How do I get an easement/right of way when the owners won’t budge?

The yards of deveral homes abut a small piece of land owned by a housing development. The only way out of our yards is onto this property. Owners have told us we do not have access to this property. How can they block our only access out. We have been maintaining it for years. I had a new fence installed and they made the company move the truck off the grass. It is the only access to our yards in the rear – across this property. What do we all do?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not the adjoining property that you want an easement over since you do not have access out of your yards is not the issue if you have access to your property as a whole from another way.

The owners of the housing developement do not have to give you an easement across their property if they do not want to. An easement is a non-possessory interest in the lands of another. People will pay substantial money for an easement.

If you want an easement over your neighbor's property, offer to pay for one and see what happens. If your property is not landlocked as a whole, you have no basis for claiming an easement over your neighbor's property unless you intend to acquire it by way of a prescriptive use.

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