An easement gives someone else the right to use a property in some way, without actual ownership. It’s important to understand the different types of easements and how they may restrict the ability to fully use a property.

Easement Definition

An easement gives someone else the right to use a property in some way, without actual ownership. An easement can limit how you can use a property, such as where you build, or how you landscape. As a result, the easement may negatively affect the property’s value. Before buying a property -`1q78

]’[with an easement, it’s important to fully understand what type of easement you’re dealing with and how much it may restrict your ability to fully use and enjoy the property.

Types of Easements

Some easements aren’t particularly burdensome, such as when utility companies need access to your property for maintenance purposes or emergencies. Others can be more intrusive, such as when someone is allowed to cross through your property to get to their property.

Express Easements

A property owner may agree in writing to issue an easement, usually in a signed document as part of a deed. This is an express easement.

In other instances, a court may create an easement in three different ways. Here are some examples of each type of court issued easements:

Implied Easements

When a property with an easement is divided and sold to different owners, the new parcels of land will have implied easements because of the pre-existing use from the original easement.

Easements By Necessity

A common example of an easement by necessity is when properties that are surrounded by other properties have a driveway easement. This often happens in landlocked situations when someone needs to use another person’s driveway to reach their home.

Easements By Prescription

If someone uses another person’s property without permission, it is known as adverse possession. By occupying the property illegally, and the owner takes no action to stop it, that person may be able to get an easement. The court may see this as a concession and issue a prescribed easement.

Here are some easement by prescription scenarios:

With California beachfront properties, when the public has traditionally had access to the beach across private land, that strip of land falls under a prescriptive easement. By law, the easement allows the public to continue to use the land to get to the beach.

A homeowner builds a fence on a neighbor’s property, either intentionally or unintentionally. If the neighbor does not challenge the encroachment, the court may recognize this as a concession and issue a prescriptive easement.

How To Know If A Property Has An Easement

Because an easement grants another person the right to use a property, it could negatively affect the property’s value. Conduct your due diligence such as title checks and property inspections to uncover existing easements or adverse possession happening on the property. If you’re buying real estate, you’ll want to know if there are any easements on a property to make sure you’re making a wise investment.

If you are having any issues with an existing easement on your property or if you are in the process of negotiating an easement, it is in your best interests to consult with a competent real estate attorney in California.

Contact us at Moschetti Law to talk to an experienced real estate attorney who will be able to assist you in determining what valid easements exist on your property, help you in negotiating an easement, and possibly, represent you at any court hearings, should you be sued over an easement related to your property. Call 888-664-1848 today.

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