When it comes to real estate, "ingress" means the right to enter a piece of property and "egress" means the right to exit the property. Legal documents such as deeds use these terms to refer to these rights. If you're in a real estate deal that involves your rights to enter and exit a property, such as vacant land, you'll need to confirm that you're legally getting what you need to use your property without any problems from your neighbors.
What is a Right of Egress and Ingress Easement?
An easement gives a person a specific type of interest. The person doesn't get ownership, just the right to do whatever the easement says she can do on the land. The easement is usually an agreement that both parties sign, but sometimes easement language is included on a real estate deed. Easement agreements often include the right of ingress and egress. For instance, your neighbor's fence is partly on your land. You give your neighbor an easement that allows him to enter and exit a specific part of your land to do maintenance. A company, such as a utility provider, might have an easement to parts of your property to service its equipment.
Ensuring Ingress and Egress for Landlocked Real Estate
A piece of property is landlocked if it doesn't have an access point, such as a street, on any side. The only way to exit and enter a landlocked piece is through someone else's property. You'll need a documented right of ingress and egress if you own a landlocked piece. You can get egress and ingress rights on your deed, on in an easement, or through some other type of use agreement. A seller who received these rights can pass them on to you in a deed. If not, you'll need to get the rights from the owner of the land to which you need access.
Ingress and Egress Road Access
Having a road or alley near your real estate doesn't automatically give you the right to use it. You might need a road easement or a private road agreement if the local government isn't the owner. One person or a group of neighbors might own a private road. You receive the right of ingress and egress for a road or alley on your deed, in a road easement, or through some type of specific use agreement for the road. The document you get for the exit and entrance rights on might specify your responsibilities for its upkeep and maintenance.
Watch Out for Roadblocks
Having the right to ingress and egress doesn't rule out problems using them. You might need to go to civil court if you have these rights but the property owner denies you entry. For example, if you have the right to use a private road and the owner is blocking you, you have to take the owner to court for enforcement. Conversely, you'll end up in court if someone else has these rights on a part of your property, but isn't following the terms in the agreement.
Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.