If a property near yours is landlocked, it means you have to trespass across a neighbor's land to gain access. This is commonly the case for shared driveways or run wiring from your house across the neighbor's yard. In these situations. a property easement could grant you access. Here are tips to get a property easement.
Take a Survey of Your Land
Ensure you actually own the part of land you are using. For example, you may be running wiring close to the boundary line or over the boundary line.
Obtain a legal description of your property and any previous survey from your county courthouse. If you find you are the owner, you don't need an easement. The property may already have an easement. Also, check for old fire roads in disrepair near the land, as these roads are commonly open to the public.
Negotiate with the Owner
If you find you must access the neighbor's land, contact the owner. Keep in mind the person living there may not be the owner. Explain your situation, and set an appointment to meet them.
Before you meet with them. list the benefits of the agreement and the cons. Decide whether the easement is permanent or temporary. A temporary easement could be needed for transporting equipment.
Ask them for an easement in person, or who to contact for one. Whatever the neighbor and you work out. don't make a high offer. If you want to pay $500, don't offer $500. Start lower so you have room to increase the price.
Be prepared for them to reject, but don't give in under pressure. Find out what they like and don't like about the offer. Pay immediately to keep the owner from increasing the price.
Write out the Agreement
If you prefer, draft a document beforehand including the date and name of parties. In some cases, you may not need a written agreement. but It is still ideal to have a written copy.
Use the property description to help you compose the draft. Write the details of the agreement, including the parties involved, the date, and the easement area. For example, if you need to use the driveway, mention this.
If the agreement is temporary, include the date it will end. An easement could read something like: "This easement was created on May 4th by John Doe and Joe Smith, grantee. The price of $500 includes the following:"
Get the agreement notarized by a notary public, and sign the document. Find out if witnesses are required.
File the agreement in a safe place. You may want a real estate attorney to look over the agreement, or to be available, if there are disputes in the future.
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