An easement is the right to use an area of land of another property owner without owning the property. Common uses of easements include driveways and pathways through a property, where neighbors use the path or drive to enter or exit their property.
While this is commonly done, especially in rural settings, it is important that you understand your rights as a property owner or the user of an easement. Too many times, our Virginia Beach property rights attorneys speak with people who have lost their easement rights without even knowing they had them in the first place.
Common Types of Easement Disputes
The following are generally recognized as easement rights:
- Right to light. This right, also known as solar easement, involves the right for you to maintain a minimum quality of light in your home. For example, someone cannot build a structure next to your dwelling that significantly blocks the light coming into your home.
- View easement. Your neighbors cannot erect a structure or grow trees or other vegetation that blocks your existing view. In some cases, you may have the right to have vegetation cut down if it blocks your view.
- Driveway easement. There are times when an easement is allowed because a property is boxed in, having no street access for a driveway. Driveway and walkway easements are also common in neighborhoods where houses are built very close together, allowing for only one shared walkway or driveway.
If you are at all concerned that your neighbor or neighbors are violating your easement rights, it is crucial that you act quickly to remedy the situation. If they use the property or have a structure or vegetation in place for a certain amount of time, you can lose your easement rights.
Do not lose your rights as a property owner. Call 757.625.1214 today to speak with a Virginia Beach real estate attorney who has the skills and experience needed to defend your rights.