A precise overview of the types of easements

When an individual uses someone else’s land as their legal right for a certain need, then it is called an easement. For instance, you have granted permission to the municipal water company to have an easement to operate water pipes under your home.

In this scenario, we can consider that you are the property owner and the title owner (your name is specified on the deed), but the water corporation, on the other hand, has the privilege to use a portion of your land for its pipes.

Types of easements

If we talk about the types of easements, they are often registered and mentioned in property deeds or title papers drafted by a lawyer or title insurance agent.

Easements are an integral part of the land that they impact. When the property is sold, they remain the same. Successive owners are obligated to allow whoever owns the easement to use the land, so anyone purchasing a property should make sure to figure out specifically what are the types of easements it has before completing any purchase transaction.

Furthermore, easements come in a variety of forms, such as:

  • Prescriptive easements (gained by the use of land)
  • Easements by necessity
  • Private easements and
  • Utility easements

Prescriptive easements

This is one of the types of easements that you can bring into possession by using someone else’s land for a certain time on a continued basis. It can be done for any purpose, for example, to gain access to someone’s home. Prescriptive easement is usually provided when the land is used for entry, such as a shortcut, road, or beach route. 

The period of time a prescriptive easement must be used differs by jurisdiction, but it is usually the same (ten or twenty years) as for adverse ownership (by occupying a piece of land, someone gains legal possession of it).

Although there are some similarities between prescriptive easements and adverse possession in terms of duration of use, there are some significant differences as well. Payment of property taxes, for instance, is not required for a victorious prescriptive easement petition, but in certain states, a trespasser must pay property taxes to gain legal possession.

Likewise, to obtain a prescriptive easement, there is no particular requirement that a trespasser can only use the land. This type of easement may be obtained by many parties on the same piece of land example, a route that people use as a quick shortcut or a driveway on someone else’s property.

Utility easements

An easement granted in writing to a service provider or a city is by far the most common type of easement. Utility easements are often referred to as those particular utility easements as carried out and showcased on the map and plat of record in this-or-that kind of a book on page this-or-that” in a certificate of title or land deed.

The presence of these easements has no impact on day-to-day operations. You are free to plant, build, and even live on the property till the time you do not obstruct the utility’s utilization of the easement.

To figure out where the utility easements are available in your possession, contact the utility organization. On the other hand, you can also opt for the option of going to the country land records and request a clerk to tell you about the easement location through a map.

Easements by necessity

A valid easement may occur even though it isn’t written on paper. If it is completely necessary to enter someone’s property for a lawful reason. Citizens, for example, have an accessibility right to their homes under the law. 

Hence, if the only way to get to an area of land is possible after passing through your house, the law acknowledges an easement that allows access over your property. This is referred to as an “easement by necessity.”

Private easements

A landowner can sell an easement to somebody concerning utility easements, for instance, to use as a driveway or path, or for solar or sewer access. Moreover, when a house is constructed on an uphill site, private sewer easements are often marketed so that the pipe from the property to the street can slope appropriately.

You straight away need to get your hands on the copies of the real easement documents, if your title persists of private easements. Just be sure that where are the easements placed and what usage benefits do they permit.

Also, make sure that you are fully aware of the private easement terms, or else you can be responsible for damage and may end up intervening in the rights of easements.

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