Undead Land Encumbrances – How to Kill a Blanket Access Easement in Idaho
Happy Halloween… One of the things we often encounter when reviewing real estate title issues are blanket access easements. These easements are ugly and an appropriate topic for a Halloween blog post. In essence they never die… they just sit there clogging title and leaving everyone wondering what to do about them. In a way, they are the equivalent of the undead in the real estate world… lurking, waiting to rise up at the most inopportune moment.
Fortunately, Idaho has a great statute that allows a landowner to relocate access easements. The statute is not a silver bullet so think garlic instead of a stake in the heart.
The statute, Idaho Code Section 55-313 states the following:
Where, for motor vehicle travel, any access which is less than a public dedication, has heretofore been or may hereafter be, constructed across private lands, the person or persons owning or controlling the private lands shall have the right at their own expense to change such access to any other part of the private lands, but such change must be made in such a manner as not to obstruct motor vehicle travel, or to otherwise injure any person or persons using or interested in such access.
This is a great tool for developers and owners wanting to clear title to their property. It is an effective method to take control of how your property will develop and relocate existing access easements to get the most value out of your property. Hopefully you will remember Section 55-313 in your next battle against the Frankin-Easement.