Is there A “Standard” Width Associated with the Granting of An Easement?

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I am a resident of Tennessee. I am the dominant tenement of an easement titled to my property. The easement was established in 1981 and has followed with every sale of the property up to and including when I purchased it. The easement has a paved path through it and is 9 feet wide. The new servient tenement insists that the 9 foot width is the maximum size of the easement, and is installing a fence line on both sides of that paved area at the point that the paved area ends and the earth begins. My concern is that an emergency vehicle could not pass safely through that 108 inch (9 foot) area, seeing that a fire truck is 102 inches wide. My question is, is there a “standard” width associated with the granting of an easement?

[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.]

If only things were that simple. The first thing I would do is look at the easement grant itself. If you’re lucky, it will specify, either in the written description or in an attached survey, what the width of the easement is.

Failing that, I would next look to the purpose of the easement, as stated in the document. If the purpose includes access for fire equipment, either explicitly or (more likely) implicitly, then you have an argument that the easement ought to be at least as wide as the fire department requires.

But of course that means you have an argument with your neighbor. This is the cost of saving the price of a survey when the easement was created.



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Author: House Attorney