Does an easement stay with the property?

| Jun 8, 2021 | Residential Real Estate Transactions |

You’re looking to buy a new property, and the one you’re interested in has an easement. This means that someone else — a utility company, for instance, or a neighbor — has a right to access your property even though they don’t own it. 

What you’re wondering is if the easement stays with the property after you buy it. The previous owner is the one who agreed to it. Do you have to follow this example or can you just decide that access is no longer allowed?

The easement usually remains

There are exceptions to almost everything, but a general rule is that the easement will stay with the property, even if ownership is transferred to another person. This means that you would have to honor it if you bought that property. Though it may be possible to remove it, you can’t merely make that decision on a whim. 

Realistically, the easement was created because it’s important to someone else, such as a neighbor who can’t reach the nearest road from their property without crossing yours. This is why it has to remain. The upside is that the seller can’t hide this from you and is legally obligated to let you know what you’re buying, which may lower the asking price of that property. Just make sure you don’t buy the property with the expectation that you can cancel the easement as soon as it is in your name. 

Working through a complex situation

If you’re involved in a more complex land purchase, such as one with an easement, it is crucial that you understand all of the legal steps you’ll need to take and what rights and obligations you have