway a convenience for you? If you are landlocked, look back through the land records and find if your parcel was originally part of the parcel the driveway crosses. Most times if a parcel is split into smaller lots then the part of the original parcel that has road frontage is required to give access to the parcels that became landlocked by the division of the lot. But this still requires either suing through the courts or an agreement between parties to make this easement legal and deeded.

    Have you approached the family member about purchasing an easement for the driveway? For instance if your lawyer estimates that it will cost approximately $25k to sue for the easement(with no promise of a win), then it might be prudent to offer the other landowner $15k to purchase an easement instead of suing for one. The numbers are not important, just the idea of what's involved here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Easements

    the land belonged to my parents, my brother has it now. I have some land he wants so he wants it and brought this up as a threat.

    This same roadway crosses my land to get to part of the land he got. He wants that part of my land which also has a hay shelter on that he uses and he wants it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,576

    Default Re: Easements

    the land belonged to my parents
    Was it originally one larger parcel including the land you now own?

    If so the roadway could be seen as an implied easement. If you are otherwise landlocked, the historic access roadway could be seen as the most reasonable solution for an easement by necessity.

    If the roadway has been used for the statutory period, it could be seen as an easement by prescription, different from an adverse possession claim.
    This same roadway crosses my land to get to part of the land he got
    That's an interesting point. He's trying to close you off but you hold the same cards to play.

    I'm not going to double down on that but I will suggest that you get an attorney to advise you and possibly write a letter. Many attorneys understand poker and I think you are in that game.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Easements

    Thanks for the info this helps me have a little more knowledge about the situation. Looks like I am going to have to get an attorney to take this on. Don't know why he just can't leave it like it was when my parents were alive but that would be to easy I guess.

    Thanks to everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Easements

    Quote Quoting goatlady
    View Post
    Thanks for the info this helps me have a little more knowledge about the situation. Looks like I am going to have to get an attorney to take this on. Don't know why he just can't leave it like it was when my parents were alive but that would be to easy I guess.

    Thanks to everyone.
    This is an issue that you will probably want to settle before considering selling any of these lots, so that could be his angle.

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