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Agri access entry

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by David in Tennessee, May 11, 2020.

  1. David in Tennessee

    David in Tennessee Law Topic Starter New Member

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    New member here, thank you for this forum. I own 175 acres in middle Tennessee. This property is a family farm with us being the 3rd generation. Our neighbors, another family farm for multiple generations, are selling a parcel of land next to ours. Part of our property is a thin strip of land approx. 40 feet wide with road frontage. Running parallel to the road is a creek, with the middle of the creek being the property line between us and our neighbors. Our parents allowed the neighbors access to their land (not the only access point) for agricultural purposes and the access continues today.

    So now the neighbors have a parcel of property is for sale which includes the access point. Question is do I have to give a new buyer access for agricultural use, there is another entry point. They have offered a generous amount to purchase the access, but we would rather keep control so we don't have a sub-division next to our farm. They claim the access would be grandfathered in to a new buyer. My position is the access was just a gentlemen's agreement between two friends and neighbors and should be null and void to any other parties. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You are generally free to deny the new owners access unless there is a recorded easement allowing the access or a written contract that grants the access not only to the present owners but to that owner's transferees as well.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It wouldn't.

    They would have to claim adverse possession and sue to try and make that stick.

    As long as the easement was consensual you can withdraw that consent.

    It would help if you have some sort of documentation that it was consensual.
     
  4. David in Tennessee

    David in Tennessee Law Topic Starter New Member

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    There is no written agreement. Access was given because the other entry point is several miles away by road. We have been neighbors, very friendly, for a long time. A younger member of the neighbors family is trying to make things difficult because it will make the land more attractive for a new buyer.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Well, you are going to have to do something positive or you are going to lose control and potentially have an expensive legal battle ahead.

    I suggest having your attorney draft a document explaining that the easement was granted to so-and-so on a temporary basis for such and such use of the property and that consent continues at your option and can be withdrawn at any time. You might make it annually renewable at your option. You can do it however you and your attorney think best for keeping control. The important thing is put it in writing, with the legal description of the area, and get the document recorded with the county land record office (recorder) so you never have this kind of dispute again.
     
  6. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Without an express grant of an easement there is no easement. What you describe is a permissive use. A permissive use can never ripen into a claim for adverse possession or a prescriptive use (easement).

    A permissive use is nothing but a license to use your land by a particular property or person (in gross). It is considered a use in gross as apposed to a use appurtenant (that runs with the land).

    A permissive use (no matter how long it has run) can be revoked at any time unless there is some sort of written agreement about a time span. But it remains a permissive use.

    You can continue with the status quo or threaten to revoke the license if your neighbor wants to be troublesome.
     
  7. David in Tennessee

    David in Tennessee Law Topic Starter New Member

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    After another friendly conversation with the neighbor, he is claiming acquired access which I think is the same as prescriptive use. So as welkin states a permissive use cannot be a claim. This is great news. Thanks to all for the info.
     

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