What is an Easement?

What is an Easement?
What is an Easement? -Mortgage Rates Today

An easement, also known as an easement arrangement, is a real estate term that describes a situation in which one party uses the property of another for a fee in exchange for the right of easement. Public utility corporations frequently purchase easements in order to build telephone poles or run pipes above or beneath private land. While fees are given to the property owner, easements can have a detrimental impact on property values because ugly electricity lines, for example, might reduce a piece of land’s visual appeal.

Easement Definition

An easement is a non-possessory right to use and/or enter onto someone else’s real property without actually owning it. It’s “best exemplified in one landowner’s right of way.” It is comparable to real covenants and equitable servitudes; the Restatement (Third) of Property in the United States attempts to integrate these ideas into servitudes.

Easements are useful for connecting two or more pieces of land, allowing people to access other properties or resources, such as fishing in a privately held pond or having access to a public beach. At common law, an easement is regarded a property right in and of itself, and it is still treated as such in most jurisdictions.

The rights of an easement possessor differ significantly depending on the jurisdiction. Historically, only four forms of easements were enforced by common law courts:

  • Right-of-way (easements of way)
  • Easements of support (pertaining to excavations)
  • Easements of “light and air”
  • Rights pertaining to artificial waterways

Types of Easements

Affirmative and Negative Easements

A positive easement is the right to use another person’s property for a certain purpose, whereas a negative easement is the right to prevent someone from doing something that is otherwise legal on their own land.

A negative easement, on the other hand, might prevent landowner A from erecting a wall of trees that would impede landowner B’s mountain view. B has granted a negative easement to A.

Dominant and Servient Estate

A positive easement is the right to use another person’s property for a certain purpose, whereas a negative easement is the right to prevent someone from doing something that is otherwise legal on their own land.

A negative easement, on the other hand, might prevent landowner A from erecting a wall of trees that would impede landowner B’s mountain view. B has granted a negative easement to A.

Public and Private Easements

Private persons or entities own a private easement. A public easement is a legal document that offers a right of access to the public for a specific purpose, such as allowing the public access to a private property.

Appurtenant and in Gross Easements

An easement appurtenant in the United States is one that benefits the dominant estate and “runs with the land,” transferring automatically when the dominant estate is conveyed. An appurtenant easement enables property owners to gain access to land that is only accessible through the ownership of a neighbor.

An easement in gross, on the other hand, benefits a person or a legal body rather than a dominant estate. The easement can be for personal or commercial usage (for example, an easement to use a boat ramp) (for example, an easement to a railroad company to build and maintain a rail line across property). Historically, a gross easement could not be assigned or passed down, but commercial easements can now be freely transferred to a third party. They are divisible, but they must be exclusive (the original owner no longer uses it, and the easement holder is the only one who may divide it), and all easement holders must agree to divide. The easement applies to each subdivided parcel if it is subdivided.

Floating Easement

A floating easement exists when the right of way has no set location, route, method, or limit. A right of way may, for example, span a field without a visible path or allow egress through another structure for fire safety reasons. A floating easement might be public or private, attached or free-floating.

How does an Easement work?

A typical easement agreement describes a method of payment by the petitioner to the owner for the right to use the subject of easement for a certain purpose, and it is used to express a high-level agreement between the owner of a property and another party—either a person or an organization.

An easement is a one-of-a-kind contract between the two parties concerned. As a result, easement agreements are written in such a way that the property’s specific use is specified and the property owner is granted the option to terminate the easement. Such agreements are occasionally transferred as part of a property sale, so potential buyers should be aware of any easements on the property under consideration.

 

Eeasement Due Diligence before Closing

In some instances you may require your seller to obtain an easement or right-of-way from the adjacent property owner prior to closing, so you aren’t forced to stop using the existing parking area after closing only to discover that there isn’t enough space on your property to replace it, no matter how much you’re willing to spend. This is why all due diligence of all items at closing should be completed before closing costs are settled between the buyers and sellers legal team. 

If you have any other questions regarding an Easement or for any of your mortgage needs contact the mortgage experts at 864-397-8500 or click Mortgage Rates Today!

Last Updated on 05/25/2022 by Mark Does

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