Understanding Access Rights for Land Parcels in US Property Law

Owners of landlocked property can obtain an easement, which grants them the right to cross neighboring land to access public roads. This right of access is a type of easement that gives its owner a non-possessive right over another person's real estate (servile property). It can be a right of movement or path that benefits a particular person or a particular parcel of land (dominant property). Access rights can be created by express, implied, or prescribed agreement and, in some circumstances, acquired through the eminent domain. Any property along a public road is presumed to have the right of access to and from that road.

This right can be suspended by means of a notarial document signed by both owners or, in the event of a dispute, by a final court decision. If the law includes easement in the density of buildings on the servient property, obviously the landlord cannot build on it. Accessing landlocked real estate can become a problem when the surrounding properties are owned by different people. Both rights of way and easements are examples of property rights and can allow other people to use their property. There is no right of ownership over the flow of traffic that passes through a company or right to compensation if access is temporarily affected due to a construction project. Definition of the right of access, when it applies and what you should know when buying or selling a property with a right of access.

The right to cross public land can be granted by the government or established through law enforcement. Private sewer easements are often sold when building a house uphill, so the pipe that goes from the house to the street can sometimes be tilted correctly just below the property. This right of access applies to properties that do not have direct access to a road or public space, so the only way to access these properties is to cross a property owned by another person. It is important to clarify that the part of the property that one could use to access one's own land belongs exclusively to that property. Access to landlocked property or parcel can be a challenge for the landlord; however, state and federal laws protect the right of landowners to the “productive use” of their land, which generally means the right to access a public road. There's a fine line with landlords and easements, and it's imperative that you make sure you're always legally right. If the right of access is part of private property, legally it is the owner who must maintain the corresponding part of his property.

A right of way can be established through a notarial act, but also through long-term use, often referred to as a prescription or prescriptive right of way. If a landlocked property is close to a business or business area that is likely to expand in the future, then keeping a landlocked property and selling it in the future for a higher price when the commercial area expands is also another reason to buy such property. The lack of access to property for public services, such as medical and fire personnel, can cause banks and potential buyers to stop dealing with landlocked property.