Am I obligated to give a right of way/easement to property located behind my property?

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Am I obligated to give a right of way/easement to property located behind my property?

One of my brothers and I own land once owned by our father. It is a total of 1.33 acres. My brother owns 1/2 acre and I own the rest. There are currently 3 houses, 4 metal 2-car portable sheds, 3 stand alone car sheds and a portable storage building. My stepbrother approached us a while ago about a right of way to get to 3 acres of property he owns behind our property. We explained that there is just no room for a right of way. He is now suing us for the right of way. Do we have to give him the right of way?

Asked on June 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether he has any other access, even if longer, expensive to build, and inconvenient, to a public road. If he can get to a public road someother way, such as builing a private road or long driveway across his land to connect to a small, local public road (e.g. not a highway or main street), he has to do that. But the law does not allow someone to be totally "landlocked" and have no way to access his property. If there is no other way for him to get access to a public road, he can bring a lawsuit, as he has, for an "easement" and the court will give him one. If he has no other options, you should try to settle this with him before going to the expense and trouble of a lawsuit: for example, you could offer to sell him an easement. for some modest price.


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