You may have heard the term right-of-way, you may have a right-of-way to get to your land, or you may have one running through your land, but what exactly is a right-of-way?
A right-of-way is a type of easement that gives one person the legal right to cross the property of another to access their own property. You commonly see right-of-ways in deeds, where a property owner has a right-of-way to cross through another property owner’s land from a public road to their own property, which would otherwise not have access to the public road. For example, Mr. Smith’s land is right off of the public road, Mr. Smith’s neighbor, Ms. Johnson, does not have access to the public road from her land but has a right-of-way through Mr. Smith’s land to access her own property. A right-of-way can be established by deed, survey, or by an agreement.
While a right of way provides a legal right to cross land, it does not give the holder any ownership rights to the right-of-way. Right-of-ways typically restrict the use to ingress and egress, which means coming in and out of the property, and is restricted to a certain path. Each one may vary and have its own set of rights and restrictions.
Many legal issues can stem from right-of-ways, including but not limited to: (1) location of the easement; (2) the scope of the easement; (3) who can use the right-of-way; (4) who is responsible for maintenance and repairs of the right-of-way; (5) if improvements can be made to the right-way of; (6) if changes can be made to the right-of-way; (7) if restrictions can be placed on the use of the right-of-way; (8) if a right-of-way can be terminated.
Such issues can cause difficulties for both the person who has the right-of-way to their property and the person who has the right-of-way through their property.
If you are experiencing issues with a right-of-way and want to discuss your rights, we are here to help. Contact King Law at 888-748- (5464)KING for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We are here to serve you and help navigate this journey you are on.