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What buyers need to know about the effects of easements

| Oct 23, 2020 | Real Estate Disputes |

Purchasing a Texas property with easements may seem problematic. The idea that someone else may have particular rights to the property may discourage some buyers. The same deterrent happens when their properties depend on easements, such as when it comes to access roads. 

Easements can become incredibly complex. They also form the root cause of many real estate disputes between owners of neighboring properties and between private property owners and organizations. This makes it especially important to know how easements may affect the property. 

Types of easements

The Washington Post identifies three main types of easements. These include the following: 

  1. Prescriptive easement: It occurs when someone has had continuous use of the property for some time. 
  2. Easement appurtenant: This is transferable with the title of the home but may not show up in the public title report. It may include provisions for access roads or shared driveways. 
  3. Easement in gross: These do not transfer. They generally provide permission to utility companies for specific uses and are usually recorded in the deed. 

Homeowner concerns

When homeowners were not previously familiar with easements, they may feel thrown for a loop. It may take some time for them to decide what questions they need to ask to determine whether the property may still serve their needs. Here are some important questions to raise: 

  • What property rights does the homeowner have and do they have easement rights elsewhere? 
  • If purchasing a home that requires easements on someone else’s property, what safeguards are there? 
  • What types of easements does the property have? 
  • Will the easements affect additions or renovations? 
  • Is it possible to challenge easements and what effect would that have on community or business relationships? 

Easements should not automatically make a property undesirable. However, homeowners should approach these property sales with greater caution than others.