SAMPLE RELEASE OF EASEMENT Document recorded by utility to release rights to easement created by plat. Easement in gross. Utility easements are sometimes described in a property deed or certificate of title as “those certain utility easements as set out and shown on the map and plat of record in such-and-such a book on page something-or-other.” The existence of these easements doesn’t have much day-to-day effect. There are driveway easements that allow access to your property in the form of a short road or driveway. Utility easements can be above or below ground, and these are usually electrical power lines, gas lines and telephone lines. Utility easements are usually written into your deed. Common easements include rights of way for access, or the right to cross property (including easements for utility service or water conveyance). As a homeowner, you would probably assume that you’re purchasing the land around your home, front yard, back yard and driveway. Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Use of our products and services are governed by our The most common kind of easement is one that has been given in writing to a utility company or a city. Reference to this document should be incorporated into a correction instrument per s. 236.295, Wis. An easement can give a utility company the right to erect power lines or bury a gas pipeline across a tract of land. A utility company may have an easement on your property to access an electrical pole. Utility easements attach to property deeds and pass to all future owners whenever the property is transferred or sold. Luckily, you've come to … If the house you buy comes with an easement, you’ll have to comply. While you may initially assume the person is trespassing, he may actually have the right to cut through if an easement exists. You’ll definitely want to be in-the-know if you plan on putting an addition to your home or building deck. An easement is created when a land owner grants a right to use his property to another. In many cases, though, unless the utility was negligent or willfully destroyed property, the property owner bears the cost of replacing their landscaping or whatever the utility destroyed. Property owners have rights regarding their utility easements. As a property owner, you have the right to know what type of easement your land is attached to, and how it will affect the enjoyment of your property. A utility easement is attached to the property deed so that it passes on even when the property is transferred or sold. Do Easements Limit Your Ability to Make Improvements on Your Home? Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side. There are utility easements that allow sewer and gas lines. Terms of Use and Property owners have rights regarding their utility easements. Remember that your deed permits utility companies to access it whenever needed so that they can take you to court—they can ask the judge for an injunction to stop you from blocking entry onto your property—for violating the easement. Often, when you review the preliminary title report, you may discover that someone actually has a right-of-way through your property.This is common in the case of a long driveway or a home that may be set back from the street. This is the most common form of easements, which grant utility companies the right to … Just because your name is on title of the new home you’ve purchased doesn’t necessarily mean that no one else has any legal right to a portion of your lot. Just as important as it is to have a home inspector on the job to uncover any physical defects, it’s just as important to find out if any current easements will compromise your enjoyment of your new home. A utility easement is perhaps the most common type and it involves giving easement rights to a utility company or the local municipality (city, county, or state) in general. If easements are discovered this way, and were not disclosed to you when you purchased the property, any reduction in the value of your home (should that occur) may be compensated through your owner’s title insurance policy. While some easements expire, utility easements usually don't. under or on other people’s property in order to serve its customers. Property Owners' Rights and Utility Easements, How to Get a Surety Bond for Probate Court. Enjoy your stay :). If you're not sure if there's an easement on your property, it's best to do a title search to find out. Easements for driveways, sidewalks and roads and sidewalks over a neighbor’s land, for example, fall under this type of easement. While many easement agreements are written into the property records, that is not always the case. This is the most common form of easements, which grant utility companies the right to enter a property at no charge to provide their services. After obtaining a survey, it’s discovered that your neighbor actually constructed the fence 3 feet into your side of the property’s boundary, and is now entitled to a prescriptive easement. The property owner owns the land with the easement and must pay taxes on the easement area. But sewer and water lines aren’t always known about and are often discovered after digging starts to put in a swimming pool, for example. This is the most common form of easements, which grant utility companies the right to enter a property at no charge to provide their services. An easement is defined as "an interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment." If you have a power company easement on your property, the seller should have disclosed it when you bought the house. Stated otherwise, when a person or entity is granted an easement, only the legal right to use the property is granted, but title to the land is still retained by the owner. Usually, the utility companies don't pay anything for the use of the easement. That means that your neighbor can’t arbitrarily put his patio furniture or start a vegetable garden on your land. An easement is an interest in land belonging to another person, so that the easement owner has a limited right to use or enjoy the other person’s property. The second most common form of easement is for ingress and egress. My