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License to Use Property

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What is a License to Use Property?

A landowner can grant another access through his property by license. A license is contractual authorization by the owner to do something on the owner's land that would otherwise constitute as trespass

A license is a useful property tool for owners because they are revocable. An owner has the power to stipulate conditions of use and time constraints. 

If a Landowner Grants Access is This Permanent?

A license is generally not permanent, so regardless if there is permission and continuous use of private property, this land access does not ripen into an easement (property right). A license merely confirms a personal privilege for a party to do some act upon one¿s land for a period of time.

Instances When a License Can Become Permanent

There are some instances when a license may become irrevocable and convert into an easement. If the licensee (holder of the license) has either:

  • Partially performed by making improvements to the walkway with the knowledge of the licensor (person granting the license)
  • If the licensee reasonably relied on the walkway to his detriment and it would be unfair to revoke it

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Property License Questions?

Even though licenses are generally revocable by the land owner, you may still want to seek the advice of an experienced real estate lawyer in your area to ensure that the license does not become permanent. A lawyer can help you take certain precautions to protect your property interest.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 11-13-2013 11:33 AM PST

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