SW Legal Educational Publishing

Property Owner Could Revoke Permission to Use Land
Description Oral permission from one business owner to another to use a parking lot and sidewalk could be revoked 20 years later, and no easement was created, because property user had not incurred expenses pursuant to the parol license.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Easement, Parol License
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts In 1977 property owner A gave the neighboring property owner B permission (parol license) for B's customers to park in A's parking lot and to walk across A's property to get to B's business. In 1995, A notified B that the use of A's property should cease. In 1997, A erected a fence that prevented B's customers from using A's property. B sued, claiming that the parol license had ripened into an easement. Trial court found for A. B appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Georgia's code states: "A parol license to use another's land is revocable at any time if its revocation does no harm to the person to whom it has been granted. A parol license is not revocable when the licensee has acted pursuant thereto and in so doing has incurred expense; in such a case, it becomes an easement running with the land." In this case, plaintiff incurred no expense pursuant to the parol license, so it did not become an easement and could be revoked.
Citation McCorkle v. Morgan, 492 S.E.2d 891 (Sup. Ct., Ga., 1997)

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