Is There Any Way to do Away with an Easement?

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.

“There’s an irrigation easement between my backyard and my rear neighbors backyard that ends at the edge of our property and leads nowhere else due to other houses blocking it. It is there because we had water rights which we had to relinquish in order to obtain city water. No water has ran through it in over 15 years and it is surrounded by peoples backyards with no access to it unless you enter through our property. I’ve been cleaning since 1984 when I purchased the property. I want to know if there is a way to do away with the easement mainly because it looks like an alley surrounded by fences and rock walls and I’d rather reclaim my property and put it to good use without having strays and skunks living there.”

I would start by finding out who owns the easement, and see if they’ll voluntarily relinquish it.  Failing that, the specific terms of the easement might give you an argument for terminating it, on the grounds that its purpose has been eliminated.  That’s a trickier argument.

Failing that, you’ll need to look into your state’s rules for abandonment of easements.  That can be a very very technical area of the law, and I can’t give you better advice than to consult with an experienced real estate attorney in your area.

Or, of course, you could just build a fence on your side of the easement, and ignore it.