If the home you’ve fallen in love with has an easement, you may be wondering
how this affects you. An easement gives a person or entity the right to use part of
your land, but only for a very specific reason. For example, a utility company may
have an easement on your property to maintain an electric pole. Another
example is an easement which allows your neighbor to drive through a portion of
your land to access their garage.
Easements will be disclosed as part of the sales process and if you’ve discovered
that your new purchase is subject to an easement, it’s important to learn the
different types and their effect on your use of your land.
Types of Easements
• Appurtenant vs. Gross – An appurtenant easement benefits the property,
by allowing access through another’s land, such as the neighbor’s garage
example above. A gross easement benefits an individual or entity, such as
the utility company example above.
• Private vs. Public – A private easement allows a specific person to access
your property while a public easement allows any member of the public to
use your land.
• Affirmative vs. Negative – Most easements are affirmative (which is to say
they allow something to happen) but some are negative easements, such as
preventing a neighbor from building a second story that blocks a view.
Easements are not permanent and can be challenged if the need no longer exists.
If your property is subject to an easement. It’s important to understand how it
will impact your property before completing the purchase.