Do you have a water well that is shared by two or more neighboring properties? Or maybe you have an entryway or driveway that is shared by multiple lots. If so, your access may be insecure – unless you have a written agreement, easement, or other documentation which protects your rights. Who pays to maintain the well or the road if something were to break or become inaccessible? Without addressing that issue yourself, your rights and obligations are likely to be determined by a court.
If your home is in a residential subdivision, there is likely to be no substantial issue, as most developers handle the legal access concerns before selling lots or homes. However, more rural Oklahoma real estate has typically been “parted out” or subdivided over time by the individual owner of the larger tract; rarely has this informal subdivision been documented properly. While there may have been no cloud on your legal title because of this issue, it may nonetheless cause a headache in the event that a well pump breaks, a damaged tree lay across a shared driveway, or a boundary fence does not sit on the legal property boundary.
In these cases, it is best to define each party’s rights and obligations BEFORE their rights are terminated, their access is severed, or their obligations are triggered. An experienced real estate attorney at Jones Property Law can help you ensure an easement is created in your favor, or better yet, prepare a customized access or rights agreement which governs any possible situation that could impact the affected properties.