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What are the laws regarding right of way for property?

A:

Quick Answer

Laws regarding property rights of way include ensuring that the property that a right of way runs on does not interfere with the easement, FindLaw says. Laws and rights regarding rights of way vary from state to state, Nolo explains.

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Full Answer

When someone who does not own property needs to somehow access that property, she can obtain an easement, FindLaw explains. There are a number of different reasons to have an easement, including an easement to allow a utility company to have the right to install and maintain power lines. Easements are generally included in a deed and transfer with the property when the property is sold.

Someone who holds an easement may use it in any reasonable manner, FindLaw explains. This is a broad term, but courts have ruled that reasonable manner includes installing a high-pressure gas line to replace a low-pressure gas line, changing an old railroad bed to a nature trail, and cutting or trimming trees. Courts can restrict the use of the easement if the easement holder is not using it reasonably, or the court can rule to dissolve the easement or provide financial award. The owner of a servient estate must not interfere with the easement, as that is considered trespassing and may result in financial penalties, FindLaw warns.

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