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What is an Easement?

Firstly, what is an Easement?

An easement is a right of way given to a person, company, or government entity. It does not affect ownership however, it can effect the use of a parcel of land.

The easement runs with the property title, it typically passes from owner to owner and whilst its not uncommon to have an easement on your parcel, it is something that needs to be taken into consideration.

There are different types of easements:

Private Easement

A private easement gives someone the right to access your land for a certain use. For example, it could give your neighbor the right to access part of your land. The easement can be created and sold by the parcel owner. However, care should be taken when granting a private easement. It can affect the value of the property because a buyer may not look favorably on their new neighbor having access to their land!

Utility Easement

A utility easement is granted by state or county law and allows utility companies and its employees access to your land. The utility company has the legal right to access the land where designated by the easement and should be free and clear to perform what ever duty they need to maintain the utility connection. The utility company can only access your parcel within the designated easement area and only for the reason required for the maintenance of that utility. These types of easements also usually come with some limitations. For example, it usually means you aren’t able to build on that easement, plant trees or install tarmac.

Access Easement

These types of easements are in place for situations where, for example, a landlocked parcel requires an easement on the parcel located on the road for access. This allows the owner of the landlocked parcel access to their property without owning any land joined onto the public road. These easements are typically created by the government to allow expansion and best use of the land within the United States. You are not able to remove this easement.

Prescriptive Easement

This can come around by way of being explained as a hostile easement, this easement can be a huge pain. It comes about by a neighbor for example parking on your parcel of land without your permission or, sometimes with vacant land you own in a different county or state, you may not even know if you don’t regularly check up on that parcel. They may be parking on your land, and you wouldn’t know unless you visit regularly. If you don’t stop them parking on the land, the timing depends on the jurisdiction, but they may be able to gain an easement by virtue of them basically trespassing on your land for long enough to gain a right of access. This is a truly an awful easement and will seriously affect the desirability of your land especially if they decide to also dump junk on your land. Put a stop to this immediately if this is the case, the sooner the better!

Easements, should, the key word being SHOULD, show up on a title search. When we buy land, we always either run a title search ourselves or if closing by one of our trusted, experienced closing agents, this will come up in their work. All four options above will make an impact on the value of the vacant land parcel. Some more so than others. Its not uncommon to have an easement, especially a utility easement. However, if that easement runs directly through the middle of the parcel clearly it impacts what that parcel can be used for in the future.

If you are unsure of an easement on your property, conduct a title search or set up a consultation with a real estate attorney.

We buy all types of land, while we won’t know of any easements on your land until we run a title search, we will work with you through the process and if there is an easement, we will help you on how to proceed.

If you have unwanted land, with or without an easement, get in contact with us! Send us an email at or fill in our quick and easy form here at which point we will get back to you as soon as possible with an offer.

All the best for now,

Matthew & Kathleen

The above is an opinion and is meant for information purposes only, this blog is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice.


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