If you purchase a new property, it may already have an easement. This is an agreement that allows someone else to use that property. They don’t get any ownership rights but simply have usage rights.
An example of this could be if there are two properties next to each other, with a road on only one side. It would be impossible to access the second property without crossing over the first. The owners may agree on an easement so that the property owner on the back lot can drive through whenever they want. They are not allowed to do anything else, but they are given access.
But if you buy a property and it already has an easement, do you have to honor it? After all, it was the previous property owners who agreed to that arrangement. What are your obligations in this situation?
Many easements run with the land
What you’ll find is that an easement will often run with the land, which means that it is connected to the property itself. You can almost think of it as part of that property. If you buy the land, you do have to honor this easement, unless the other property owner agrees to terminate it. But you cannot terminate it by yourself, or that would be a violation of the other person’s rights.
That being said, it is important to note that not all easements run with the land. That’s why you want to carefully read the documentation before you make an offer or a purchase. You need to know exactly what you are agreeing to and what legal options you have in a complex situation.