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Easment not being used...

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Georgia

First the facts:

Here's how the easement portion my neighbor's warranty deed reads:

"...Also, an easement in landlot 118 & 119 in to and over that 20-foot strip of land running along the northly side of property 2.98 acres owned by (me), per plat of record recorded in plat book 72 page 125, aforesaid records."

On the plat chart showing our lots/property a 20 foot "access easement" is drawn on the nothern portion of my property. This agrees with the neighbors warranty deed.

My warranty deed contains no mention or any additional easements, etc...

I am the owner of the 2.98 acres (landlot 118 & 119) mentioned above.

I have lived in my house for 4 years; My neighbor has lived in his for 2 years.

My house was built in 1971 and his put in place in 1988.

The neighbor has never contributed to the maintenace of any portion of land/drive, other than the portion designated as "easement" per the plat chart.

All things described above were put in place prior to either of us buying our homes.


The story:

I own 3 acres of property, and my neighbor owns 1 acre which is landlocked behind mine. I have a driveway that is approx. 450' long which connects my house to the road. My 450' of drive is NOT on the northern 20 feet of my property (the access easement). The first 450' of the access easement is heavily wooded and apparently has never been used for access. Currently my neighbor drives down my 450' drive then turns north and continues down the access easement to his property (an additional 600 feet). Lately, There have been some maintence issue with the easement, and he is currently tracking mud across my drive. 45 days ago, I gave my neighbor written notice (via my attorney) that he has 30 days to dis-contiue use of any portion of my property not labeled as "access easement" by the plat/warranty deed. In the letter, I stated that I understand that it make take some time to prepare his easement for use and therefor granted him a 30 day widow to make necessary improvements. The 30 days have passed and he has made no attempt to prepare his easement for use/access.

My neighbor keeps claiming that my 450' of driveway off of the road is "grandfathered" and he has the right to use it. I have asked for documentation again and again... only to be given the run around. I have no idea what "grandfathered" means in this situation, neither does my attorney. I think my neighbor is pulling things out of thin air?

Now, What do I do?

Up until 45 days ago his use of my 450' driveway leading from the road was permissive (nothing in writing to prove it). I'd like to erect a gate and block his access, but I don't want to "shoot myself in the foot" so to speak. Do I contact the local Sheriff and explain the situation; let the Sheriff know that I'm going to erect a gate (more or less giving the Sheriff a heads up and to expect a call from the neighbor)?

My attorney thinks I should sue for trespass, but it seems to me that I have the right to block his access to my personal property. I'd like 2nd opinions.

I'm not saying he can't access his property. I just want him to use his easement. His failure to maintain the easement is a seperate issue.
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Senior Member
The first 450' of the access easement is heavily wooded and apparently has never been used for access.

So when he comes in with a bulldozer and plows a path through the heavily wooded area for his access that is going to be hunky dory for you, right? Or will you then complain about the fact he plowed down your VERY VERY valuable trees and you want compensation?

If I understand your post, and granted I did not go back to reread it, this is your property the true easement is on and then my question is whose responsibility is it to keep YOUR property clear so he can have access to his land?


Junior Member
Not trying to "complain"

He has the right to access his property thru the easement; I can't stop him from taking the necessary means access his land.

Yes, I own the land the easement is on... that's why it's called an easement isn't it?

GA law states that: "...the grantee must use and operate his easement with due care of the protection of the land against damage and cannot create a nusiance..." "...and is under obligation to keep it in good repair".

Sorry if I seem like a "complainer" ...I've been the nice guy for 3 years and all that's gotten me is 3 years of headache and an empty wallet. So... I can either let him continue to run over me... or end it. I prefer the latter.

I wouldn't have ever had a problem with a shared drive (first 450') but when I pay to maintain it and it gets trashed by my neighbors muddy vehicles... well... I have a problem with it.
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