What is Legal Access and Do I Need it? – Part2 with Case Studies

What is Legal Access and Do I Need it? - Part2 with Case Studies
Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. Last week we talked about legal access. What is legal access? And do you have to have it in order to sell your rural vacant land? The real quick definition of legal access is the legal ability to get to your property. If your property is touching a public road or if it’s got a public road going through it, then you’ve got physical access: you can physically get there with driving or walking or biking, that kind of thing. But you can also legally access it, because that’s a public road meant for anybody. Now if the road that’s going to your property is a private road, or if there is no road going to your property and all around you is private land, then you may not have legal access to your property.

If you look at your deed, whatever kind of deed that you’ve got, it would tell you whether you’ve got access to those private roads. It would say something like you have “ingress and egress across existing roadways.” Maybe there would even be a plat map designating how you can physically access your parcel. If you don’t have that, you lacking legal access. Technically you can sell your land without legal access but the question is, who’s going to want to buy your land without legal access? That’s the tricky part.

Today I want to talk about a few examples of what it means to have legal access and why it’s so important. Right now we’re trying to purchase 16 or 17 acres up in Montana. And the issue that we’re running into when we saw the title commitment is that they do not have legal access. So we tried to get up there to visit the property, and along the roadway were no trespassing signs everywhere. So if you’re trying to get to a piece of property and there’s no trespassing signs, do you really want to go across that? Do you really want to trespass?

You do not have the legal right to use that roadway and there could be issues. That landowner could be very upset and come out with a gun. They could put a gate up and physically block you from getting there. One of the remedies that you might have is trying to talk to that landowner and any other landowners across that roadway and ask for an easement. An easement is a legal document detailing your access to their road or to their property in order to get to your own property. So in this circumstance, we’re not really sure what we’re going to do yet right now. We still have to get across and talk to the landowners, the adjoining landowners, and find out if we can cross their parcel and if we can get easement.

Another example is an Arkansas parcel has a nice road going to it, but it does not have not legal access. In this circumstance the adjoining landowners are granting us an easement to use the road. So through the title company, the neighbors are signing easements as we’re purchasing the property, and we’ll have legal access to get to and from the parcel.

We’ve had another challenge with legal access: We tried to buy a parcel of land and again, there was no legal access but this time there was a gate. We couldn’t even get to the parcel because of the gate that’s blocking physical access. What it comes down to is that you might have a piece of land and thought, “Oh, I’ve always gotten to it. It’s no big deal. There’s no gate, there’s no fence.” But if you’re trespassing, number one, that’s still illegal to be trespassing across someone else’s property. And two, there’s no telling when they could put a gate or fence that would physically block your access to the parcel.

When you’re selling your property, whether it’s to TB Properties Buys Land or someone else, most likely the buyer’s going to ask you, “Do you have legal access to this parcel?” And if you don’t, one remedy that you’ll want to look into is getting an easement from the landowners there are in that area. That’s one thing to look into.

If you’ve got rural vacant land you’re interested in getting quote on, you’re interested in selling it, give us a shout at www.tbropertiesbuysland.com. We’re willing to take a look at your property and get you a price. We always close through a title company. We pay for all closing costs so that you know that the number that we quote you is the number that you’re going to walk away with, and the title company, they’re a good third party intermediary. They’re always going to be a safe way to close, and we’re going to send our money to the title company and they would fund you as the seller, once the transaction goes through. It’s a nice, safe way. If you have any questions, reach out to us. We look forward to working with you. Thanks for tuning in.
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