How do I protect my parking rights to a parking easement that I haven’t used in years?

I have an affirmative easement which authorizes the use of my neighbor’s property for 6 spaces as set forth in the deed for my property. He has landscaped the land per my verbal permission about 6 or 7 years ago I have not protested or parked in those parking places since it was landscaped. Can he claim that the easement is now null and void since I haven’t parked in the spaces since then? Do I have to request he remove the landscaping? Can I sell the parking rights to him?

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Let's take each question one at a time.

People "acquire" and that is not purchased in accordance with all our understanding on purchasing by what is known as "adverse possession."  Loosely defined it means that a person must "possess" real property for a time prescribed by statute under certain conditions: without permission, actual, open and "notorious" for a certain time.  You gave permission. You did not give ownership. But now you seem concerned so I would do something about it for your own sake.  Especially if he claims that you did not give permission to establish adverse possession.  

The "something" that you have to do is something affirmative.  Asking him to remove the landscaping - in writing - can be one thing.  Doing something else to establish that they are yours - planting on them, putting up a table and chairs - something, may also be enough.  Certainly removing the landscaping is within your rights as well but it may buy you a lawsuit for the money he put in to the ordeal with your permission.   

But you can indeed sell him the property.  Have it appraised and approach him about it.  If he scoffs at the idea then you know what you have to do to reclaim the land.  Seek an attorney's advice is your area on the advserse possession and reclaiming laws before you do so.  Good luck.

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