Is an easement on my property legal if it was filed after we closed?

Documents were signed by seller and neighbor for driveway easement for the sum of $1 prior to our purchase of property. Document was not filed until after we took possession of the property and was Undiscovered Until I sent neighbor a document granting him permission to cross my property, he then sent me a copy of the easement document. Since this document was not recorded when we closed on the property is it legally valid?

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the recorded easement at issue was placed of record upon the parcel you purchased until after you closed escrow and you did not sign the document granting the easement, your legal title to the property is senior to the recorded document and your title does not take subject to it.

You need to advise the seller who presumably signed this easement of this problem of the need to get this easement removed from your parcel at his or her cost. Most likely that request will fall on deaf ears.

You need to retain an experienced real estate attorney to assist. Most likely you will have to file a lawsuit against the seller and the person whose property has the benefit of the easement if that person will not voluntarily quitclaim to you the easement to have it removed.

Your title insurance policy could come into issue. The problem is that the easement was not of record when you closed.

Good luck.

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