Legal Question in Real Estate Law in North Carolina

Private Property/Real Property Easement

I inherited a 2.5 acre parcel in NC. It is part of a larger parcel (legally subdivided) which has been in my family for many years. I received a letter from the owners of property behind mine indicating they were trying to sell their lot and an "old" easement, never recorded, needed to be granted by me and another family member who owns the lot next to mine. The sellers are selling to a neighbor who I don't believe is "land locked" if he is buying a neighboring piece of property.

I'm afraid I'm being taken advantage of because I'm an out-of-state owner and cannot easily inspect an easement that I never knew of (and none of my other family members ever knew of it, either).

Am I required to grant a previously unrecorded easement that has been in use for possibly 15+ years (if I can believe the sellers' claim), if the buyer won't be land locked without it?

Asked on 11/17/99, 12:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gregory Brittain Gregory W. Brittain, Attorney at Law
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Re: Private Property/Real Property Easement

I do not fully understand your question. You or a previous owner of the property either did or did not a grant an express easement. If the neighbor has been crossing your property for more than five years, they probably have a prescriptive easement and could go to court to get the right to continue using that prescriptive easement. You are not required to sell an easement merely because the neighbors' property is land locked. You or someone on your behalf should inspect the property and determine the current situation. Depending on where the easement is, what the neighbors want to what their property, and what you with want to do with your property you may be willing to sell them in easement. I would need considerably more information to advise you any further.

This reply is a courtesy and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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11/17/99, 5:52 pm

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