Driveway Access Implied in Sale of ‘Landlocked’ Lot

  Question:  My husband and I recently purchased a lot in Scottsdale with the intention of building a home on the lot.  Our seller also owns the adjacent lot that has a driveway to the main road.  When we purchased our lot we thought that we would use this driveway over the adjacent lot because that driveway was what we used to get to our lot when we bought our lot and did our inspections.  When construction started on our home last week, however, our seller said that construction trucks cannot use his driveway to get to our lot. Our lot backs up to the mountains so we have no other access to our lot. Is there anything that we can do to get access over this adjacent lot in order to build our new home?

  Answer:  Probably.  When your seller sold you this “landlocked” property with no recorded easement to the main road, your seller gave you an implied way of necessity to use the driveway over his property. In other words, a seller of “landlocked land” by implication grants an easement over his land in order for a buyer to have ingress and egress to the buyer’s property.  If your seller will not agree to record an easement for you to use his driveway, you should contact a lawyer.

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