Can an Easement be Changed in Missouri?

Our law firm has recently been representing a group of property owners in connection with an easement that runs across their property as well as across a neighbor’s property.   This neighbor has threatened to reduce the size of the existing ingress/egress driveway easement, which has been in place for over 50 years.  At the forefront of our representation of these clients is the issue of whether the existing easement can be changed or revised.

Easements can be established in various ways, even without the existence of a formal easement agreement.  Indeed, easement rights can be created due to repeated use of certain property, by necessity based on the layout of the property or by implication in a transfer of property.  Easement agreements can be effective in their goal of granting rights to use property with very little (if any) formal language.  However, once established an easement can rarely be changed, unless all parties involved have reached an agreement to do so.  In the instance of our recent clients, they were very opposed to any change in the existing easement.  The neighbor sought to narrow the existing roadway, apparently to allow for expansion of the structure located on the property.

The instances under which an easement can changed (without consent of all parties) is very limited and would typically only occur in instances where a changed area or size is required to accommodate the original intended use of the easement.  Revised uses are typically not permitted, but revised easement areas may sometimes be granted by a court in such situations.

We work with many clients dealing with real estate and easement disputes.  We work hard to protect the property and real estate rights of your clients.  We handle both residential and commercial real estate matters.


Keywords: Easement, Real Estate, Property, Agreement, Schleiffarth Law Firm, Jim Schleiffarth, Lawyer, Attorney, St Louis, Webster, Missouri