Our Neighbor Wants an Easement from Us – How Do We Do That? Who Should Pay?

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“We recently acquired a piece of property that has an easement running on one side of it for 2 property owners to pass to get to their houses. Now a third person wants us to sign an agreement for an easement. We want to know what is the normal procedure for an easement? He thinks we should also be responsible for upkeep on the road. We said no way since he is the one using our property. The other question is what is the normal asking price for 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.]

To answer your second question first, unfortunately there is no normal asking price. It all depends on the parties involved, the nature of the easement, the value of land in the area, how much of a burden it would be on you, and how much of a benefit it would be to him. I’ve seen easements go for nothing and I’ve seen them go for tens of thousands of dollars, and I’m sure that the range is even wider than that.

On the upkeep/maintenance side, consider this: If you take on the burden of maintenance, when you go to sell your property, the buyer will inherit that burden. Do you think that will reduce the selling price of your property? The amount you are paid for the easement should compensate you for that.

This is why, usually, all the owners of an easement (including the burdened property–you, in this case) share in the maintenance in proportion to the amount they use it. UNLESS, of course, there is an agreement to the contrary. My first question would be, who is paying for upkeep and maintenance now? If your other two neighbors are splitting the cost, wouldn’t it be unfair to them to have a third person using the easement for free? On the other hand, if you are currently paying for upkeep, why should the new person shoulder the entire burden when there are two others using the road?

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Author: House Attorney

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