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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Neighbor's 40 Years Fence on Easement

    neighbor has a 40 years old fence sitting on easement, which is on his property.

    easement is split half way between our properties. my full 15' of easement is used for driveway. very little of the neighbor's property (4' out of 15') is used for driveway, because they have installed a fence 40 years ago. the driveway is also used by another neighbor behind my property.

    I am the dominant user, neighbor does not use the driveway at all. I want to widen the driveway. can I take the neighbor's fence (within easement) down ? neighbor said no, since the fence been up forever. I just bought the property.

    I probably would never do it, except the neighbor is giving me a lots of grief for maintaining the driveway (easement on his property). I just want a leverage.

    this is in California. thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Angry Re: Neighbor's 40 Years Fence on Easement

    You knew what was there when you bought your place! Now you want to make YOUR mark on someone else's property!?!! An easement is for ingress and egress- for the most part. The easement is on the property of some other poor "Joe" who is paying the taxes on his bit of dirt. Why can't you just be satisfied with driving on what was there when you purchased!! Go widen to 50 feet all the driveway that is on YOUR property if you want to widen something. All you need to get to your place is a piece that is wide enough for your vehicle. Obviously it worked for the previous owners of your property for approx. 40 years-what makes you so special??! It is people like you that fill the courts with ridiculous cases because they want freebees- land that is not theirs but they want CONTROL of it because it was given them as a right- go get a life!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Neighbor's 40 Years Fence on Easement

    Relax Penny...

    It depends on the language of the easement. In general, the easement must remain clear of obstructions and can only be extinguished an agreement between the Grantor and Granter or a court.

    Technically, the fence should be removed and the grantee can use the additional 4 feet. However, because the neighbor was openly using the 4 ft with a fence for 40+ years, then theory of adverse use may be applied, but that would require a court decision.

    Best bet is to send neighbor a certified letter with a copy of the easement and demand that they remove all obstructions from within the easement; including the fence within 7 days or you will bill them for the cost.

    You should also speak to an attorney asap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: Neighbor's 40 Years Fence on Easement

    Penny: you need to relax. just because you didn't read my post fully, you need to go off like a 5 years old and be an e-thug. no, I've never been in court (other than traffic) in my life, so I don't fill the court with ridiculous cases.

    it isn't physically possible to widen the driveway on my side. when I want to maintain the driveway (mud/rock slide), they threatened me not to touch anything on the easement (their 4'). note I am the dominant 100% user of the driveway. there is also a neighbor behind my property who wants to build on the land, but the driveway is not wide enough for construction vehicles. law says if there is an easement, that means you can't put any obstructions there (if it is the language of the easement).

    Mudpie: thanks. it is not 4', it is 11' that the fencer is in the easement.

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