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What to know about real estate easements

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Real Estate Litigation |

An easement is a right that allows someone to use part of a property under the ownership of someone else for a specific purpose. Essentially, easements determine in what ways a plot of land shall be usable and accessible.

Understanding the basics of real estate easements can help people navigate these privileges and abide by their rules.

Types of easements

Although there are a variety of easements, they generally fall into two categories: easements appurtenant and easements in gross. Easements appurtenant involve two separate properties, where one landholder has the right to use a part of the other’s land. This type of easement passes on to new owners when the property sells.

Easements in gross benefit a person or a company rather than a property. They typically include utility easements, which allow companies to run cables or pipes through a particular spot.

Creation of easements

People create easements in several ways. One common method is through an agreement between property owners. This usually involves a written document outlining the terms and conditions of the easement. Sometimes, easements can arise through necessity, such as when a landowner sells a portion of their land and the only access to the public road is through the sold portion.

Rights and limitations

An easement grants certain prerogatives, but it also comes with limits. The scope of what the holder can do depends on the agreement’s terms or the easement’s nature. For example, a utility easement might allow a company to install pipes yet not to build a permanent structure on the land. Complex real estate litigation could be necessary to resolve such a violation.

Whether the purpose is for sharing a driveway or letting utility companies install infrastructure, easements ensure that properties meet the needs of their owners and the community. Done properly, they prevent enduring conflicts and facilitate peace between everyone.

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