Buyer Needs Legal Access to Property

Question: I recently purchased from a bank 5 acres of land in the White Mountains. When I went to the county to request a building permit to build a home, my request was denied because there was no access to my 5 acres of land. I have access to my land over at least two roads that are well-maintained by the county. What can I do to get a building permit to build a home?

Answer: Although you may have physical access to your 5 acres of land over those two county-maintained roads, you apparently do not have legal access. If the bank did not disclose this lack of legal access to you in the affidavit of disclosure required by Arizona law, you should contact an attorney to notify the bank that you have a claim for damages due to the lack of legal access.
The amount of damages would generally be the cost to acquire from a neighboring property owner an easement for legal access to your 5 acres of land. If the neighboring property owner will not sell you this easement, you have the right to privately condemn the land for this easement. Private condemnation involves a lawsuit and reasonable compensation to this neighboring property owner.

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