If we were given permission by the previous landowner to plant trees as a windbreak on their field and we did so but the new owner is telling us that he may want to remove the trees as to farm the field, do we have any recourse?

Over 20 years ago we were given verbal permission by the previous landowner to plant trees as a windbreak.

Asked on June 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the trees are on his land, he can remove them. Even if you had permission from a prior landlord, such permission does not legally bind his successor: the new owner may elect to remove any foliage, structure, etc. on his land unless you had not just oral (that's the better term than "verbal") permisson but an actual easement on the deed giving you the right in perpetuity to have the trees there. Only an easement will bind or obligate future landlowners, since it is part of the deed or title (i.e. part of the definition of the property); other agreements only bind the person(s) who made them.

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