If you’re looking to buy either a residential or a commercial property, you may discover that it has an easement. This means that someone else is allowed to use at least a portion of that property. They don’t have any ownership rights, but their use of the land cannot be prohibited.
An example of this is when one property cannot be accessed from the nearest road. There may be an access road across the property that is blocking it from the street, and the person who owns that property will have an easement. They don’t actually have to purchase the land, but they are allowed to use the access road so that they can get to the main street, and this right can’t be infringed upon – even by the person who owns the other property.
But maybe you would like to purchase a property and remove the easement. You don’t want to have to share property rights with anyone else. Can you do so?
What type of easement is it?
The answer lies in the type of easement that was used. With an easement in gross, it is canceled when the property changes hands. These are just personal easements between two individuals, not part of the land itself.
But if it’s an easement appurtenant, or one that “runs with the land,” it is part of the property. The easement has to stay in place when the property is purchased or sold. In other words, if you bought that property, you may be the new owner, but you would not have the right to cancel the easement without the other person’s approval.
It’s very important to understand how property rights work and what legal steps to take during a transaction.