What Happens If Your Property is Landlocked?


What happens if you have a piece of property but there’s no way in or out of it except over someone else’s land?

You may want to find out a little bit about easements.

What Is an Easement?

Easements are an interesting real property right.

An easement allows a person (the holder of the easement) to use property that doesn’t belong to him. It does not allow the easement holder to occupy the land or to exclude people from the land (unless they interfere with the easement holder’s use). On the other side of the coin, the property owner can exclude anyone from the land—except the easement holder.

How Easements Are Created.

There are several ways to create an easement. However, the most common way is by conveyance in a deed, contract, or other written document.

In Georgia, an easement like this, an easement by express grant, is called an “express easement.” An express easement requires the same formalities for transferring or creating other interests in land and it generally sets forth the location, dimensions, and permissible or intended use of the easement.

There are some limited circumstances where the court will imply an easement as a matter of law.

One of these is when a parcel of property is landlocked.

Implied Easements

Implied easements are creations of law.

In Georgia, when a grantor conveys a parcel of land that is landlocked, public policy dictates that an easement for ingress and egress be implied.

The law will imply an easement for ingress and egress predicated on the theory that a means of accessing a piece of property is necessary for its reasonable use and enjoyment by its owner.

Implied easements for ingress and egress run with the land. That means that the easement (for ingress and egress) automatically passes to each subsequent owner of the landlocked parcel. That is, until the necessity which gave rise to the implied easement ceases to exist. If for any reason the necessity ceases to exist, the implied easement will end.

Another difference in Georgia easement law is that Georgia does not recognize an implied reservation of an easement. That means that if a landowner in Georgia conveys a parcel of land that is landlocked and he fails to reserve an easement in himself for ingress to and egress from the land, the law will not imply the reservation of an easement in the landowner. His land will be landlocked, and he will be stuck. That is, unless and until he retains experienced Georgia real estate counsel.

Real Estate Counsel With the Experience You Need

If you have a landlocked parcel or need help with an easement, contact us. With nearly 20 years’ of experience in real estate, we can help you with all your real estate needs. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others.  To schedule your free phone consultation, call us at: 770-888-7707Or you can contact us here.

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