road easment for house with no proper access to street

3 Replies

We bought a house at a tax auction that has no proper access to the road.  The owner of the house diagonally located owns the property on the other side of the house so our road access is really his driveway, essentially.  What is the best way to solidify an easement or access to the property from what is essentially a private road?

@Leah Klint
Before spending money on getting an easement because your property has no frontage check with the county to see if it is even a buildable / developable lot.

In most jurisdications landlocked properties are worthless as they are not developable. Hopefully not the case in this situation but that is where I would start

Given driveway was being used by the previous owner .. i would do the following 

1) Do a title search on both the properties via a title company to look up any easement ect that is available . If there is an existing one then great if not then do the following (cost 300-400)

2) Contact a Real Estate Attorney to draft a note for other party requesting easement by necessity. This should work (cost around 1000-1550) . If other owner agree then have your attorney draft an unlimited easement and if they dont then do the following 

3) Litigation (less then 20K) and highly likely that you will win

 Wish you the best. 

@Leah Klint

Talk to a qualified attorney about this. In many jurisdictions (including Pennsylvania), there is the following concept:

  • Party A conveys a property (let's call it Blackacre) to Party B. 
  • Due to how Party A conveyed Blackacre to Party B, Blackacre is landlocked. 
  • All the relevant documents including the deed are silent on anything about what to do with the landlocked nature of Blackacre.
  • In such cases, courts from many jurisdictions have held that Party A implicitly granted an easement over Party B. 

Despite going to law school in Michigan, I'm not sure what the law says there. But my guess is that there is some caselaw to that effect. 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it for legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.