What our rights if we access our property by using a lane that is on our neighbor’s property and have done so for 10 years?

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What our rights if we access our property by using a lane that is on our neighbor’s property and have done so for 10 years?

They do not want to issue us an easement. Is there a clause that if this lane has been used this way for years we have the right to continue to use it without an easement?

Asked on January 4, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You may have what is known as a "prescriptive easement". First of all, an easement is the right to use the land of another for a specific purpose, that is not inconsistent with the general use of the property by the owner. Further, the courts in ID have clearly stated that in order to establish an easement by prescription, "the claimant must prove by clear and convincing evidence use of the subject property, which is characterized as: (1) open and notorious; (2) continuous and uninterrupted; (3) adverse and under a claim of right; (4) with the actual or imputed knowledge of the owner of the servient tenement (5) for the statutory period". That having been said, a claim for prescriptive rights will be closely scrutinized and limited by the courts.
At this point, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney for further advice as to specific state law.


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