Learning Private Road Easement Rules

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“You may encounter road easements when purchasing property or navigating the land ownership process. The easement gives a non-owner the right to occupy or use a specific part of another person’s property.”

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Learning Private Road Easement Rules

When someone needs to gain access to their property, they often need to rely on road easements. Land that does not connect to public roads can be tough to legally use when there are no roads between it and them. Before buying, it is important to learning private Road Easement rules and know everything about road easements.


What Is A Road Easement?

Road easements are strips of land donated legally for use as public roads. Their purpose is to accommodate the general public. Using them for utility lines, sidewalks, or other facilities is also possible.

When an easement is used for its intended purpose, an easement holder does not need consent from the landowners. Depending on where they lay claim, someone who violates an easement may also have to pay criminal charges or civil damages for their actions.

Most of the time, the government or another owner does not inherit an easement due to a donation. Using a right-of-way or utility easement in such situations may be necessary. The owner retains some rights and responsibilities but grants others to the user.

As a rule, the donation aims to be a goodwill gesture, not to garner profits. In some cases, however, the donation is made in exchange for compensation.

Landowners sometimes create land development regulations by selling the property at full market value and donating the portion intended for use as a public highway or utility line.


Different Types of Easements

The types of easements available are numerous according to the requirements of the particular scenario. The kinds of easements that are commonly used include:


Implied Easement

Implied easements are a form of legal contract that gives an individual the right to use an area of someone else’s private property for a particular reason. This kind of easement doesn’t require any formal agreement or agreement between the parties but instead takes effect as a result of the shared use and enjoyment of the properties.


Prescriptive Easement

Prescriptive easements, also called”a “prescriptive right” or “adverse possession claim,” are rights to property that another has acquired through the public and unrestricted use of the property over some time. The duration of the state of the land in which the land is can be anywhere from five to twenty-one years.


Utility Easements

An easement for utility services is an agreement that permits the utility company to gain access to the property of a person to install wires, pipes, phone lines, and other equipment required to supply utilities. In general, this kind of easement will not automatically expire or end but instead continues until the utility provider does not require access to the property.


Express Easement

An express easement refers to an agreement that one party grants permission to another party to use their property for a particular reason. The terms of the express easements are written down and ratified between the parties. This kind of easement typically does not require any form of official registration.

In Attorney Real Estate Group, we represent clients with claims for prescriptive property rights as well as other easement concerns. Our knowledgeable legal team is best able to analyze your situation and provide the legal advice you need to defend your rights in the courtroom. We know that these issues can be highly complicated, and we work hard to make sure our clients receive the best guidance and representation they can get.


Why Is Road Easement Important?

An easement on the road allows access to and egress from a property. Often, easements serve to provide public access to a property. In return, the easement holder receives compensation from the property owner to finance road construction and maintenance.

This requirement becomes necessary when no public, government-owned roadway is adjacent to a property. To enter and exit your property, you will need a road easement if your property is “landlocked.” Home and land buyers should ensure access to a public road.

Before closing on the property, you should obtain a land survey to confirm that the house or land you intend to buy will be usable. The right-of-way line on the property must meet the edge of the roadway exactly for the property to be accessible without an easement.

To ensure the buyer’s right to cross over whatever property is between the property and the public road, you (the buyer) must ensure an easement between the properties. Besides the road easement, you must include the right to utilities if you plan to dwell on the land.

It would be easier to sell the property if you planned to sell it with this. The land would be difficult to live on and lose much value.


Private and Public Road Easement

There are various easements, including road easements, which allow others to build or use a section of a road. In some cases, road easements are public; others are private. The easement allows individuals to use the road without owning it.


Private Road Easement And Rights of Private Road Owners

A road easement is often necessary to provide access to a landlocked property. The purpose is to provide residents access to their properties from public roads. They can travel over another person’s land with the help of an easement.

There are also occasions when easements establish shared private road easement width between two or more properties and public roads for both properties. We call it a private easement.


Private Road Easement Rules

The public must use the actual road if there is a private road easement. The land must support a highway or another similar physical structure for private easements to be valid.

A contractual private road easement agreement between all parties at the time of sale will determine whether the property is suitable for use as a highway. Legal agreements relating to building and use differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and private easements usually have stricter rules than public easements.


