Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

I live in Washington State. 20 years ago our property was filed with our county. On one side of our property, we have a 30 ft easement for a road access for an irrigation pond behind our property. The home owner association at the time, put their road 30 ft on the other side, which is another mans property, and let the previous owner develop our property on the real easement. They let him plant trees, put in sprinkler lines all on the easement, and for 20 years have used the road on the other property.

Two years ago we bought this home, and knew that we had an easement. We thought that our property was developed to the easement since the irrigation road was there. No one told us that the road was supposed to be 30 ft in on our developed property. We built a fence on the line along the road. Again, no one ever told us that the road was supposed to be 30 ft in and we couldn't build a fence.

Now the owner of the land wants the road off his property, and the home owner association is saying we have to take out our trees, move our sprinklers, move our fence, so they can come in 30 ft and access the true easement. We asked why this was never addressed with the previous home owner, and why they never put the road where it should have been, there response was "Its never been a problem before."

Its been this way for 20 years, do we have any rights in this situation?

Thanks!!

Asked on 6/28/10, 7:52 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Earl Morriss Land Law Washington, PLLC
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From what you have said, the most likely answer is that you will have to move off the easement. The most important thing is that you had actual "notice" of the easement - next, it is very difficult to have an easement deemed "abandoned" in Washington. You might want to see if you could get some assistance with the costs to move the fence and sprinklers, etc. from the HOA...but I do not see many/ any other options.

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6/29/10, 8:21 am

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