Q:How could easements impact my decision to purchase property?
A:Easements are binding legal documents that affect the property that they are recorded against. A prospective purchaser of a property is presumed to have knowledge of, and is bound by, all agreements and documents on record with the county or state where the property is located. Easements can provide property rights to another party (such as a utility company or an adjacent property owner) including the right to drive or walk across the property, build a road through the property, install utilities, park, construct improvements or remove trees. Easements can also prohibit a property owner from doing certain activities within a specified area on the property including building new improvements on the property.
If not reviewed carefully, easements can serve as a surprise to a property owner and could even stop an owner from using the property in a manner they intended. Accordingly, it is important to consult with a qualified real estate attorney to ensure you understand all of the unique terms and potential restrictions recorded against a property that may affect the use of your property.
Cora Verge is an attorney at the law firm of Lukins & Annis, where her practice emphasizes real estate and business law.
Published in the Journal of Business October 8th 2015