Can a prescriptive easement jeopardize your property rights?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes |

Individuals who own multiple properties in different locations must take steps to protect their rights to these properties. However, no one can be in multiple places at once.

Because of this, it may be difficult to keep track of individuals or parties that may be using your property without your permission. Could this endanger your property rights?

What is a prescriptive easement?

A prescriptive easement lets an individual or party other than the property owner use a piece of land for a specific purpose through the fulfillment of certain conditions.

For example, say you own a parcel of land in Florida that is next to a public road and a neighbor regularly passes through it to access said road for a long period of time. This neighbor may get the right to use the land through necessity because of their continuous use of it.

Conditions that can lead to prescriptive easement include:

  • A party continuously uses a piece of land
  • They do this openly and without the owner’s consent
  • This goes on for 20 years

It is important to know that this does not grant them ownership of a piece of land, just the right to use it for a specific purpose.

You can protect your property

If you wish to protect your property from individuals or parties using it without your permission, there are some steps you can take. Consider these:

  • Regularly check on your properties
  • Speak to neighbors and ask them to avoid using your property
  • Obtain a boundary survey
  • Build fences around your property line
  • Put up signs indicating that it is private property

It is possible that a prescriptive easement could result in real estate disputes between an owner and their neighbors. However, there are ways to shield your land from people who may use it without your permission.


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