I recently purchased some land which contains a "short-cut" road connecting two public roads. The locals have been using the road for 20+ years. There is no easement or right-of-way in the deed or property description. I constructed two gates at each end of the road several months ago. I don't think anyone cares enough to file a suit but I am concerned someone may file for prescriptive easement. What is the time-limit they have to make a claim against me? Is there anything I can do to protect my property from a prescriptive easement?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Just because an easement is not in your deed, does not mean that there is no express easement. A prior owner may have dedicated an easement for public use, long prior to your ownership, and that dedication would run with the land and be binding on you.
The first concern I would have for you is verifying whether a public easement has been dedicated. Your county should be able to keep track of that for you. I suggest you check all that first, and get some good legal advice before you start fencing in places.