How Do Easements Affect Real Estate Transactions and Litigation?
Real estate easements can greatly impact both the buying and selling of property, as well as any ensuing litigation. It is important for both buyers and sellers to understand the implications of easements on their property.
An easement grants a non-owner the right to use a portion of another person’s land for a specific purpose. In real estate transactions, easements can affect the property’s value, use and marketability. This can include access to a private road, a pathway to a beach or a utility company’s right to use a portion of a property for power lines. For example, if there is an easement for a utility company to access the property, it may limit the owner’s ability to make improvements or changes to the property.
Easements can be affirmative or negative, and appurtenant or in gross. Affirmative easements allow someone to use a portion of another person’s property for a specific purpose, such as a right-of-way for a driveway or a utility easement. Negative easements, on the other hand, prevent someone from doing something on their property that would interfere with another person’s use of their property, such as a view easement- a written agreement by owners of adjacent property not to obstruct your view.
Appurtenant easements are attached to a particular piece of property and benefit the owner of that property, such as an easement that allows access to a landlocked property. In gross easements, the right to use another person’s property is not tied to any particular piece of land, such as a utility easement that benefits a particular company.
While easements can provide benefits to property owners, they can also cause issues when it comes to selling the property. Buyers may be hesitant to purchase a property with an easement, as it could limit their use of the property or create future legal disputes. On the other hand, sellers may have difficulty selling their property if they do not disclose any existing easements.
In addition, disputes can arise over easements, leading to litigation. This can include disputes over the scope of the easement, the amount of compensation to be paid, or the need for maintenance or repairs. It is important for property owners to have a thorough understanding of any easements on their property and to seek legal advice if any disputes arise.
At Davis & Gelshenen, our team of experienced real estate attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of easements in real estate transactions and litigation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you with your legal needs and provide you with the guidance you need to protect your interests.