If you own a piece of land that is landlocked by other properties, do you have a legal right to have a road to your property?

I live on a piece of my parent’s land which is part of a land covenant. The neighbors in the covenant have seemingly been fine with this for several years, they now say they want my family and the land we live on off the covenant. There is only one road to access this land. We asked other surrounding property owners to work with us, we offered to buy an acre of one man’s land to get road access, but no one will give us access. The covenant says we can’t live here anymore if we don’t get a different road to use. Our land is landlocked – is this legal? Does someone have to give us road access?

Asked on March 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You and your family need to seek legal help with this matter as soon as you possibly can.  Restrictive covenants - those that are part of the deed and "run with the land" - can indeed be held invalid depending on their underlying drafting or if their intent.  But one really needs to read this covenant and understand the land system in your area in order to help you with this.  From the way that you have phrased the question it appears that what they are doing is effectively rendering your ownership worthless by cutting off access to the land.  Courts do not generally like it when people are sneaky and try and do that.  Get help here.  Good luck.


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