Understanding Easement Disputes

According to a survey by FindLaw.com, boundary disputes constitute approximately 17% of real estate issues between neighbors. Where your property begins and ends is a very common dispute between homeowners and their neighbors. Unfortunately, these real estate property boundary and easement disputes are not often settled quickly or peacefully.

If you're involved in a real estate dispute with your neighbor over an easement issue, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced attorney for reliable legal guidance. Our team of attorneys at Wood Litigation, APC, is committed to offering outstanding legal services and comprehensive representation when it comes to boundary and easement dispute cases. We can evaluate your unique situation and determine the best way to resolve any easement issues with your neighbor. We're proud to serve clients throughout San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and San Mateo, California.

Defining Easement Issues in California

An easement can be described as a situation whereby an individual or entity has a legal right to use another person's land for a particular purpose. While the landowner still retains title to the property, the easement holder is legally permitted to occupy or use the land for a specific purpose. Any land affected by an easement is typically referred to as a "servient estate." The property owner may prevent every other person from using the servient estate, except the easement holder.

What are the Different Types of Easements on California Properties?

If you own land in California, there are four different types of easements that may apply to your property. These different types include:

Easement by Express Grant

An express easement is created when the landowner grants the easement, therefore, allowing another person or entity to use their land. The express easement can be created through deed, grant, contract, or any other written document.

Easement by Implication

An easement by implication is created when the law certifies that there was a previously implied easement between two parties. However, the claimant of the implied easement must prove that they were already able to use the servient estate for a particular purpose.

Easement by Necessity

An easement by necessity occurs when it is absolutely necessary to use the land, and there is no possible alternative access to the person's property. For instance, if the party's property is landlocked, they may need to use a part of their neighbor’s property to access their own property.

Easement by Prescription

A prescriptive easement is granted when a person continues using a portion of someone else's land for a certain period of time. This type of easement may still be granted even if the owner didn't permit the use of the land.

What Are Some Examples of Common Easement Disputes?

As previously stated, easement disputes between neighbors are very common. Some of the most common reasons for boundary and easement issues include:


Landowners have the right to keep strangers and unwanted intruders away from their property. If someone drives through a neighbor's land every day without their permission, it may be considered trespassing.


Interference occurs when a person's actions affect or hinder the purpose for which the easement was granted. A person who interferes with the use of an easement may be held liable for any actions of interference. 


Land-use and zoning regulations that prevent the landowner's rights from using their property as they otherwise could bring about an easement dispute between the owner and city.

How to Resolve an Easement Dispute

If you are a property or landowner who is frustrated by an easement, here are some possible ways to resolve the dispute:

  • Open a discussion with your neighbor to resolve the disagreement mutually
  • Enter into an agreement or contract with the easement holder to terminate the easement
  • Purchase the adjoining property
  • Send a demand letter to your neighbor or easement holder
  • Negotiate with the neighbor or easement holder with the threat of legal action as leverage
  • Explore legal remedies to terminate or limit the easement
  • Recover monetary damages by suing the easement holder for improper use of the easement that destroys the servient estate

Work with Experienced California Easement Attorneys

Easement and boundary disputes with adjacent neighbors are a common issue for many landowners. However, litigation involving easement disputes usually involves a lot of legal complexities. If you're involved in a dispute with your neighbor over an easement issue, consulting with a knowledgeable California real estate attorney is important for reliable legal guidance.

At Wood Litigation, APC, we're committed to helping individuals and businesses throughout California facing a variety of easement issues, including boundary and easement dispute litigation. Attorney Greg Wood and his experienced commercial litigation attorneys will review every aspect of your case, evaluate your unique situation, and determine the best approach to resolve your easement dispute. Our attorneys can help protect your rights and offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and support you need to successfully navigate your case.

Contact Wood Litigation, APC today, to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation with experienced California business litigation attorneys. Our team can help you understand easement and California boundary laws and educate you on your rights. We can also assist you with resolving current easement disputes and, when necessary, offer you the strong representation you need if your case goes to court. We proudly serve clients throughout San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and San Mateo, California — so call today and put an experienced attorney on your side.

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