If our neighbors own a part of our backyard past the brick wall that separates our yards; there is an easement, what rights do we have for landscaping?

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If our neighbors own a part of our backyard past the brick wall that separates our yards; there is an easement, what rights do we have for landscaping?

Our (hostile) neighbor’s property line extends a few ft into our backyard past the brick wall the separates their backyard from ours. Since their property line is located a few feet into our backyard, there is a designated easement within this area. We’re wondering what our rights are when it comes to landscaping this area that falls within their property line? If we plant grass/lay down rock or put in trees/plants here, are they legally allowed to remove our landscaping or destroy it even though it is a part of our backyard? If we put a table/chairs on the easement, can they take it?

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are using a portion of your neighbor's property under some form of an easement express, implied or prescriptive, you have the right to use that property in accord with the easement. If the easement is a recorded document, I would carefully read its terms in that the written document sets forth the rights that you have to the land owned by your neighbor that is subject to the easement.

If there is no recorded easement, you can use the area subject to the easement as you have done so in the past. The neighbor cannot stop you from using your recorded easement. If the easement is not of record, you simply continue using that strip of land until the neighbors complain about its use. I suggest that you consiult with a real estate attorney.


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