Imagine coming home to find that your neighbor has built a wall on your driveway, or another part of your property. Somehow, some time ago, someone may have made a mistake. But does that mean drastic changes to what you’ve grown used to for over 25 years? Maybe not.
The story in this video addresses what is called an “easement.” We know what easements are whenever the power goes out and a lineman has to climb the utility pole behind your house. If you are familiar with this, then you may own your property subject to the condition that you allow the utility company to enter your property to work on the pole. In other situations, such as a long driveway serving more than one home, each owner enjoys an easement over the other’s property for purposes of accessing their homes…no one owner can block another from using that driveway.
Easements can be created by mutual agreement between all parties, or, as in Mr. Oliver’s case in the video, they can come about by use over time – and they can’t be taken away. The portion of the driveway so rudely taken away from Mr. Oliver by his build-happy neighbor may have became Mr. Oliver’s property by the legal act of a “prescriptive” easement. A prescriptive easement arises when portions of property, used for a limited purpose such as entering and exiting your own land, occur openly over a long period of time. The easement is acquired for that limited use. Easements come in many forms and can be extinguished depending on their use.
If you suddenly find yourself deprived of an area of your land, or if you believe your neighbor has overstepped their boundaries, contact Schorr Law for a thorough and cost-saving evaluation. Contact us to see if you qualify.
By Philip Iadevaia, esq.