Jump to content
sportsfan161

Who maintains easement per Montana law?

Recommended Posts

We are one of three homes on a large lake that share a private road easement across a neighbor's property.  This easement has been in place for over 40 years.  Over the lastfew years, 2 trees have grown sloping into the road, along with deep underbrush on both sides.  We have been notified by the fire department/ambulance and UPS, that their trucks can no longer come down the road to our property. Who is responsible for maintaining the easement for the purpose of access?  

 

All of us lakefront property owners are retired and might well need ambulance service at any time.  Furthermore, forest fire incidence has grown sharply in the last ten years. We need access via the easement both for the Quick Response Unit as well as the fire truck.  Our insurance company does not know about this situation, but if they were to find out, they would probably refuse to insure these large vacation homes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  The easement document is just a typed agreement between neighbors (all deceased now) and says nothing about maintenance. I'm not even sure it was ever recorded. No witnesses other than the original parties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the current owner had no way to know about this easement because it wasn't filed with the county I don't see how they can be bound by it.

 

But as you have been told you need to talk to a lawyer about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot speak specifically about Montana law, but as a general rule, the persons in whose favor an easement exists have both the right and responsibility to repair and maintain the easement, and the owner of the servient estate is only obligated not to interfere with rights of the owner(s) of the dominant estate(s).

 

I agree with the prior responses that an unrecorded easement may (and, indeed, probably is) not binding on subsequent owners of the servient estate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, if I were an elderly person living in a rural area, where the fire and rescue department has told me they cannot provide fire or medical service because two trees are overhanging the road to my place, I would get a chain saw or a guy with a chainsaw, to remedy that problem before I started worrying about who is going to pay for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your input.  My neighbors and I have already agreed to split the cost.  We were concerned about our right to take them down.  The new (absentee) owner appears to be an extreme survivalist and rabid libertarian -- no trespassing signs and security cameras all over the place.  This is NOT atypical in Montana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...