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How can I check for property easements?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

Buying a piece of real estate for a home or business will involve background research to make sure the property meets your expectations. One area to investigate is whether or not the property has an easement. If you discover an easement after buying the property, you might become embroiled in litigation to remove it if you do not want the easement on your property.

According to FindLaw, an easement is a right another party has to use a section of a property. In many cases, an easement allows someone to cross over a property to access another property or a road. If you have concerns about a property having an easement, there are some ways to possibly find out about one before purchasing the property.

Check legal documents

Since many properties document their easements in ownership documents like deeds, checking the deed of the property may be a good place to start. You may also look for any contracts the current property owner has signed with another person to recognize an easement. Estate documents like wills can also transfer easements to another party.

Check your property and surrounding areas

In some situations, a court will grant an easement because of the circumstances of the property. In the event a property landlocks another property, the other property owner will need an easement to cross over it to access a road. This is an easement of necessity. A court may also grant an easement implied from a quasi-easement, which is a prior use of one part of land for the benefit of another part.

Consider checking the property before you buy it to see if it has the potential for these kinds of easements. If the property landlocks another piece of real estate, there is the chance the owner of the other property has an easement or might seek one at a future date.

Other methods of establishing easement

Sometimes a court creates an easement on the grounds of adverse possession, so you may want to see if another person is using a part of the property without the current owner’s consent. Since this usually happens on rural land, this might not be the case if you want a property in a heavily populated area. In some other cases, the government will establish an easement through eminent domain.

Once you have examined these possibilities, you might feel better about purchasing the property. Detecting an easement or the potential for an easement may allow you the chance to resolve the issue before a costly trial.