Experienced Easement Attorneys

Most land-use disputes arise in regards to recent changes made to a property, such as new construction projects or the sale of a parcel of land. However, some disputes are decades in the making. In particular, property easements and rights-of-way agreements established long ago may come as a surprise for new property owners. These law-protected rights can remain attached to a property through several acquisitions, which is why it’s important for both real estate dealers and buyers to keep track of their property’s easement information.

For assistance drafting, reviewing, and disputing easement agreements, including rights-of-way, contact our real estate law firm in Asheville, NC, for a free case consultation.

What Is An Easement?

An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s property for a designated purpose. For example, a utility company may hold an easement to install and maintain water piping under your property. Easements do not grant any ownership rights to their beneficiaries. Instead, beneficiaries are only allowed to use the property as specified in the agreement.

Property owners may not interfere with the purpose of an easement. For example, if a beneficiary electric company has wires strung across your yard, you can not take them down or block the workers’ path. Violators may be held liable for damages to the easement holder. Conversely, easement holders may not place an unreasonable burden on the property owner.

Locating Easement Information

Easement information can be found on the property deed or in the closing paperwork provided by the realtor. Property owners may obtain a copy of the property deed from the county records office. If you have trouble accessing these documents, contact a real estate attorney to help you find easement information for your property.

Easements Vs. Rights-Of-Way

Rights-of-way are a type of easement that allows certain non-owners to travel or pass through a property. These easements may be public or private, depending on the location of the property. The most common example of private property under a public right-of-way is a road or path that leads to a public area, such as a park or public beach.

Types Of Easements

There are two main types of easements, depending on the beneficiary. Easements that benefit a particular piece of land are referred to as appurtenant easements. This type of easement is common among neighbors who need to cross each others’ property to access public space. On the other hand, gross easements benefit a particular person or entity, such as a utility company. Easements may also be classified according to their purpose, which may include any of the following.

  • Utility easements: These are the most common kind of easement. They provide a utility company or a city with access to areas of a property, such as utility corridors and sewer lines. The existence of these easements is unlikely to affect property owners.
  • Private easements: Property owners may also award or sell an easement voluntarily. For example, some property owners pay for a private sewer easement to build a pipe under someone else’s property.
  • Easements by necessity: In cases when it’s absolutely necessary to cross someone’s land, the court may grant someone an easement by necessity. This is certainly the case when someone needs to pass through someone else’s property to access their own.
  • Prescriptive easements: These are property interests acquired through a party’s unauthorized use of another’s property for a certain period of time. Most easement disputes are related to this type of easement.

How Can A Real Estate Lawyer Help Me?

Our real estate lawyers can help you draft, review, and dispute easement and right-of-way agreements following the latest federal and statuary regulations. Doing so can help you prevent more complicated and expensive issues down the road. In the event you become involved in an easement-related dispute, we can also represent you during negotiations and in court.

The law regarding easements can be complicated by factors such as the property’s history, neighborhood, and value, which can make remediating a land-use dispute all the more difficult for property owners. To ensure all easements on your property are accounted for and out of your way, seek professional legal counsel from a reputable real estate law firm.

Real Estate Attorneys In Asheville, NC

If you become involved in a dispute over an easement or you feel someone is illegally trespassing on your property, don’t wait to take action. Contact the real estate lawyers with Goosmann Rose Colvard & Cramer, P.A. for reliable and personalized legal counsel and representation in all matters regarding real estate transactions and documentation, including property easement and rights-of-way agreements.