There’s an easement on my property. Now What?

An easement is “an authorization grant by a property owner for the use by another of any designated part of his property for a clearly specified purpose.” In other words, an easement gives people the right to cross or use a piece of property without having to own the land.

As you can imagine, the concept of an easement derails some property owners. Who would want waves of people parading through their property, especially when one of the main reasons of property is to gain private ownership of a piece of land? While this concept might sound like a major turn-off, more often than not, easements do not permit anyone and everyone to do whatever they want on the designated piece of land.

Usually, easements normally exist so utility companies can reach wires, pipes and other units. It is also common for neighbors living in minor subdivisions to share a driveway. If a property borders a body of water, easements can be created to give a neighbor, or the public, the right of way to access the water. Easements are usually included in property records along with deeds and plats which are recorded at the county courthouse.

Easements rarely cause any problems, unless the owner, buyer or seller of the property is unaware of it. Thus, it is important to know if there is easement on your property, if you are buying property that has an easement on it and what type of easement is present. Knowing the details and location of an easement can avoid future problems if you decide to make any additions to your property, like a fence, barn or a major landscaping project. You do not want to spend the money or time putting up a new fence or building a new barn and then having to remove it because you are encroaching on an easement.
A survey will facilitate the identification and location of existing easements. After researching your property records, a survey will be conducted and you can receive a physical copy for your reference. Some easements can be revoked or altered. However, this is a legal process and you should seek legal advice after attaining an accurate survey. A surveyor can provide a lawyer with the facts they gathered during the survey but cannot revoke or change who has access to the easement.

Please contact us if you have questions!