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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default How is Ownership of a "Passageway" Determined

    My question involves an easement in the state of:Massachusetts

    In my deed and my neighbors deed there is a 25 foot wide "passageway" referred to between our original four lots. This strip terminates near the rear boundary of both of our back lots. We are having a formal survey done but it is possible that there is a 3-4 foot width of land that could terminate on his land but the remaining 15-16 feet definitely terminates on my neighbors lot. At one point each of our lots were really two square lots and you can see on the old maps that it was intended (?) to be an access to the back lots when they were all owned by different people. The owner of the lot behind us has mentioned he is putting up a new home and that he is going to use that "passageway" as his access. He purchased the land via quitclaim in 1981 and has not done anything with the land. This passageway is not mentioned in his deed. So who owns that strip? Abutters? It's not listed as town land or noted as any kind of lot. Of note it is all trees and boulders and not even close to being a road. I don't think it was ever developed and was just part of a development plan from over 80 years ago. I'm assuming he would need an easement from us for access? Or am I incorrect? How do you legally define that kind of land? Appreciate the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: How is Ownership of a "Passageway" Determined

    You'll have to go through the land records, probably back to what ever subdivided the property to begin with, to find out who owns the property. It may be common to the lots in question, it may still be owned by the original owner of the property. There may or may not be easements involved. A better surveyor can probably figure it out as could a real estate lawyer (who you'll need anyhow if you want to stem the neighbor from using it).

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