Do we have any rights if we have accessed our back property for 30 years across what was my late mom’s property which my brother now owns?

We have accessed our back property for 30 years across my mom’s property. Just prior to her death, my brother convinced her to give all her property to him. Now he says he is going to fence off the land, which will cut off access to our back property where my daughter now lives (on our property). Can he do that?

Asked on July 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether any other access--even if longer, more inconvenient, etc. (like taking the long way around on public roads)--exists. If there is other access, he may absolutely do this: there is no obligation for one property manager to make things easier or more convenient for another. On the other hand, if the back property is totally "land locked" and there is no other access, you may be able to have a court (by filing the appropriate lawsuit) give you an "easement," or right to use/transverse some right of way or path on your brother's land; courts will do this when otherwise, certain land is simply not accessible in any other way. To explore this option, consult with a real estate attorney.


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