Almost all properties are subject to an easement. An easement is a lawful right to utilise someone else’s land to serve a certain purpose. The aim of the easement should be well-defined to prevent its abuse.
When investing in property, it is prudent to understand the specific easements attached to it. Get a property lawyer in Townsville to investigate your property’s easement and how they will affect your ownership. Here are the typical categories of property easements you might come across.
Easement in Gross
This easement affects only one property and allows public utilities to use your land at no charge. These include power and telephone cables as well as sewer and water lines.
An easement in gross is typically recorded in your area’s public records. Easements that are not correctly recorded, however, might be invalid, and you might petition for their removal or charge for their continued use of your property.
This easement allows your neighbour to use your land to reach their property. A variation of this easement is the one used for parcels with no access to public roads — easement by necessity.
To create this easement, landowners must prove that the land parcels had a joint ownership in the past. Easements appurtenant should be recorded for them to be legal.
This easement arises if your neighbour uses a part of your land without your consent. For a prescriptive easement to be legal, it should be visible, without your permission and continuous over a determined period.
Your neighbour can file a quiet title lawsuit in the lines of a “prescriptive easement” if they meet all the legal requirements. To prevent this, you can permit them to use the land.
To a large extent, easements will not affect your property’s value. They might, however, affect it if they severely restrict its use. Sewer and water lines, for instance, might limit some construction projects. Ensure you are aware of all property easements before making an investment decision.