QUESTION: In Florida, what legal remedies if any, are available to landowners of unbuildable lots that are not accessible for egress or ingress?
ANSWER: All landlocked landowners are alerted by Florida Statutes Section 704.01(2) that, in Florida, they may have the benefit of, or be subject to, a statutory way of necessity under specific circumstances. The fact that this statute may result in a court imposed statutory way of necessity claim that may be impossible to predict or prevent was an argument presented to the Legislature. The Legislature heard these arguments and wrote law addressing this topic. Please read F.S. 704.01 (2) which helps to resolve this issue.
The Legislature recognized the competing interests of adjacent landowners by crafting a careful solution that protects the landlocked landowner’s rights by providing a judicial mechanism by which an unbiased third party can fairly determine:
(1) the need for the statutory way of necessity;
(2) the least offensive location for the statutory way of necessity; and
(3) a reasonable price for its use.
In other words, despite the fact that statutory ways of necessity are inevitably “hidden” interests in land, the Legislature has fairly balanced the rights of those involved. This solution makes sense.
The Florida Legislature had a choice. It could leave landlocked property owners without a remedy, which would result in property lying useless and fallow forever or provide a legislative solution that uses judicial supervision to reach a fair compromise by requiring the payment of fair value in return for access. The legislative intent to balance the interests of the neighboring landowners should be applied in conjunction with the historical remedy of the common law way of necessity. To accomplish this you will need competent legal representation and an expert appraiser, to provide the access you need. If you have questions feel free to contact me to discuss the matter.
Christopher Weiss, Esq.
Board Certified Construction Attorney
17 N. Summerlin Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 928-6737 (Office)
(855) 592-0030 (Facsimile)
(407) 340-4101 (Mobile)
This Blog/Web Site (“Blog”) does not provide specific legal advice. It is for educational purposes only. Use of the Blog does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and Christopher Weiss Attorney at Law P.A. or the author(s) of any posts. The Blog does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Any links from another site to the Blog are beyond the control of Christopher Weiss Attorney at Law P.A, as such they do not convey the firm’s approval, support or any relationship to any site or organization.