California’s deserts and beaches offer attractive real estate opportunities for investment or development. Some parcels, however, may not offer public access without crossing a neighbor’s adjacent property.
As described by Millionacres, you may need to discuss or negotiate an easement arrangement when purchasing or subdividing landlocked property. Working out a right of way with a neighbor before closing a transaction could help you avoid future problems.
How could I gain the right to access landlocked property?
You may contact the owners of surrounding lots and request permission for an easement to provide access to your property. A neighbor’s verbal “okay” or handshake, however, does not offer you legal protection. Your property’s deed needs to include a written description of a mutually agreed upon easement arrangement to reflect a legally binding agreement.
With landlocked property, a right of way may become a high priority item in a real estate contract. Installing a driveway, for example, may require buying a portion of an adjacent lot. In some cases, developers agree to pay a neighbor for an easement. A right of way could carry significant weight if a future owner’s customers need access to a commercial enterprise.
How do I sell property with an easement?
Easements typically become part of a recorded deed, and their rights transfer to a new owner. According to the California Civil Code, when selling property that has an attached easement, you need to inform potential buyers of the existing legal right.
If you own a large landlocked parcel, you may have an additional option. Rather than working out an easement arrangement, you may consider subdividing your land before offering it for sale. You may have the means to divide each lot so that it does not require new owners to cross their neighbors’ properties.