Property easement

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Property easement

I purchased some land that has a right of way easement on it
with an adjacent land owner so he can have access to his dock
at the water. Currently there are steps built there that are
in bad shape and need repair. Who has to fix those steps and
am I liable if someone gets hurt on those?

Asked on April 27, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible for repair, in the sense that if anyone is injured on them due to their condition, you, as the property owner, would be liable. All property owners are liable for injuries caused by "unsafe conditions" existing on their land: they have to take steps to prevent any person lawfully on or using or accessing their land--including a neighbor with an easement--from being injured by known or foreseeable conditions. Since you know the steps are bad shape, if anyone is injured by this known condition, you will be liable. Therefore, it behooves you to maintain or repair the steps.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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