Many Florida small business owners share driveways and parking lots when they own adjoining properties. This can lead to disputes over who has the right to do what. These rights are typically spelled out in an easement.
An easement is the right of one property owner to use the property of another. The most common easements for small business owners are the rights to use a common driveway or parking lot. These are also most commonly disputed easements.
The specific rights granted in an easement are usually written in a legal document. However, in some cases, there may be no formal document. Instead there may be a prescribed or implied easement from the non-owner's use of the property over time.
Easement disputes typically arise from particular event:
- A property owner builds a fence or wall over an access road, preventing the other party from using it.
- One party overuses property rights under an easement
- One party causes damage to shared property
If you are having a dispute with a neighboring business owner over an easement, your first step should be to contact a real estate attorney. Disputes over property can quickly escalate. Before you say or do anything you could later regret, find out what rights you have and what rights the other party has.
The law firm of Reid Burman Lebedeker in West Palm Beach helps business owners resolve easement disputes.