Blog Archives

5 Things to Consider With Neighbor Lot Line Disputes

What is a neighbor dispute or a lot line dispute?   Typically it is a dispute amongst adjacent owners of real estate concerning their boundary lines and whether either party has developed the right to extend beyond their legal property lines.  In this post, our Los Angeles based real estate attorneys discuss 5 things to consider whenever you are dealing with a lot line, boundary or neighbor dispute. 1.  Is there a survey?  All boundary disputes should start with a survey.  After all, how can either neighbor argue that the other neighbor is exceeding their legal boundary lines without a marker and a licensed survey.  We always recommend getting a survey first. 2.   Use.   This is a key question.  In particular, if one

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Posted in Easement, Equitable Easement, Lot Line Disputes, Prescriptive Easement, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

The Ability to Grant Additional Easements over Existing Easements

Schorr Law’s Los Angeles based easement attorneys discuss whether a landowner can grant additional easement over an existing easement already on their land. As discussed below, this is generally permitted, as long as the additional easement does not unreasonably interfere with any existing easements. Every incident of ownership not inconsistent with the easement and the enjoyment of the same is reserved to the grantor. (Dierssen v. McCormack (1938) 28 Cal.App.2d 164, 17.) In other words, the owner of the servient tenement, i.e. the landowner, may make any use of the property that does not unduly interfere with the easement. (Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Abar (1969) 275 Cal.App.2d 456, 464.) In fact, it is not necessary for the servient estate owner to make any reservation

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Posted in Easement, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

The Scope of an Express Easement – The Right to Improvement

As discussed in previous posts, an express easement is an easement that is created by agreement between the dominant and servient tenement. Although the express easement often specifies the purpose of the easement, e.g. ingress and egress, it can often be silent as to what alterations you can make to the easement to fulfill that purpose. However, case law provides some answers. Generally speaking, the owner of an easement, i.e. the dominant tenement, can improve the easement or construct improvements on the easement which are reasonably required to make the use of the easement safe and convenient.  For example, if your neighbor granted you an easement for ingress and egress over a portion of their property that is a dirt road, you may have the right to

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Posted in Easement, Express Easement

Revival of an Easement by Merger

In a recent post, we discussed how easements can be terminated by merger. In this post, we will discuss how an easement extinguished by merger can be revived. Although an easement is extinguished by a merger of the dominant and servient estates, there are certain situations where the extinguished easement will be revived. The first situation is where there is an implied grant or reservation. Specifically, an extinguished easement may be created by an implied grant or reservation if: (a) the common owner continues to use it to benefit the quasi-dominant tenement; and (b) the common owner then conveys one of the parcels to a third party. (Silveira v. Smith (1926) 198 Cal. 510, 517.) The second situation occurs where an extinguished easement is recreated via prescription. In

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Posted in Easement, Prescriptive Easement

Extinguishment of Easements by Merger

  There are many ways that an easement can be extinguished or terminated. In this post, I discuss how an easement can be extinguished by merger. In later post we will discuss situations where an easement is not extinguished by merger. As discussed in some of our previous posts, by definition, an easement is the right to use or prevent use of the land of another. As a result, a person cannot have an easement on his or her own land. (See Civ. Code § 805.) Therefore, as further discussed below, an easement can be extinguished when the same person acquires the fee title to both dominant and servient tenements. (See Leggio v. Haggerty (1965) 231 Cal.App.2d 873, 881.) A merger occurs where the same person owns both the

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Posted in Easement

Creating Easements by Express Grant or Reservation

In one of our easement attorneys’ previous posts, we gave a general overview of easements and the various methods of creation. In this post, our Los Angeles Easement attorney discusses creating an easement by express grant or express reservation.  An easement is an interest in real property. Accordingly, the creation or transfer of an easement must comply with the requirements of an instrument to convey real property. This rule is called the statute of frauds. There are two methods of satisfying these requirements: (1) transfer via a written agreement between the parties, such as a grant deed, quitclaim deed, or contract; or (2) transfer via an oral agreement that is substantially performed by the grantee, i.e. an “executed oral agreement”. Accordingly, when an easement is created by

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Posted in Easement, Express Easement

What Is An Easement?

An easement is an intangible interest in the land of another that gives its owner the limited right to: (a) use the land of the other person; or (b) prevent the other property owner’s use of his or her property. (Mehdizadeh v. Mincer (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 1296, 1306.) The land that is entitled to the benefit of the easement is called the dominant tenement. The land that is burdened by the easement is called the servient tenement. Easements may be affirmative or negative. An affirmative easement gives its owner the right to do something on the land of another. One example of an affirmative easement is when on person has the right to cross over another person’s land. Another example of an affirmative easement is

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Posted in Easement

Los Angeles Easement Attorney: Private Eminent Domain Use

There is an intersection between real estate law involving easement and eminent domain.   As active real estate attorneys in both areas of law, we seldom see these two areas overlapping.  But, in some situations a landowner can seek an easement through a neighboring landowner’s property through the exercise of a private right to eminent domain. California law permits a private entity, through an eminent domain proceeding, to acquire an easement to aid its property by showing that there is “great necessity” for the taking of the easement. California Civil Code Section 1001(c)(1). What great necessity means can obviously be an issue subject to dispute. Contact us to inquire about a free consultation at (310) 954-1877, or send us an email at info@schorr-law.com Zach SchorrMore

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Posted in Easement, Eminent Domain, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

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Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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