Is it possible to block a land owner from using the private road on his/her easement?

We live on a private road in WA state. Every homeowner helps with the upkeep of
the road. The one undeveloped parcel provides the easement for the ‘start’ of the
road where it meets the county maintained road but the land owner is not a part
of our road maintenance agreement nor any prior owners before him. There is a
hostile situation in process. It is possible for us to block his usage of the
private road? The easement was granted in 1973.

Asked on May 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) You can't stop him from using that part of the road on this own property, of course: you can't prevent someone from using, accessing etc. their own property, even if it is part of an easement.
2) If his property also is given the easement, then he can use the entire road. If his property is not given an easement, then he could potentially be blocked from using that part of the road which is on another's property, by that property owner: a property owner does need to let others access or cross his or her property accept when there is an easement, or the property owner has otherwise granted a license to use or cross the land.
A good idea would be to speak with a real estate attorney in detail about his situation, to explore you options. It may be possible, for example, to sue this owner for some repair and maintenance costs, if he has gotten use of or value from the easement.

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