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Access to Property

I am interested in purchasing a lot in a remote area in San Bernardino County, CA. However, a few property owners adjacent to the undeveloped county road leading to the property have erected fences across the road preventing access to the property. What are my options?
  • August 01 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Engage a realtor or do a public record search to see if the lots surrounding the one you want have an easement for access to your lot. 
  • August 01 2013
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Thank you for your response, Rob. In fact, I searched the county assessor's records and discovered that an easement already exists to the property. Should I ask the homeowners to remove their fences or is there a more appropriate alternative?
  • August 01 2013
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You're very welcome.  At this point, you're "just" an interested party from their point of view.  It would be more...applicable/appropriate...for the owner of the lot to do so (or their agent).  
  • August 01 2013
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Hello again Rob, I have a follow-up question. Let's say I'm now the new owner of the property in question. What rights do I have to access my property via the easement roadway? If I do have rights, what would you recommend as my best option(s) to gain access to my property?
  • October 09 2013
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Hello again :) 

I should prequalfy this response with "I am not an attorney and this isn't legal advice; always seek the advice of the same".  That said, as the owner of the lot now, with a legitimate easement to access your property, you generally have the right to enforce it; e.g., contact the owners restricting access and request removal, ask the sheriff to do the same.  In your shoes, I would personally first call the owners and let them know they're restricting your access.  It's always best (IMHO) to go the amicable route if possible.  If they rebuff, I'd probably send a certified letter notifying them of your intent to contact authorities by a given date, etc.  
  • October 09 2013
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Whomever owns that property should have had that done before putting
it up for sale. It doesn't take a lawyer to figure that out.
If you bought it then it becomes your responsibility and the headache.

If you are interested make sure the owner has the 'right of way cleared' before you sign a contract.
They should do it now regardless if they want the property to sell.
-Joseph-
  • October 10 2013
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