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Prescriptive Easement

An easement is the right to use the property of another for a particular purpose. Prescriptive easements might occur when the open and continuous use of another’s property exceeds a specific amount of time and therefore serves a necessary function in their life. The statutes of limitations for prescriptive easements vary from region to region but generally range from 10-20 years. Most often, these result from undistinguished rural land becoming used or wrongfully possessed by the neighboring landowner. “Tacking,” or the continuous action by different people in the same position, may also constitute an easement if the time requirement is met.

Legal Requirements for Prescriptive Easements

In order to gain a prescriptive easement, a number of legal factors must be considered. Assuming that the statute of limitations is met, the following elements must be present in order to gain legal use or ownership of another’s land:

  • Continuous use
  • Open use
  • Hostile and notorious use
  • Use without permission

When written permission to access or use property is granted, a prescriptive easement is inapplicable. This also protects landowners from future claims of inherited prescriptive easement. For example, if a neighbor continuously parks on a patch of your land with your written consent, any individual that purchases that neighboring property in the future cannot claim prescriptive easement since permission was previously given.

Contact a Dallas an Easement Dispute Lawyer

The real estate attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. have worked extensively with easement settlements and understand the importance of right to property. If you or someone you know is involved in an easement dispute and requires legal assistance to rightfully gain access or use of property, contact our team of experienced lawyers by calling (214) 824-1414.