Laws in the State of Florida About Landlocked Properties

By Alex Smith
Landlocked property has its own unique challenges.

trail image by Colin Buckland from Fotolia.com

Florida recognizes the hardships of landlocked property owners and has adopted common law easements as well as created its own statutory easement. An easement is a non-possessory right to use the land of another for a specified purpose. Although usually in writing, easements for use by owners of landlocked property have easements implied by law. Such implied easements are often transferred with the sale of the land.

Implied Grant of Necessity by Easement

According to Florida Statute 704.01(1), Florida recognizes the common law rule of an easement by necessity. To have an implied grant of necessity, you must have possession of land which has no "practicable and reasonable" means of entrance or exit except by traveling over adjacent land. Furthermore, the adjacent land and the lawn which you now own must have been owned by the same person or legal entity at one time during the chain of title. If the above requirements are met, you most likely have a common law easement by necessity.

Statutory Way of Necessity Exclusive of Common Law Right

According to Florida Statute 704.01(2), Florida recognizes a statutory easement by necessity where land would not otherwise qualify for the common-law easement by necessity. Created for public policy reasons, the statutory way of necessity is applicable where the land is being used or intends to be used for dwelling or agricultural purposes. Similar to the common law rule, there must be no reasonable or "practicable" means of entrance or exit except by traveling over adjacent land. Unlike the common law rule, the statutory way of necessity does not require that both parcels of lands be owned by the same entity at some prior time in the line of title.

Practicable Means of Entering and Exiting Land Defined

Florida statutes define practicable in relation to implied and statutory easements as ""without the use of bridge, ferry, turnpike road, embankment, or substantial fill."

Remedies of the Servient Tenement Owner

According to Florida Statute 704.4, if the owner of the land which is traveled over to enter or exit the landlocked land refuses to allow such use, either party of the county commission may file an action to determine if a statutory way of necessity exists and the amount of compensation to be paid to the servient land owner.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing professionally in 2010. He enjoys writing about entertainment law, as well as wills, trusts and estates. He has written for various online publications. Smith holds Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from Siena Heights University.

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