Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: In Virginia, can an owner of several lots develop a recorded easement that crosses over multiple the lots he owns?

I currently have a situation where a single person owned several lots and the single owner of the lots developed an easement over all lots that he owned for access in lieu of the approved unconstructed access road.

To my understanding, easements give you the right to do something on property that someone else owns, not property owned by yourself. The easement was deeded and recorded at the county, benefiting several lots owned by the owner. He then reserved the rights to use the easement for the benefit of lots the he owned.

He then sold and foreclosed on all his properties. The easement comes right through my property for access to other lots once owned by the declarant of the easement.

Is this easement even valid from a legal perspective in Virginia?

2 Lawyer Answers
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You need a decent title search and survey to evaluate these facts, but if you are asking whether a property owner can create recorded easements on his property before selling it, that is exactly what every developer does. You can't create an easement on someone else's property.

Ross Cameron Hart agrees with this answer

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: I agree with Mr. Sternberg - you can basically create easements for benefit of some or all lots. Make sure that each user of the easement shares in the cost of upkeep. You'll need an experienced real estate attorney to help you draft something that works well

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.