What Is An Easement?

Fivewalls: What Is An Easement In Real Estate?

Sellers, Buyers, Investors
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2020

An easement is when someone is given the right to use land on a property who is not the sole owner. There are different easements properties could have and often are hard to get rid of, which is why it is important to conduct a land survey beforehand.
 

What Do Land Surveyors Do?

It is important to have a land survey done before purchasing land so you are not surprised by anything, like easements attached to the property. Land surveyors let you know the boundaries of your property, particularly what trees are on your property, fences, driveways, and more. Land surveys are especially important when you are planning on building a home. The cost of having a land survey done will vary depending on the size of the property being looked at, but it really does pay off, in the end, to know what your boundaries are. A real estate agent can help you with a recommendation of a Land Surveyor in your area.

What Are Easements For?

There are actually a few different kinds of easements. The most popular being Right of Way. This is mainly common for people who share driveways or a fence in their yard.
 

Examples
 

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  2. If Neighbor A has a river through their property, they can permit Neighbor B to fish in it.
     

A Utility Easement is common as well and is used for businesses to access utilities on your property such as:
 

  • Gas lines
  • Power lines
  • Water pipes
  • Sewer pipes
  • Phone lines
  • Etc.
     

This does not mean they can do whatever they would like on your property, it is just strictly to ensure they can use the area if need be.
 

How To Get Rid Of An Easement

Getting rid of an easement on your property will most likely require legal action. You will need to file a civil lawsuit.

In some cases, properties may have easements that were issued a long time ago and are no longer relevant so the court will “quiet the title” and remove it. In other cases, if a utility company has an easement on properties to run power lines through but they do not follow through with it, that easement is no longer necessary and will become void.
 

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If you do not own the land you want to use, you will need to negotiate with the property owner. Having a real estate agent and lawyer to help you through the process will make it easier, since they will understand the value of the property being negotiated and what other factors come into play, like the duration of the easement and how you want to use the property.
 

Every property or land is subject to easements and most often they will require legal action to get rid of. If you want to obtain an easement, the easiest way is for both parties to agree to the terms and conditions offered. The most common easements you will come across that may be on your property are either right of way or utility easements, but this does not mean the party who has the easement can do whatever they want.

Next up! Wondering what a Bully Offer is? Find out if you should accept a Bully Offer on your home.