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Avoiding boundary disputes over ingress and egress to rural land

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes can be very complicated, especially in rural areas where plots of land may be extensive and property lines may run for acres or even miles. When it comes to who can enter and exit a given parcel of land, it needs to be very clear who has such a right so that a dispute does not arise.

Unfortunately, disputes occur often over the boundaries between different properties, especially in relation to who can use driveways and other means to enter and/or exit those properties. It’s a land-use issue, essentially, and it can be problematic when both parties believe that they have the right to use the same land due to a lack of clarity concerning the rights in question.

Clearly define lines

The best way to avoid this type of dispute is simply to have a survey completed so that you have clearly defined lines between each property. There are often boundary disputes when a new property owner believes that they own a part of the land – or can restrict access to that land – while existing property owners do not believe they have the right to do so. It’s good to check up on boundary lines every time a property changes hands.

Utilize easements

Another way to avoid disputes is simply to use easements to allow multiple people to use the property at the same time under specified circumstances. An example of an easement-worthy situation is a shared driveway. If the driveway is only on property owned by one person, but it is also the only way that another property owner can access their land, the two may need to set up an official easement.

This effort will result in a legally-binding contract showing how each party can and cannot use that land. Having a plan in place to make things clear can lower the odds of such a dispute. Understanding exactly what legal steps property owners can take to mitigate dispute risk – and to address disputes that do occur – is always helpful. When it comes to the law, knowledge equals power.