When does a easement by necessity arise under California law?

Question

When does a easement by necessity arise under California law?

Answer

Easements are rights that one party has to another party’s property. In California, there are numerous types of easements. One of these is an easement by necessity, which grants a person with landlocked property the right to use another individual’s property to gain access to his own.

To have it declared a necessity that you have long-term rights to use another person’s property to access your own, your property must be completely landlocked. This does not mean that you have a way to access your property but you consider it inconvenient.  When assessing all of the borders of your property, it must be found that there is no legally accessible route from any right-of-way or public roadway.

There is a second element that you must prove if you want a court to grant you an easement by necessity. According to California law, you must show that there was common ownership of the two properties at the time of conveyance. Otherwise, it can be deemed that there is no strict necessity.

You should also know that this type of easement can dissolve if the necessity disappears. This would occur if another means to access your property ever becomes available.

Easements by necessity can be complicated and are often misunderstood. For the best results, if you are experiencing issues of this nature, you should contact a California real estate attorney.

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