Understanding the Impact of an Easement on Your Property

Posted on: 23 October 2018

An easement gives another person the right to cross a piece of land which is yours. This means that if you have bought a piece of property that has an easement, you cannot construct or use it in a manner which blocks the easement and makes it impossible for the other person to access their land. Most people start thinking about extremes such as the possibility of the property being located in a cemetery, while this could be true in rare cases, many easements are created for real purposes such as roads. Here, is what you need to know about easements before purchasing land.

Types of easements

There are several types of easements in real estate. The most common of them is a carriageway. If you are sharing the land with a neighbour, and the subdivision was made in a manner which left them without access to the main road, they could get an easement which allows them to access the main road through your property. This is known as a carriageway.  Other types of easements include the following:

  1. Easement for services: the easements are created to allow essential services such as water, gas and electricity to be conveyed to other people.
  2. Easements of support: these are created to ensure that services that need excavation are delivered. These include natural gas pipelines and telephone lines.
  3. Waterways and sewerage: your neighbours may also be allowed to construct drainage pipes for their sewage through an easement on your property.
  4. Light and air easements: land laws also allow for easements to stop you from making constructions which could block your neighbour's access to natural light and air.

Finding out if a property has an easement

Before purchasing property, you need to research and find out whether it has any easements attached. Land surveyors will be in a position to look at the land and tell you whether there are easements and how much of your space they take up. It is also possible to dispute easements, especially if you feel that they are not fair. However, you will need supporting land survey documents.

It is important to consult land surveyors to find out if an easement will affect the intended land use before making a purchase.  At the same time, you need to understand that an easement can only be removed or changed when you and the landowner it benefits to agree to it. The best approach is getting surveyors to help you prove if the beneficiary can operate normally without the easement.