Do I Have Any Recourse in Getting a Neighbor to Sign a Utility Easement?

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‘My neighbor refuses to sign a utility easement to have electricity/poles run to my house which is being built. He said to sell him our other lot at half the price (which is next to the house) and he will consider signing. He is the only one who hasn’t signed. Do I have a recourse or am I stuck w/ a house & no electricity unless I sell half my land to him? The property he currently has ia a summer home & he doesn’t even live in the state. It is now approaching a year & the house just needs electricity.’

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

As a general rule, people are not required to grant easements to each other, no matter how important they are to the property that needs it. This sometimes leaves people in a fairly weak bargaining position, as
you’ve noticed.

There are a couple of options you might want to explore in order to get around this, though it’s possible that neither will apply. First, if you look into the history of how your parcel was subdivided, there is a possibility that you might be entitled to an implied easement.

Second, you might want to talk to the local power company. They may have some authority to insist on an easement (as a quasi-governmental organization) where you can’t.

Neither of these is a high probability, but you should check them out (and any other ideas your local attorney might have) before you go back to the difficult neighbor.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.