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What is an easement by adverse use?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Real Estate

Property rights are important. When a Connecticut resident purchases land or real property, they take on the responsibility of maintaining it in addition to the benefits of ownership. As a private owner, they may restrict who has access to their property and who may legally use it.

In some cases, private property owners may find that others choose to or must use their land to access other parcels for means of ingress and egress. When their land must be used by others for such specific purposes, an easement may be granted. Owners can legally grant easements, but in some cases, individuals may attempt to secure easements through adverse use.

Continuous adverse use

Adverse use means using the land of another person for a specific purpose without the permission of the landowner. For example, an individual may wrongfully cross the land of a neighbor to access a beneficial feature, such as a river or beach. Over time, they may claim that an easement was established because of their continuous adverse use.

Under Connecticut law, though, adverse use easements take 15 years to establish. Also, a landowner can interrupt the alleged continuous use of another by providing them with notice to stop their use of the land. When a landowner breaks the use, the party seeking the easement may have to begin their adverse use again.

Protecting rights and preventing easements

Some easements are minor elements that do not decrease the value of landowners’ properties. However, some easements are detrimental and exist without the permission the parties whose land is affected. When addressing issues related to easements, it is important that individuals ensure that these situations comply with Connecticut real estate and real property law.  Land use and real estate lawyers can help them advocate for their rights and needs regarding easements.

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