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  1. #1

    Default Use of Easement by Renter

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: California

    My neighbor has an easement to use the driveway which passes through the top of my property and down to the beginning of their property. He has leased a portion of a field that my house overlooks to a farmer who is raising pigs. He did not have the courtesy or consideration to inform me that he would be doing so, but that is another topic.

    The renter now says he is going to have a farm-to-table program to educate kids on this "farm". Does the renter have the right to use the easement road in this manner? I do not want strangers and people driving through my property like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    178

    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    Quote Quoting katinkakapur
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    My question involves real estate located in the State of: California

    My neighbor has an easement to use the driveway which passes through the top of my property and down to the beginning of their property. He has leased a portion of a field that my house overlooks to a farmer who is raising pigs. He did not have the courtesy or consideration to inform me that he would be doing so, but that is another topic.
    He has absolutely ZERO obligation to do so, and to presume otherwise is...well...quite presumptious.

    The renter now says he is going to have a farm-to-table program to educate kids on this "farm". Does the renter have the right to use the easement road in this manner? I do not want strangers and people driving through my property like this.
    It would depend on the specifics of the easement, but if the usage of the property is allowable, then the easement probably allows for it. Check the easement language.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    Impossible to answer your question intelligently without reading the deed or other document that contains the easement and without a better description of the two properties and the easement (properties don't have a "top").

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    731

    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    Your neighbor may require a business license and/or a permit to perform that kind of business on personal property. if there is not specific language in the easement agreement, then you may be able to file a complaint with the offices that are issuing his license and permit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    I'm going to suggest it may be a little more complicated. First you need to look at the language of the easement. Exactly what does it say is permitted? More than likely it says for ingress and egress only. Next, look at how the other property was zoned or used at the time the easement was contemplated and granted. If it was zoned or used for residential purposes only and now it is being used for commercial or industrial purposes, you may contend that the easement is being overburdened by this new and unintended function.

    In any case, because your fight is with the owner/landlord who has rented his property to a business that probably has lots of money invested (see, it gets complicated), this is not going to be a do it yourself project and you will need to speak with an attorney and let him handle it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    I posted a reply yesterday but it didn't seem to get uploaded. I found the deed and here is the exact language:

    A non-exclusive easement for road and public utility purposes over that portion of the 50 foot right of way lying within lots 1 and 2 as show upon parcel map no. 4052 filed November 1,1973 in the office of the county recorder of Sonoma County in book 199 of Maps, page 19, Sonoma County Records.

    A non-exclusive easement for road and public utility purposes over the 50" roadway and public utility easement as shown upon parcel map no. 3451 filed February 5, 1973 in the office of the county recorder of Sonoma County in Book 186 of Maps, page 36, Sonoma County Records.

    Does that shed any light on it? Also, is there any kind of implicit responsibility for maintenance of the easement and/or gates on the road?

    Thank you in advance.

    What I meant is the driveway entrance to my property that the other property passes through as well is at the top of a hill, and the driveway goes down past my house, crosses the property line and then on to the other property. I have posted the language of the easement on the deed below. Please have a look at that. Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Use of Easement by Renter

    Quote Quoting katinkakapur
    View Post
    I posted a reply yesterday but it didn't seem to get uploaded. I found the deed and here is the exact language:

    A non-exclusive easement for road and public utility purposes over that portion of the 50 foot right of way lying within lots 1 and 2 as show upon parcel map no. 4052 filed November 1,1973 in the office of the county recorder of Sonoma County in book 199 of Maps, page 19, Sonoma County Records.

    A non-exclusive easement for road and public utility purposes over the 50" roadway and public utility easement as shown upon parcel map no. 3451 filed February 5, 1973 in the office of the county recorder of Sonoma County in Book 186 of Maps, page 36, Sonoma County Records.

    Does that shed any light on it? Also, is there any kind of implicit responsibility for maintenance of the easement and/or gates on the road?

    Thank you in advance.
    The easement language is vague. It does not state the purpose of the easement other than the use of it for public utilities. The use may be obvious (ingress and egress) but it is not stated. All it says is it is for a road. But a road for what?

    In a dispute, a court would have to look at extrinsic evidence to determine what the grantor's and grantee's intentions were at the time the easement was granted such as residential or commercial use or, agricultural use should that be the issue in dispute.

    When an easement grant is silent on who maintains the easement, the case law says that it is the dominant estate (your neighbor) that must maintain it. But that is not always clear cut because the easement is non-exclusive meaning that you also have use of the property.

    With all that said, you posted this:

    He has leased a portion of a field that my house overlooks to a farmer who is raising pigs.
    An easement cannot be extended to property that is not part of the original grantee property (dominant estate). So if the pig farmer has increased the use of the easement, that could be considered overburdening it from the intended use. That is something a court must decide.

    The use of the easement may be the least of your trouble. Do you have any idea what a pig farm smells like? You need to check with local jurisdiction on zoning and regulations that address a pig farm.

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