A term that every prospective or current homeowner should know is "easement." This term seems to be little understood by those, not in the real estste industry but it's very important to know what an easement is if you're in the market to buy a home, the consequences of a land easement can be felt for the entirety of your time living in your home even up the time you're ready to sell.

easement contract

So What Is an Easement?

The legal term "easement" refers to the legal right to use another person's real estate for a defined purpose and for a set period of time. A legal right to pass through another person's land is granted by an easement, as long as the use is compliant with the easement restrictions. The proprietor retains title to the property, even though an easement offers a possessory interest in the land for a specific purpose.

In simple terms, an easement offers the use of owned land to others who have no ownership of the land to use for a specific purpose outlined in the easement contract. The reason that easements are so important to understand is that they often survive the transfer of ownership meaning that if the previous owners of your homemade an agreement for a neighbor to use your lands road to reach a point outside of your property then more than likely that agreement is still in effect even though you now own that land. 

What are the different types of easements?

Each state has different laws regarding property rights but in general, there's a few different types of easements that are common in the United States. 

Easement By Necessity;

A typical sort of easement appurtenant is an easement by necessity. By necessity, an easement is created by law, which means that it is not created by a specific pledge or agreement between neighbors, but rather by the law implying its existence in order to accomplish just results.

The most common example of this is a remote lot that needs to use a road that runs through another to allow access to a property.

Easement by Prescription; 

An easement can be obtained by using the servient land in a specific way for a lengthy period of time. A prescriptive easement is one type of easement. By openly, adversely, continuously, and exclusively using the land for the number of years specified by state statute, the user obtains an easement.

An example of this is if you were to use a lake located on a neighbors land for many years you can then request an easement by prescription to continue using the lake if for instance a new owner took over the land and tried to say that you could no longer use the lake.

Negative Easement;

A promise to not do something on a piece of land.

An example of this is a promise to not build a structure over 3 stories tall on your land as to not block the view of others. 

Utility Easement; 

Utility easements are one of the most popular types of easements for private land, allowing public utility companies to access the property for the purposes of installing, repairing, and maintaining utility lines. Overhead electric, telephone, and television lines, as well as underground electric, water, sewer, telephone, and cable lines, are examples of these.

An example of this allowing BGE to cut branches from a tree on your property in order to ensure the branches cant fall and damage a power line. 

Some other types of easements that you may see less commonly include 


How To Discover Easements

Easements on a property will be recorded on the property deed if you already own your home then the deed can be found usually in the closing documents for your home. If your looking at buying a home your K2 homegroup real estate agent can request the deed to a prospective home for you so that you can be sure of what you're buying. If you are unable to find the deed to your home then you can go through your county's public records at the assessor's office or county clerk in order to receive a replacement deed. 

So Now That You Know...

If you have any questions about easements or anything else relating to your home search, our expert team of realtors at K2 home group would love to speak with you. If you found the article helpful you'll surely enjoy our other informative posts on the home buying process.