How to determine the rights to an exclusive parking easement?

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How to determine the rights to an exclusive parking easement?

The deed to my commercial property contains an exclusive parking easement. The underlying land is owned by the man who lives behind my property. The original owner of both pieces of property had recorded the easement for the benefit of the commercial property. He then sold both pieces. I bought the property in 1998. The neighbor bought his house in 2000. He insists the land is his. He is now parking there in my space. What are my rights? He is interfering with my access to parking. What does the law say?

Asked on March 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An easement is a right of way, and not necessarily a right of "ownership."  If your neighbor is the fee owner of the area encumbered by the easement he may use it in any manner that does not unreasonably interfere with the purpose of the easement.  Here that means he can not block your access to parking. He does not have the right to unreasonably interfere with the exercise of your easement rights.  Have you tried sepaking with him about the matter?  You should try and discuss it with him and resolve it amicably. If you cannot resolve the matter you may consider seeking legal counsel to initiate an action for enforcement of the easement. Also consider discussing the right to improve the easement and maintaining the easement with your neighbor and/or the attorney.  Good luck to you.


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