When a neighbor has a driveway easement over your property, she has the right to cross your property to get to her own. Easements may be granted by written agreement, inclusion in a deed, display on a subdivision plat or may be established by an extended period of use. If the easement-holder has a different way to access a public road, it may be possible to revoke a driveway easement by agreement.
Contact the neighbor who uses the driveway easement to determine if you can agree to revoke it. If the driveway is the only accessible entrance to her property, you must identify another possible entrance. If that cannot be done, negotiations may be moot. Even in a court action, it is unlikely a judge would terminate an easement leaving the user landlocked when your driveway is her only way to get to her property.
Negotiate a price or other consideration with your neighbor that she'll accept in exchange for terminating the driveway easement. She may require a sum of money or payment for the expense related to moving the entrance, provided her property fronts a public road. If her property doesn’t have road frontage, you might need to involve another adjacent property owner who will allow an easement over his property.
Prepare a written agreement that revokes the driveway easement for you and the easement-holder to sign. If more than one property owner has easement rights in the driveway easement, all must sign the agreement to terminate it. The agreement must contain an accurate description of the easement that is being revoked. You can find the description in a document that created the easement, on a plat or survey. If shown on a plat or survey, you may choose to attach the survey with the easement area marked, to the revocation agreement. Statutes may require the parties to sign the agreement in the presence of additional witnesses and have all signatures notarized.
Record the completed revocation document in the land records office where property deeds are recorded. This may be in the county probate office or the clerk's office, depending on your jurisdiction. You must also pay a fee to record the easement revocation.
Tips & Warnings
- If the property owner merges the two properties by purchasing the other tract, the easement may cease to exist.
- Some easements, referred to as prescriptive easements, may be established merely by years of continual use.
- When a dispute exists as to the revocation of the easement, the outcome may be determined in court.
- Attempts to revoke an easement that would leave the easement-holder landlocked are unlikely to be successful.
- Obstructing a property owner’s rightful use of an easement could result in a damage award in court.
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