Is It Bad To Have An Easement On Your Property?

Is It Bad To Have An Easement On Your Property

What Is An Easement On A Property?

An easement refers to a right or interest that permits the limitation of another person’s land. By failing to take certain specified actions or allowing certain specified actions to be carried out on his property, the landowner agrees to enable the holder of the easement to use the right of way.

Under the limits of actions act, easements may be acquired by an express or inferred grant, a statutory provision, or adverse possession.

An easement is a servitude of free access to and from the land, covering a range of uses. The ownership and control of this property right cannot be claimed by another except in return for the performance of an agreement.

Easements exist to facilitate the benefit of one owner over another or both properties. Easements are used to avoid disputes between heirs or owners when selling their land. If an easement puts restrictions on someone else’s use of your property, those restrictions will have priority over its sale.

Is It Bad To Have An Easement On Your Property?

Whether you’re the dominant or servient property, having an easement can sometimes negatively affect the value of your property. Not everyone wants to buy property with an easement on it, so the property with the easement may take longer to sell.

If you and your neighbor share a driveway due to an easement, and if you’re the servient property, you can’t stop your neighbor from using the driveway.

An easement continues even after you sell the property.

However, if you’ve given your neighbor access to an area of your property for a specific purpose, and it’s not in the deed, this type of easement is an “easement in gross.” For example, you may decide to allow your neighbor to use your property to access the lake that’s only behind your house.

This easement does not transfer to a new buyer, but is between you and the easement holder. This means that if the neighbor moves, you don’t have to grant the same easement, or any easement at all, to the new owner.

Utility easements are often a problem because if you want to build something such as an in-ground swimming pool on your own land, you might be unable to do so if there are pipes and cables in the way. Likewise, your property value could take a nosedive if the utility company has an easement to erect poles or power lines.

Can A Property Owner Block An Easement?

A landowner cannot unilaterally terminate an easement. For this reason, your best shot at getting rid of the easement might be to get your neighbor to vacate it.

Before approaching your neighbor about vacating the easement, however, you should; Get a copy of the easement agreement if you don’t already have one. To be enforceable, an easement must ordinarily be in writing although it’s possible your neighbor has a prescriptive or implied easement.

To find a copy of the easement, research the public records by contacting your local government, or ask a title company to perform the search for you likely for a fee. Carefully review the easement agreement to determine whether you have the right to revoke it.

Is what you believe to be an easement actually a license unlike easements, a license can be revoked by the landowner, and so will probably contain language saying something like; Either party may terminate this agreement for any reason upon 30 days’ notice. Easements and licenses are similar and sometimes get confused.

Confirm that the trail used by your neighbor is actually located within the easement boundary. It’s possible that the specified location of the easement is not where your neighbor’s trail is actually located. Maybe there isn’t a conflict after all. To confirm the proper location of the easement you might need to hire a surveyor.

However, the written easement could include a description of its location that can be easily understood, even by people who aren’t professional surveyors, so check. Confer with a real estate attorney regarding the above issues and also whether there might be a legal basis upon which to argue that the easement has been abandoned or is otherwise not enforceable.

If it looks like the easement is enforceable, your best bet might be to ask your neighbor to vacate or relocate the easement. Be prepared to pay for this. Unfortunately, if your neighbor refuses to vacate the easement, you most likely will not be able to get rid of it.

What Is An Example Of An Easement?

One example of an easement is a driveway. Under the laws of property, you may grant access to another person to drive through your property in return for them paying for the use of the road.

If there is a painted line on public land that shows you have deed-restricted access, those restrictions still apply even if you don’t own title to the land. They will only stop if you make a formal written agreement with the government in which you give up your rights to that access.

Who Is The Dominant Owner Of An Easement?

The dominant owner is the person who grants the easement. In other words, they are the landowner under whose property or land the easement will run. If there is more than one dominant owner, they may designate one or more of them to receive any money or damages paid by another party in exchange for using the right of way.

If you are tasked with maintaining an easement, it is imperative that you keep up with your obligations so that you do not become responsible for paying for repairs.

Can You Be Forced To Give An Easement?

This depends on whether you have a valid easement and that you cannot be forced to give one. You have the option to refuse an easement if you so want because they normally impose some sort of cost on you.

However, with both public and private easements, the party may sue you in particular circumstances if they believe the easement is necessary or pertinent, and the judge may order the easement to be granted.

Practical Example of an Easement

Suppose a business has constructed its own driveway. There are no easements on the land, but the property owner wants to establish an easement across the driveway to connect his building and parking lot with a public road.

The road runs over land that is under both the property and the business’ ownership. The business chooses to grant this easement so that it can connect with its other properties and parking area.

What Does It Mean To Have An Easement On Your Property?

A property easement is a legal arrangement in which the title to a particular parcel of land continues to be held by the landowner, but the landowner grants another person or entity the right to use the land for a defined purpose.

This type of arrangement can only exist in certain states. Somewhere on your property there will be an easement that says someone else has the right to use that piece of land. Most states have laws regarding easements, and in some states, the law is very specific.

What Rights Does An Easement Holder Have?

Since easement holders typically enjoy the same rights as do public rights-of-way, they essentially have the same rights that are enjoyed by landowner in public right of way.

A property owner cannot voluntarily terminate an easement; an easement holder must do so with the permission of the landowner. The owner may consent to this termination only if there is no other reason for not allowing it. Having an easement on your property does not entitle you to free passage through it.

What’s The Difference Between An Easement And A Right Of Way?

An easement is a form of property right that grants one party the use of another’s land for a specific purpose. The character of an easement may be either negative or positive.

 A negative easement takes away from the rights of the dominant tenement the property owner, and it typically gives rise to a duty on the part of the servient tenement the party granted with an easement to refrain from interfering with its dominant tenement’s rights.

A positive easement gives the holder of the easement rights but not duties. For example, a right to use another’s property that allows one party to drive through another party’s land but does not require him to pay road taxes, pay for maintenance and upkeep, or assume liability for damage caused by use of that property.

A right of way is a legal conveyance by which a person becomes the owner and user of an area over which another has a right of access, including any improvements thereon.

Can My Neighbor Use My Easement?

If your neighbor is using an easement on your property, which does not necessarily mean that he does not have the legal right to do so. Having an easement gives you the right to use a specific piece of land on the property.  

However, it does not necessarily mean that the party who holds that right of way has the legal authority to grant the easement or to grant another person access to it; that would depend on whether that party was the owner of the property.

In most easement contracts, you will specify certain conditions that must be met for you to use your easement. Those conditions may include/but are not limited to:

What is the difference between a long term easement and a short term easement? A short-term easement is used for the purpose of conducting a survey, and you are using it for that purpose. A long-term easement is used so that your right-of-way can be more accurately measured and maintained.

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