What happens to an easement when you buy a property?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Real Estate

If there’s an easement on a piece of property, it means that someone other than the property owner is allowed to use it. However, they generally do not have the ability to use it in any way that they want. The easement is for a specific purpose, such as a driveway connecting a property to the road or a piece of land that someone is allowed to use for hunting and fishing. The person who has been granted the easement is allowed to use the land in this fashion, even though they do not have any ownership rights and they can’t use it in any other ways that are not permitted.

But what happens if you buy a piece of property and it already has an easement? You may not want to let someone else use your property, but do you have to do so?

2 types of easements

The thing to remember is that there can be two types of easements, starting with one that is just a personal agreement between two individuals. This easement is canceled when either person sells their land. If that’s the case, you usually don’t have to honor it.

More common, however, is an easement appurtenant. This means that it runs with the land. It is now part of the land, and the easement is transferred into your possession along with the rest of the property. If it was set up like this, with an easement easement appurtenant, then you do have to honor the easement even though you did not agree to it initially.

You can see how this may become very complicated or how disputes could arise. If you find yourself in that position, take the time to look into your legal options.

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