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

Answers:

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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.