Can the people across the road from me keep me from entering my own property because they claim to own the road?

I live on a dirt road that is not currently under the control of the county. I have lived out here for about 20 years and ever since the people who lived across the road sold their property I have had nothing but problems with the new people. On my original deed the road is separate but the people who now live across the street claim they own the road and it was included in their purchase. How can the road be sold to them with property that it was not part of. They are now claiming that I need to pay for the road to be repaired because of driven rites of the easement.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First and foremost, the owners are probably incorrect. You may have a prescriptive easement created by the time period in which you owned your property and used that road. Sounds like a case of lack of knowledge. I would, if I were you, first get a hold of the county and find out if its survey crew can give you a true record in writing of the ownership of that road. Then, you should pull the deed/mortgage from your online appraisal company and also pull the mortgage from the registry of deeds. Pull yours and both neighbors and see what it includes. If the Exhibit A is not apparent on its face on who owns what, contact a private surveyor to help you. Then enlist the county's help in discussing the easement. In either way, you are not responsible for repair to an easement, because you do not own the property. If you owned the property (if you find out), then you can prohibit them from using it.

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