If the holder of an easement allows the landowner to use the subject property for over a decade, does the easement holderlose their rights?

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If the holder of an easement allows the landowner to use the subject property for over a decade, does the easement holderlose their rights?

I know the drainage easement is stated in my survey of deed, however does the city have the right to make me move everything my family and I have gotten use to after 11 years? In my situation the city wants to tell me, yes we made a mistake in allowing you to put up a fence where you put it but now we want you to move it 24 feet inward. Can someone tell me how this is fair? We as homeowners applied for a permit to put up our fence 11 years ago and the city approved the permit.

Asked on July 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An easement is an interest in another person's land allowing use not amounting to ownership of the property subject to the easement. First, read your deed to your property so as to understand the terms of the easement over your proeprty and its scope.

Property owners are allowed to use their land subject to the easement of another person so long as there is no interference of the easement's use. Sometimes, as in a case of a road easement, the property owner and the person owning the land having the benefit of the easement use the same road.

Sometimes a property owner whose land is subject to an easement can do things such as install a fence over the area where the easement is located with the knowledge of the person owning the easement. If the person who owns the easement does not object to the fence's installation over the easement and enough time passes, the easement can be lost or the size of it diminished.

From what you have stated, there is a chance that the easement burdening your property may have been reduced due to the fence installation eleven plus years ago. Perhaps you should consult with a real estate lawyer who has a lot of easement experience about your situation.

Good luck.


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