Can we choose to not use land directly adjacent to our property?

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Can we choose to not use land directly adjacent to our property?

My husband and I bought a house in PA  9 months ago. The land about 6 feet behind the house (about 0.5 acre) is owned by someone else with whom we were not in contact with until this month. They told us that they would like to start charging us rent to use the land. Can we choose to not use the land and therefore not pay rent? Would mowing the grass be considered “using” the land if that is all we would do to the land? What would you say is a reasonable price per month of this land? What should we make sure of before we sign the agreement? And what laws are there in PA that would apply to this type of rental agreement situation?

Asked on August 16, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the parcel next door to your own property is owned by some one else, unless you have been given permission to use it, you have no right to be on it.

If the adjacent owners wish to rent their property to you and you wish to do so, then you need to agree upon a monthly amount, the term of the agreement, what can be done on the property as well as other important matters that you may desire and have a written agreement drawn up signed and dated by all.

If you do not want to rent the parcel so be it. If you happen to mow the a portion of the adjacent property for fire control near your own parcel, you should be able to do so provided you get permission from the owners first.

To ascertain what a reasonable monthly rental for such a parcel, you need to do research as to what other parcels rent for per month in the area you live in. Perhaps calling a real estate office in your town would put you on the right path to determine a fair monthly rental for what you wish to do with the next door parcel.

Given your questions, I suggest you consult with a real estate lawyer about the next door parcel.

Good luck.


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