On a private road, can you block someone's right of way to get to their home, if that is their only means?

This is family land divided in 2 different sides – The O’s and the C’s. At one time, this was one family. The property has been passed down to children and grandchildren. The O side built a gravel road (private) to divide each side. This is the only road developed (on O servitude) for the C’s side to get to their homes – permission granted. Of course, each year, we put up monies to keep the road up, where others do not. Over the years the O’s has sold their property and homes to people outside the family. They allow usufruct to THOSE people to get to their homes. OK, I want to sell my home now. What the O’s are telling me is that they will not allow the new owners usufruct to their property? IS THIS LEGAL?? When my husband and I retrieved our map for the C side (surveyed) their is a 30′ servitude, but NO road developed. Please help me with the legalities of this issue.

4 Responses to “On a private road, can you block someone's right of way to get to their home, if that is their only means?”

  1. mikehunt29 Says:

    They are probably tired of paying for the upkeep of the road without your side of the family (and now complete strangers) paying for anything. Maybe you could add annual road upkeep into the bill of sale.

  2. shadowsthathunt Says:

    The best thing you can do is ask your real estate agent. He/She knows all of the legalities of this, and will be able to help you handle this matter better through the lawyer you will use to sell and purchase your home.

  3. floydk2001 Says:

    You cannot obstruct someone’s access to their property, even though you own the road. Unless there is something in writing, they do not have to contribute anything to the upkeep of the road.

  4. Perdendosi Says:

    Are you in Louisiana? Because "usufruct" is a term I’ve never heard before–looked it up, and found out it was "use and enjoyment" of someone else’s property.

    But thise seems, to me, like the common law idea of an "easement." O’s estate granted C an easement through O’s property for access. If this is recorded in the deed properly, the C has an easement — it is the "dominant estate" and O is the "servient estate." Generally, so long as the easement "runs with the land," O cannot do anything to interfere with the rights granted to C’s heirs throught he easement.
    The doctrine of usufruct may be different in your state, and the "use and enjoyment" of the other land may or may not run with the land as an easement does (i.e. when YOU stop your "use and enjoyment" of the land, then the right terminates WITH YOU.) Nonetheless, if your future buyers are not granted an easement, they may petition the court for easement out of necessity (in most states) showing that they have no access otherwise (they would have to pay for this easement, of course).

    DEFINITELY seek an attorney’s advice on this one.