Can you stop someone from crossing your land?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

It can be upsetting to look out of your window and see someone passing over your land without your permission. Yet, private property is not always as private as you might have thought.

In most cases, you can inform the person they are trespassing and ask them to leave and not cross this way again. But sometimes, they may counter that they have the right to take that route.

Some people have what’s known as an easement

It’s a legal right to pass across someone else’s piece of land for access. Utility companies often have them, rail companies often have them, and sometimes one or more neighbors do.

Carrying out a thorough title search before purchasing should highlight any easements on a property, but occasionally one may be missed. Or the person you encounter crossing your land may have a different interpretation than the one you were given.

First, check the specifics

Tracing the easement document can help determine if it is still in place or if it expired on a certain date or automatically expired when the property changed hands. It can also clarify who the easement covers. Just because there is one does not mean everyone can use it.

Think about the best solution

Once you are clear on the legal stance, you’ll want to examine your options. That may be extending an easement, creating one (perhaps in exchange for some kind of payment), or taking court action to prevent the person from ever crossing your land again.