Right of Way

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Right of Way

I just bought a house at the end of a dirt road with multiple dips in it that all fill up with a substantial amount of water when it rains. The front and right sides of my home are surrounded by woods. On the right side, there’s a clearing that other people have already made through the woods to cut through to the paved road one block over so it’s essentially a continuous road to the paved street other than the fact that the owner of the property installed a concrete pillar to prevent people from driving through his land. From what I’ve gathered, multiple neighbors have tried to purchase the land from him over the years and he’s refused, saying that he’s keeping it as an

Asked on May 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is no way you can create a legal right-of-way unless he voluntarily agrees to grant you one, either as an easement (something permanent, which will go with your deed to whomever buys or inherits your home one day) or a license (a right person to you).
An easement "by proscription" can be created by the courts if there is NO other access from property A to a public road other than through property B. But that is not the case here: you have access except "when the dirt road floods." That means two things: 1) you have access the majority of the time; and 2) you can improve your access by something under your control: grading or paving the dirt road. When you have another access route, you cannot establish a "right of way" or easement across another person's property, impairing their property rights. The law doesn't let you impact another's rights or property because of convenience, not absolute necessity. Your best option is to improve the dirt road.


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