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I purchased a home a year ago in 2017 and the neighbor to north uses a partial of my land to get to his house. This partial was the old road which was discontinued when the new road was moved. When the road moved we were annexed to the new street giving our lots the extra square footage of the old road. In 2011 a certified mail from the township was given that a resolution of the right of way of the old road was going to be discontinued because of the new road which was recorded at the register of deeds. In 2012 an updated survey map was made for our lots showing the new lot lines with no easements noted or plotted. The neighbor to the north is only there 6mos. out of the year and is currently gone. I plan to tear up the portion of the road to install a larger front yardthe area he uses to get to his house. I have a sign posted ‘private property’ for 3 weeks which he has not seen since he’s gone. Can he claim prescriptive easement? even though the old street was not owned by us till 2012?
Asked on August 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
If your neighbor is left completely "landlocked"--that is, with no direct access from his land to a pubic road--then he can claim an easement by prescription. So if your plan to tear up part of the road will landlock him, he can get a prescriptive easement. If he still has access to a public road, he cannot.