How Property Easements Affect Homebuyers

A couple of years ago, we posted When In Doubt DISCLOSE – DISCLOSE – DISCLOSE, detailing the importance of disclosure of property easements, a topic still popular today. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly are property easements and how they impact homebuyers.

What Is a Property Easement?

A property easement grants permission to another person, such as a neighbor, or entity, like a utility company, to access a portion of your property for a specific reason. Almost every home has an easement attached to it.

What Are the Most Common Types of Easements?

Easement in Gross: Utility companies are granted access to a section of a property to install or maintain power lines and water pipes. This easement also allows a specific neighbor/property owner access to a portion of another neighbor’s property. If the specific person moves away or dies, this easement is not automatically transferred to the new property owner.

Easement Appurtenant: A necessary legal arrangement between a servient tenement and dominant tenement if there is a landlock situation between two neighbors. For example, a landowner’s property line may include a street or beach/park pathway. This property is known as the servient tenement; it must grant access to a portion of the land to a neighbor. This landowner of a servient tenement would allow a neighbor, whose property is considered dominant tenement, continuous access to the street or beach/park pathway portion of the servient tenement property. Otherwise, the neighbor of the dominant tenement would not have access to the street or pathway. When either tenement is sold to a new owner, the easement appurtenant is automatically transferred.

Prescriptive Easement: A legal agreement created after a neighbor has consistently utilized another neighbor’s section of property for years without permission, a typical example is the placement of an installed fence.

How To Find Out If a Property Has An Easement? A title search will determine if a property has an easement.

Now that you have the facts, you are ready to find your dream home.

homebuying, property easements