What to do if we have a farm and have crossed over a 20 foot section of a neighbor’s property for years to access to a portion of our farm but now the owner is trying to limit our access?

We are taking some logs out; we have done this in the past.

Asked on November 11, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there is no other access to that patch or segment of your property, you may be able to get an easement, or legal right to cross the other person's land, due to necesssity: courts will grant easements (you will have to file a legal action or lawsuit for it) if property is totally "landlocked" and cannot be accessed save across another's property. You would bring the lawsuit in chancery court.
But if there is *any* other access, even very inconvenient access (e.g. going the long away around and having to come in via a public road on the other side), then you have no right to cross their land against their will; easements are only granted by the courts for necessity, not convenience. In this case, they have the right to deny you access, and it does not matter if you have previously done this for years.


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