Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado

Q: In CO , can a new owner deny access to a 3rd party previously allowed use of land to access 3rd party's own land

3rd party has been using subject property to access his land. I want to purchase subject property and deny access to 3rd party. There are alternate documented easements that 3rd party could use.

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3 Lawyer Answers

John Roland Lund

Answered
  • Carbondale, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Such access rights can arise through various ways, contract, deed, course of dealings, etc. And they are usually consider to "run with the land." That means that the seller's conveyance of the property to you would be subject to whatever valid and enforceable rights to access existed at the time of the transfer. In other words, you would have no more right to deny the 3rd party access than the seller had right before the transfer.

The existence of alternate means of access is a good fact for you because it makes it difficult for the 3rd party to claim an easement by necessity. Just be sure there is not another basis for their claim to use the land for access, such as a contract, deed, plat or even verbal agreement on which they have relied. To be more certain there is no such right, you should consider engaging counsel to investigate.

James Alan Greer , Timothy Canty and Donald C Eby agree with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Donald C Eby

Answered
  • Castle Rock, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: The facts of the previous use will be relevant and the issue of alternative means of access will be helpful to your case. I recommend having an attorney review the title and facts prior to purchasing to ensure you do not have unwelcome surprises post-closing.

Good Luck!

1 user found this answer helpful

James Alan Greer

Answered
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Dear Prospective Land Purchaser: I can almost always offer an educated opinion even if I have to impute some information in order to supply a response to our fine Justica clientele. This one - it has too many complex nuances for any attorney to SAFELY supply a response. I'll offer this: the law requires that the 3rd Party be allowed pre-existing ingress/egress if that use is prescribed by a recorded easement (you use the word "use" but not the word "easement" so that is an area of inquiry that needs more information), or if that pre-existing ingress/egress rises to the level of Prescriptive Easement or Easement By Necessity. I'll also add this: if there is a recorded easement that permits ingress/egress to said 3rd Party in a route not across your newly acquired land, and if the 3rd Party does not have rights rising to the level of Prescriptive Easement or Easement By Necessity, then PERHAPS you can restrict the 3rd Party access over your newly acquired land and insist that the neighbor uses the recorded easement. These are complex legal rights, that require an exercise of CAUTION before you outlay money for the purchase. Lastly, it would be wise to contact a Title Insurance representative and have the title documents presented to you as thoroughly as possible. I'd also urge you to hire a local attorney BEFORE you purchase.

1 user found this answer helpful

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