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Easements 101: What To Know

Perhaps you need to create an easement either on your property or for your use on another property.  You want to be sure that you create an agreement that provides you with the best deal while also not causing you issues down the road.

The California Land Title Association explains that when creating an easement, the right to use the land is generally indefinite. Once you have an easement, it generally lasts forever even when the property changes ownership. For landowners, this could pose an issue when selling later, but it provides positive benefits for the person granted the easement.

Obtain a professional survey

Before you ever create an easement, you need to hire a professional surveyor to identify and outline barriers and property lines. The survey also ensures that the easement occurs within a specific property and does not require the permission of more than one landowner.

Address maintenance

You need to include maintenance details in the agreement. In general, the person owning the easement has maintenance responsibility, such as tree removal. When property owners have an issue with maintenance terms, it could create trouble in the future. Making maintenance agreements clear in the document can prevent problems.

Have easements recorded

Some easements may not be on record with a regulatory agency. This does not make them invalid, but if you are the one who needs the easement, having it recorded does provide you with better protection. Landowners also benefit from this as it is easier to keep track of it when selling the property.

Understand easement types

Easements are not just for the use of land. They may also include air rights or rights to water. For example, before someone can build a skyscraper that juts out over a shorter building, he or she will likely need to purchase the rights to that air space. It is essential to outline the specifics of an easement to clarify what it includes.