Having access from a public road to your property is crucial. If you purchase property in Jacksonville that does not have access to a public road, your land is considered “landlocked.” Property that you cannot reach is not worth very much to you or a potential purchaser. Therefore, it is extremely important to retain a Jacksonville real estate lawyer who can examine the title to the property to ensure that no issues related to access prevent you from owning fee simple title to the property.
Contact The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. by calling (904) 248-4482 to request a free consultation with an attorney. We want to help ensure you can use and possess the property without any headaches or stress regarding access issues.
When Do Issues Regarding Roadway Access Arise for Jacksonville Properties?
Any property with no access to a public road has serious problems. To avoid access issues, the owners of property can take time and extra steps to ensure that their property has the easements and rights-of-ways necessary to reach a public road.
For instance, when a developer is dividing a large parcel of land to sell as smaller lots, it is crucial he does not have any lots without direct access to a public road. Access to each lot can be accomplished in a variety of ways. If you are developing a subdivision, you use paved roads to provide access to each lot, and the same applies to a commercial project. However, if you are dividing family property and you do not want to use roads of any type, you can grant rights-of-ways across the parcels to ensure each owner has access to a public road.
What are Rights-of-Ways?
A right-of-way allows access to your property, but for the specific purpose of crossing the property at a specific location, such as a walkway or a driveway. This type of access does not give the person an ownership interest in the property nor does it allow the person to use the property for any other purpose other than to cross the property within the designated right-of-way.
What are Easements?
Easements also allow access to the property, but the easement grants a nonpossessory interest in the property. The person receiving the easement is granted the right to use the property within the easement for a specific purpose, but it does not transfer title or ownership of the property within the easement.
Common types of easements used for Jacksonville property include:
- Easement in Gross — Utility companies typically use this type of easement to install and maintain utility lines across private property.
- Easement by Prescription — If you use property continuously for 20 years or more, you are granted an easement if the use was without objection.
- Easement Appurtenant — Adjacent landowners agree to use a portion of each party's property for a common purpose, such as a shared parking lot.
- Access Easements — These are often used for beach access and beach front
- Solar Easement — This easement is used to install and maintain solar energy devices.
Most easements are granted through a written instrument or deed that is recorded at the county offices to put everyone on notice performing a title search that an easement across the property exists and the details of that easement. To reduce the risk of easement disputes, you should consult with an experienced Jacksonville real estate easements attorney to draft and/or review the document before it is signed and filed with the county.
Common Disputes Related to Easements and Rights-of-Ways
Even though you may have a detailed, written, and filed easement or right-of-way, there could be disputes or issues that could arise months or years after the access to the property was granted. Some of the common easement and right-of-way disputes our Jacksonville real estate lawyers handle include:
- Relocating the easement or right-of-way;
- Overuse of the property;
- The intended scope of the use of the right-of-way or easement;
- Using a right-of-way for another purpose other than crossing the land;
- Whether the parties actually intended to create and grant access to their property;
- Using an easement for another purpose that is not included in the easement agreement; and,
- Transferring the easement or right-of-way to another party.
A real estate dispute, including easements and rights-of-ways disputes, can be costly and time-consuming. Our Jacksonville real estate lawyers thoroughly investigate the matter to determine the facts and circumstances. By working closely with our client, we try to find a solution that is efficient and agreeable to all parties. If the other party refuses to negotiate fairly, we are prepared to fight the matter in the courtroom aggressively to protect your best interests.
Call a Jacksonville Real Estate Lawyer for Land Access Issues
Contact The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. at (904) 248-4482 for your free consultation with our Jacksonville easements and rights-of-ways attorney.