Properties can sometimes be in such twisted configurations that an easement has to be created. This is the right of the person who does not own a piece of land to gain use of that land for a specific purpose, namely travel or for a specific use such as fishing in a river that's on someone else's property. Easements are common, and they should be respected on both sides of the property. However, if you're about to purchase property with an easement only to find that the landowner of the property where the easement is, is hostile, you need to approach the purchase very carefully.
If the Easement Is Official, You Have Use of It
There are official easements and then unofficial ones where people use the property without an actual legal agreement to back them up. If the easement is official, then the property owner can't stop you from using it should you purchase the property and move in. However, you would want to consult with a real estate attorney to find out what to do if the property owner tried to prevent you from using the easement or tried to claim it didn't exist. You'll need to know your legal rights, and you'll need to discuss whether buying this property is worth the risk. It could be that there are others that wouldn't be quite as intense to live on.
Prescriptive Easements and Change of Owner
Sometimes you'll come across properties where there's no official easement, but there is a prescriptive easement with records to back it up. Prescriptive easements are those created when the easement user can show that they've used the property for a certain amount of time while the property owner knew about the use. However, with a new easement owner (you) coming in, that may change the prescriptive easement, and that could affect your use of the property. A real estate lawyer is essential here so that you're very clear on what you'd get if you bought that property.
What Are the Chances of the Owner Ending the Easement?
Official or prescriptive, if you buy property with an easement, you want to be confident that you can use that easement yourself. You'll need to evaluate how likely it is that the property owner whose property holds the easement area will try to end the easement legally. If the property owner seems friendly and the easement is for your driveway, for example, that's one thing. If the easement is across the other property owner's yard, and they keep telling you to limit your use of the easement, you'll want to talk to a real estate lawyer.
For more information, contact a real estate attorney near you.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.