Purchase of Home Erases Easement

  Question: Although our former neighbors in Glendale had an easement west to the main road, they also had an easement south over our property to the main road. Two years ago we bought our former neighbor’s home at a foreclosure sale. We now want to sell our former neighbor’s home, but we do not want the buyer to drive over our property to the main road. Will the buyers have the right to drive over our property?

  Answer: No. When you purchased your former neighbor’s home, the easement over your property was extinguished under the doctrine of merger. In other words, after the merger of the dominant estate (your former neighbor’s property that had the easement over your property) and the servient estate (your property subject to the easement), the easement over your property was extinguished. A property owner cannot have an easement over his own property. The bottom line is that the buyer of your neighbor’s home will have to use the other easement to the main road and will not be able to go over your property to the main road. Note: You should disclose to your buyer in the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement that the recorded easement has been extinguished.

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