Public Road Easement

One party can establish legal access to an inexistent public road with a public road easement. In exchange for securing the use of the easement, the parties usually create a highway through a piece of property. In some cases, public access to and use of a road is restricted, usually for security or to prevent traffic congestion on local roads.

The easement holder typically builds and uses a portion of the road. The easement holder may also mark and maintain the public road.


Public Road Easement Rules

Landowners must also accept certain terms for an easement to be valid, including providing access to a public roadway without charge or other consideration. A legal process known as “adverse possession” is usually used to enter public road easement agreements.

If the holder of a public road easement violates any of the terms of the agreement, the land ceases to be suitable for use as a highway, or revocation may ensue if the land is deemed unsuitable for such use.

In the case of joint ownership of a public road easement, two or more parties assert their rights jointly. A joint ownership agreement with an individual can allow one party to have some use of the road even if the land belongs to more than one party.

Easements are usually granted to both parties by contract and other legal documents specifying their joint ownership and use.


Road Easement Laws

Building an easement does not require permission from the landowner, but the other party may have to express their permission. If a seller agrees to let the buyer use a specific piece of land for building an access easement as part of a land sale, the buyer needs this permission.


Road Easement Laws.


In addition, obtaining government approval is necessary if multiple individuals use an easement. There are laws governing easement creation and use, with the understanding that state, city, and county laws may differ.

A private road easement is occasionally considered an implied easement; it’s needed to access a public highway but doesn’t transfer explicitly when the property changes hands. In most cases, claiming a road title using a public road easement is impossible.

A public road easement holder is unlikely to be able to acquire legal title to the road itself under Private Road Easement laws California. In most state laws, easements refer only to private roads.

Thus, despite the possibility of someone else constructing and retaining a right-of-way over public land, such rights could be stronger.


When do Boundary disputes occur?

Boundary disputes happen in cases where two property owners can’t reach an agreement on which property line is in the area. This boundary dispute over lines usually occurs between landowners, neighbors, and developers. 

However, they can be a source of conflict for governments and other organizations. Boundary disputes can be highly complex because they typically require the examination of historical documents, legal documents, and geographical information to identify the boundary of each person’s property.

In the event of a dispute, borderline disputes could also result in other complex legal issues like:

  • The encroachment of land,
  • Trespassing,
  • Or adverse possession.

If they are not addressed promptly, boundary line disputes could cause financial loss for both parties affected. To avoid this costly dispute against your neighbors, it’s crucial to know your rights under the law and seek advice from lawyers when needed.

The owner of the land that gives an easement cannot construct structures within the prescribed area around it and cannot use fencing to block access. They can also cause problems for property owners in the event that they need to learn that easements exist or are aware of the location they’re.


Road Easement Maintenance

Despite the difficulty of understanding easement laws, one thing is clear: they must remain in effect after an easement takes effect. Easement holders (easement users) are commonly responsible for maintaining easements.

Despite not owning the land, easement holders are responsible for maintaining easements while they hold them. Easement owners are permitted to remove bushes and pave an unpaved road. However, the landowner (easement owner) will retain most of the rights.

Easement holders may use and enjoy the improvements but must maintain their enjoyment. In addition, they have no obligation to maintain or repair the improvements.


How can you get rid of an easement from your property?

In most instances, the lease is a legally binding arrangement that all parties have to honor. If one party does not comply with the terms stipulated by the arrangement, then we can sue the opposing.

For instance, if you stop your neighbor from taking a shared pathway within your property of yours, then they might bring you to court. However, if the neighbor walks across other areas on your land, you could be able to get them to court if talks don’t resolve the issue.

To terminate an easement, there are several alternatives:

  • Bring the other party to the court.
  • Make sure to extend the easement If there’s a date for expiration.
  • If you made an easement, then you need to register the end of the easement with the title.
  • Discuss the issue with the other party and come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Purchase the other’s property and combine the land.

If you decide to get rid of an easement, you need to register your termination with your local recorder’s office. They might charge a fee; however, this procedure can help prevent any future problems with the easement road.


Bottom line

Road easements give you access to a portion of someone else’s property. A landlocked property owner is most likely to receive one of these grants. States, municipalities, and the type of use all have different easement rules.

If you are buying a property, it’s important to find out if any easements are needed or if they are already there. If you need help with these details, contact a local real estate agent or an attorney specializing in real estate law.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  info@attorneysre.com Bio...

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