What Types of Easements may be Added to a Deed?


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Easements are placed on property so that another person or company may use a portion of the land for a specific purpose without having actual ownership or possession of that piece of the area. These agreements are often set in place by the current or previous owner of the property through certain conditions or terms in the title or other legal documentation, and there are several types.

Easements are often placed on a property in the past by a previous owner, and they are then frequently discovered accidentally by the new or current owner. Sometimes, these individuals must look through legal documentation to reveal who make these deals and what the stipulations or conditions of them are. The easement is created by the possessor of the land and the individual or business that it affects. Generally, most of these are for access to drive through part of the land to get to the parking lot or the business owned by a commercial company. Many of these are written in the deed of conveyance, but are also transferred with the deed.

The three primary easements are what usually affect a deed or usual conditions of land by an estate owner. These include appurtenant easements where there is a right to use the land which transfers with new owners. The easements in gross are usually commercial and may not transfer with the land which leads to new deals needs to initiate with a new owner. The prescriptive easements are not always on deeds or clear as to the use or meaning, and these are usually what cause a business to use part of the land for access to a driveway or parking lot.

The Easement of Appurtenance Explained

One easement that may be added to a deed is the appurtenance easement that may transfer with the ownership of the land. The owner of the land benefits from the arrangement and the other party provides the easement. While the deal may not be written into the deed, it is often part of the conditions when the land is passed to a new owner unless the previous one released the easement. The assumption is that the agreement is permanent, and the courts will view the arrangements as lasting forever legally. These easements may affect the owner of the land differently depending on what is needed such as a pathway being opened across multiple parcels of land or for fishing rights with a privately owned body of water.

The stipulations within the easement may change what it is technically called and what is affected such as the private body of water which is an affirmative easement. Some similar circumstances are called right-of-way easements where individual, owner of the property and the land all benefit from the arrangement. Similar situations are created through easements to permit someone to travel through part of the property to get to a commercial or recreational park that is much more difficult to access without the pathway. Then, the easement may become set in writing in the deed, and future generations may not realize that this was started by former owners or ancestors.

The Easement in Gross Explained

These easements are generally for commercial purposes. The benefits are only provided to the individual person, a company or other entity and not the land owned. Some of these easements exist for companies that give utilities to residents, apartments and commercial buildings that service customers. These may not transfer as the land is newly possessed by a new individual, and new negotiations are generally necessary to ensure the company or other entity is taken care of with the property owner.

Prescriptive Easements Explained

These easements are placed upon the property by someone or an entity of some form through continued use of the parcel of land when no permission has been supplied. The amount of time the easement is in place is then established as legal by state law when the owner is unaware of the arrangement. The exact manner of what the easement may provide is not always known, and it may not be placed on paper, but it may be part of the deed. This is where driveways, parking lot access and similar use is established.

Legal Assistance with Easements

If an easement has been placed on a deed without the consent of the owner, a lawyer may be necessary to either negotiate a new deal or to remove it from the property.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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