Compensation for Easement Creation

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Compensation for Easement Creation

We purchased our home 10 months ago and with it came the legal ownership of the shared driveway we have with 2 other homes. Our neighbors have just approached us about creating an easement for the right to the driveway and maintenance. They are having surveys done to their homes as they never received them when they purchased their homes several years ago however we had one down when we bought our home 10 months ago which shows that the driveway is our legal property. Can they create this easement without our permission and since we own the property and assuming this easement will decrease our home value, can we get compensation as part of this deal if we decide to proceed?

Asked on October 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The only way they could create an easement against your will (without your consent) would be if they go to court (file a lawsuit) and prove in court that they MUST have an easement over the driveway to access part of their property (like their garage, if it's in the rear). Convenience is not enough: there must be necessity for access for a court to create such an involuntary "easement by prescription." If it is not necessary, they cannot get an easement. If they can get an easement, you are unlikely to get compensation if it goes to court and they win; you can, however, voluntarily negotiate with them for some compensation; the incentive for them to pay is that a voluntary easement saves them the cost, time, and headache of litigation and is certain for them--they are guaranteed to get an easement, whereas litigation is always a gamble, even for those who believe they have a strong case.


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