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Do you have to honor an easement?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2022 | Real estate transactions

When looking to buy real estate, you may discover that the land has an easement. An easement is a right granted to a party who is not the property owner the ability to use that land. A common example is when a shared road runs through one party’s land and connects to another. Certain easements permit a limited right of occupancy without profit.

Since the easement may exist to allow access to a neighboring land, you might be concerned that the easement will reduce the value of the land. If you want to buy the land, you might prefer to not honor the easement to keep the value as high as possible. How do you know if you have the option to not honor the easement? Do you have to honor the easement because it existed with the previous property owner?

The easement might run with the land

There are various types of easements. Under some circumstances, two property owners will just make an agreement that only lasts until one of them leaves. Under a circumstance like that, you may not be required to honor the easement.

Many easement agreements are legally binding, and the easement runs with the land. This means that it is not only an agreement between two property owners but is an inherent quality of that land, and the next person to buy the property must honor the easement agreement.

The reason for this is that eliminating an easement can be a hardship for the other property owner. For example, if that shared driveway is the only way to reach their property, eliminating the easement makes this impossible.

What are your options?

When you are buying real estate, you should ask a specialized real estate attorney about possible easement agreements. A specialized real estate attorney can address your concerns and discuss any options available and the legal steps to take.