I have a road through my property with no easement, owner of land behind mine is threatening legal action. What are my rights?

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I have a road through my property with no easement, owner of land behind mine is threatening legal action. What are my rights?

We have a dirt road on our property that has been used by a farmer to access farmland behind ours and there is no easement. We have never given the farmer permission but we have never tried to stop him either. The owner of the farmland has decided to build on the land and has secured an easement on our neighbor’s property. He is in the process of constructing his driveway on this easement for access to his land. He wants to use our road until the end of the year for dump trucks and equipment related to the construction of his driveway. We have put a gate up and told him we don’t want anymore traffic on our road because he and the farmer have already caused substantial damage to our road. We are allowing the farmer to get the rest of his hay out but that is it. The land owner’s attorney is threatening legal action if we don’t grant him access. We are trying to come to an agreement and receive compensation plus reimbursement for road grading. Should I try to come to an agreement with his attorney or would it be best to have an attorney represent me in this situation?

Asked on October 2, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Have a lawyer represent you--why place yourself at a disadvantage? The farmer has an attorney; so should you. You may be a sophisticated competent person generally, but 1) you don't know the law as it affects the situation, not the way an attorney would, so you may be "bluffed" or give up rights or fail to enforce rights which you have, but are unaware; 2) unless your job involves negotiating for a living, a lawyer is likely more experienced at this than you are; and 3) the situation is personal to you, so your emotions, etc. could color your judgment--but an attorney will be dispassionate.


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