Landlocked... How did that happen? Help...

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with IMPACT California Properties 01368823

Hey everyone. Need some real advice from those of you that are knowledgeable in the sale of land. I have sold many parcels and this property is one that seems to be cursed. (Landlocked)

I just got off the phone with a client of mine who broke down in tears. We have been trying to sell this beautiful chunk of 2o acres above Lake Oroville, Ca for about 2 years now. I have built a great relationship as you can imagine. One of my record listings to date all because a stubborn neighboring landowner is trying to capitalize on the local land. Owning about 5+ large parcels ranging from 20-180 acres, Don the neighboring land owner has accumulated a bit of a private oasis. Locked behind a private solid gate with about 20 other land owners, my clients property hits Lake Haven Way by an estimated and surveyed 80+ ft. Although there seems to be no real reason why the property is landlocked, and the property is clearly accessible. It is... County records and deeds dating back to the creation have never had access. In doing research on other property owners in the area, there are a few in the same situation.

There has to be something my client can do. The family attorney even states that no where in California can someone be landlocked. They also stated that right of way is guaranteed due to the situation. However, that will cost money for my client as well as time that she doesn't have. Her husband is facing bad health issues and the only reason for the unfortunate sale is to eliminate some medical bills.

All property owners besides good old Don have agreed to grant access. I have spent numerous hours, way beyond your average deal researching and trying to figure all the angles. I have even had interested individuals who were willing to take it on, but for mere cents on the dolor. Don himself has even approached with a ridiculous offer... Priced at $62,500 my client is motivated. But for cents on the dolor?

http://marioisrealestate.com/address.php?property_ID=42

Click on the link above to see the property and if at all possible please help with advice in regards to what your approach would be. Thanks everyone...

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Rainer
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John Bethell
John Bethell Title Company, Inc. - Bloomington, IN

Mario:

I am assuming that your problem is access to the property via a road or driveway, not access to the lake.

The first thing that I would do is review your client's Owner's Title Policy. Hopefully, she received or purchased one when she purchased the property. An important insuring provision in the policy is a "right of access to the land." Then check Schedule B of the policy to see if there is a specific exception limiting the "right of access" coverage. If not, the client's attorney should address the matter with the title insurance company and possibly file a claim. The title insurer would probably be responsible for any attorneys fees incurred after that point.

There is any number of possible variables that might actually affect the situation, but the title policy and title insurance company is the first place to look for answers.

There is also a general rule of law applied in some situations that you can't sell off a tract of land and have it result in that tract being land locked. A court could find that there is an implied easement even though one is not specifically created. That line of reasoning would require research of the history of the ownership of the tract and the surround tracts to determine which conveyance actually created the landlocked situation. Then possibly a court action. Expensive unless the title company is obligated to do this.

Feel free to email me if I can help further.

John Bethell

September 06, 2008 02:12 PM #1
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Rainer
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Mario Gattavara

(Lake Oroville Area)
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