Does this Pennsylvania Deed Mean that I Own the Alley Behind My House?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“My Pennsylvania deed states the following (though I have put “….” in place of the names):

THIS transfer includes the use of a 16 foot alley or lane as shown in the correct deed of …… and throughout the chain of title. This alleys runs along the easterly border of …..’s  parcel.

Being the same parcel of ground which vested in …. married, by the deed of ……, widow, dated and recorded 9/16/2002.

Under and subject to all exceptions, reservations, conditions, and restrictions as appears in prior conveyances.

1)  My question is does this mean I won the alley or lane or is it still my neighbor’s?

2)  Or does my neighbor own it?

I bought the property from the person that the ground was vested in and married now deceased. As my neighbors and their friends are using the alley/lane and it is getting in disrepair.”

The language you’ve reproduced here appears to be an easement that gives you the right to use your neighbor’s alleyway. Thus, you purchased an adjoining parcel of land (the dominant estate) that also came with the right to use your neighbor’s alley (the servient estate). If so, then you have the right to use and maintain your neighbor’s alley, but they own the actual property. However, I’m unclear about the owners involved in this conveyance (are all of the ….s the same person?) and the opposite may also be true: that you own the property, but your neighbor’s have the right to use it. Without having read the full deed or understanding more of the facts involved, it’s hard to say who the owner is either way. If you want to find out more about your property interests in the alley, you should consult with a local attorney. A real estate attorney will be able to review your property records more thoroughly, and advise you of your property rights.