WA Easement for right of carriageway gate question

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by EJHowlett, 25 May 2019.

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  1. EJHowlett

    EJHowlett Member

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    Hello, I would love some help to this question as it’s currently causing my partner and I a lot of stress and we are unable to move in to our newly purchased home due to issues with our neighbour.

    We have a big dog that we are legally obligated to contain. We are the burdened property of an easement allowing the owner of the vacant land next to us the right of carriageway to the back of their land. They already have a driveway with road access to the vacant land and the easement is currently blocked off by them with limestone blocks and chains.

    We have tried to get in contact with them since we bought the house to let them know we will be fencing the property and hoping to install gates to keep our dog contained. The gates we propose are 3.2 metres to allow full vehicle access and we will fund the entire fencing and gating we put in. We are two days away from settlement and the neighbour has finally got back to us to say they don’t want a gate over the easement and threatened us will calling the ranger if our dog goes on their land.

    As the land owner what are our rights here? Are we able to put a gate up allowing them full access through it whenever they wish? The gates would never be locked. Currently they don’t need to have access because their land is vacant with no structures on it what so ever - just bush. And they have access to the land from the road on their own driveway. The easement is very old - 1998 - And has no paperwork attached to it outlining terms or the purpose for it. Are we within our right to use our land as we wish and contain our dog?
     
  2. Tripe

    Tripe Well-Known Member

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    Good old easments!!!

    The problem you are going to have is, that you can’t risk your neighbors safety or have a situation that your neighbors believe their use of the easment is being compromised

    How big is your dog?, what happens if they or visitors don’t like dogs?
     
  3. EJHowlett

    EJHowlett Member

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    My dog is a mastiff but she genuinely never barks, is never aggressive and loves everyone. She’s a terrible guard dog because she just wants attention and pats. When we are home she will be inside with us and sleeps inside at night. So she will only be outside during the day while we are at work from around 7-3.

    In terms of them accessing their land... they already have full driveway access from the road right from the road up until where the easement starts. It does kind of a loop so realistically they don’t even need to use the easement. It was put in place by the previous owners because when they subdivided and wanted to build on the land they wanted to ensure they had truck access to the back of their property to mulch once a year. They never ended up building there and sold the property and the land with the easement still in place. We have managed to speak with the new owners of the land once before they hung up on us and they said they have future plans to build a house on the land with a shed at the back and they want access to the shed. Which is totally fine by us - they are more than welcome to do this. It is not like they will need to pass through the gate to get to the front of their future property, which I get would be annoying to do everyday potentially multiple times.

    We have asked to put the gates up and then reassess when they eventually build on the land and have offered to fund the cost of putting an additional driveway in for them just before our gate. We haven’t heard anything back.
     
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