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Prescriptive Easement

something unbelievable happened to me, I still don’t understand – what kind of logic is this?
do you know…*

unfairA prescriptive easement arises if someone uses part of your property without your permission. A prescriptive easement involves only the loss of use of part of a property, for example a pathway or driveway. Payment of property taxes is not required, as it is to obtain title by adverse possession. Adverse possession of a prescriptive easement involves the loss of an entire property by open, notorious, hostile adverse and continuous use.

The legal test to acquire a prescriptive easement of another owner is that the use must be (a) open, not secret, (b) notorious, clearly observable, (c) hostile, without the landowner’s consent and (c) continuous, without interruption for the number of years required by state law. For example, the minimum hostile use varies from 5 years in California to 30 years in Texas.

The most common prescriptive easement arises when a fence is erected several feet on the wrong side of a boundary line. If the hostile user meets all the requirements, after the required number of years, a permanent prescriptive easement results for the strip of land. Prescriptive easements can be shared, that is, the hostile use need not be exclusive. Use can be shared with the legal owner and/or other hostile prescriptive claimants.

To perfect a legal prescriptive easement, the hostile user must bring a quiet title lawsuit against the property owner and prove all the open, notorious, hostile and continuous use requirements.

If, after purchasing your property, you suspect that a neighbor is using land with belongs to you, that person or neighbor being a “hostile user”, you can choose to grant permission to your neighbor thus preventing a permanent prescriptive easement from arising. Permission should be documented such as by a letter to the hostile user.

*this is not intended for any legal advice, please consult your attorney for your special situation.

City of Pomona redevelopment wanted to redevelop a specific corner of foothill blvd., I cooperated and sold to city for 1031 exchange to another property in North Pasadena. My neighbor did not cooperate, after four and a half years, neighbor decide he want my previous property and brought lawsuit against city of Pomona on prescriptive easement. Neighbor claim they had open and hostile use on my previous property. Neighbor wanted to buy my previous property from city of Pomona at a discount price. City of Pomona agreed and file cross complain against me, for me to pay for damage.

additional fact: I paid for title insurance for City of Pomona, but City of Pomona did not purchase title insurance, they just kept the ~$2,000.

So, this is first hand experience regarding prescriptive easement…very expensive experience…

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