Is it possible to buy a parcel of land without access?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Real estate litigation |

When you are buying a land parcel, there are a lot of concerns you may have about the land itself. One thing you may not think about is access: Will you always be able to access the property? Is it even possible to buy a land parcel in Ohio that you cannot actually access?

Is it possible to buy a parcel without access?

Yes. In Ohio, it is possible to purchase a parcel without access. These types of parcels are referred to as landlocked.

Landlocked properties lack direct access to public roads or streets. However, many counties and municipalities have regulations that restrict the creation or transfer of landlocked real estate. Despite this, such parcels can occasionally be created or transferred.

How to avoid buying a landlocked parcel

To avoid a landlocked parcel, it is essential to work with a qualified agent or attorney. A knowledgeable real estate agent or attorney can help you navigate the complexities of purchasing land and ensure that you understand the property’s access situation.

In addition, prior to purchasing land, always consider utilities and road access. Ensure the property has appropriate access to utilities and roads. This access is crucial for both legal and practical reasons, but many of us may not even think about it. We assume both are present.

Finally, you should understand parcel splits. Be aware of the legal processes involved in dividing a property into multiple parcels, including local zoning regulations. Your real estate agent or attorney can also help with this.

Options for owners of landlocked parcels

If you find yourself owning a landlocked parcel, there are several options to gain access. First, you can enter negotiations with neighbors. Typically, the owner of a landlocked property negotiates with neighboring property owners to either purchase land that provides access or obtain an easement or right-of-way.

What if negotiations fail?

If negotiations fail, there are three primary legal options. There is an Easement by Prescription. This easement is created when someone uses a part of the property as if they have the legal right to do so, even if they do not.

There is also an implied easement. This requires the landlocked owner to prove certain conditions, such as historical use of the path.

Finally, there is an easement by necessity. This is granted when the landlocked owner demonstrates an absolute need for access that cannot be otherwise obtained.

While it is possible to buy a land parcel without access in Ohio, it is crucial to conduct thorough due diligence to avoid potential complications. Understanding local regulations and legal options can help protect your investment and ensure you have the necessary access to your property.

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