Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

Right of way in Wa state

Can people that are living in a landlocked place and knowingly there while noncompliant with building codes continue to use a persons property after being sent a letter to cease? They claim that it has been used for so long that they can take it through court action even though their is fully aware of the violation.

Asked on 6/24/09, 9:23 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Earl Morriss Land Law Washington, PLLC

Re: Right of way in Wa state

It sounds like there are at least two things going on: 1) there is a landlocked piece of property and 2) the owners of the landlocked property are using your property to access their property. First, in Washington, a land locked owner can - under most circumstances - use a Washington RCW which is for a Way of Necessity, RCW 8.24.010, to gain access to their property over neighboring property. There are some requirements associated with that law...for example, the land locked owner must pay the other owner a fair market value for an easement. Second, it is possible for someone to gain prescriptive rights to use your land - in this case an access easement across your land. The basic element would be that they - or their predessesors in title had combined to use the access road for ten years. So, there are some fact specific laws involved in your situation.

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Answered on 6/24/09, 12:23 pm
Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC

Re: Right of way in Wa state

In addition to what's been written by Mr. Morriss, I'd say you should take a look at the title history and see if an easement was provided for in the title to either of the two properties.

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Answered on 6/24/09, 6:55 pm

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