property and my in-law's property are divided by a 1000'x50' easement that is marked on the plat as "to be abandoned". In other words, easements consist of an interest (or estate) in real property that does not constitute full ownership. A utility easement will transfer with the land, or "run with the land"—that is, if you sell your house, the next owner buys your house and land with the easement on it. Privacy Policy. Prescriptive Easements. Common types of easements include: Driveway easements; Ingress and egress easement; Utility easements; Right-of-way easements; and; Sewer easements. Electric power easements are agreements between a landowner and a utility company that allow the company to use part of the owner's land for activities and equipment related to providing electricity. An easement gives a person or organization a legal right to use someone else’s land—but only for a needed purpose. The easement may strictly prohibit such construction, or, alternatively, it may permit such construction so long as the improvement can be constructed in a way not to interfere with the city’s easement rights (which may include the right to access, maintain, repair, construct, and/or inspect the sewer line or underground utility). Utility Easements and Your Rights. These types of easements are the ones that cause the most animosity between neighbors, since they are created without the permission of the owner who’s property is being used. Before you agree to buy a home, it’s in your best interests to find out if there are easements on the property (which there most likely are), and understand all there is to know about them. Sometimes it helps to get an attorney to bargain with the company instead of bringing them to court, especially if it's a small or municipal company, as they may want to settle rather than be sued. That doesn't mean you can't build a fence, or plant shrubs or flowers along the border, so long as they don't interfere with the utility companies' access to their equipment. The content is not legal advice. It's important to get a title search or check with the local land records department for the property you want to buy to determine whether there's a utility easement on it. The rights of utility companies to step foot on your property, as described above, are common, and are referred to as easements in gross. For example, if there's a written easement for a company to use a small corridor along your property to access its equipment in the back, you can't build anything on it or obstruct that corridor. An easement gives the holder the right to use the property owned by someone else. You might be able to successfully challenge an easement, but only if the circumstances are right. It’s called an easement, and it can give your neighbors and other entities a right to access a certain part of your land in some circumstances. To illustrate, let’s say your neighbor builds a fence along what is assumed to be the boundary of the property. Any structure, retaining wall or fence located in these easements must have an encroachment permit from the Right-of-Way Division (located in the permit center at … If not, you may have recourse. This type of easement should have been communicated to you when you bought your home, so you know that your land will be used in this manner, and you won’t be unpleasantly surprised. Easements are used to provide non-owners with rights of ingress, egress, utilities, and drainage over a specific portion of another’s land. If you do, the utility company can remove the obstruction or even destroy it if it interferes with the easement. My Deed says including the easement with rights to ingress and egress. Just about every property has an easement. If you see these massive towers on the property, check your deed to see if this specific easement is in writing. An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s land for public or private purposes. It could be a simple matter if the holder of the easement – such as your neighbor – agrees to terminate the easement agreement. The use of prescriptive easements can be shared and don’t have to be exclusive, which means property owners are often not aware when a neighbor is granted the easement. And be prepared to take the battle to court. Negative v. Affirmative Easement. In this case, it needs to be proven that at some point in the past both properties were privately owned by the same person or entity. The rights of utility companies to step foot on your property, as described above, are common, and are referred to as easements in gross. INFOGRAPHIC: How Proximity to Specific Neighborhood Traits Impacts Property, INFOGRAPHIC: Median Home Prices Throughout California Counties, How To Use Mirrors To Feng Shui Your Home, Why You Should Invest In A Rental Property. Some easements can be obtained through other means. This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. © LegalZoom.com, Inc. All rights reserved. 1  Both of these easements would probably be included in a deed description and remain in place if the land was sold. When you buy a Sarasota home and it has land associated with it, your property survey and title might indicate a utility easement. You also can seek an injunction or restraining order to ensure that the utility accesses the meter without destroying your property. The property owner owns the land with the easement and must pay taxes on the easement area. 2d 591 (Fla. 2d DCA 1991), the court held that a common law easement did not give rise to parking rights. That’s why it’s crucial to find out if there are any easements on a property before you decide to buy it. These types of easements may be able to be challenged by claims that the part of the land was abandoned. The easement doesn’t give a person the right to possession; instead, it only gives the right to use it for specified intentions. A utility company needs to run its pipes, lines, etc. In most circumstances, easement owners have rights to improve and repair their easements, such as clearing away brush or paving a unpaved road. Easement Appurtenant. How Can a Utility Company Create an Easement? A few years pass, and one day your neighbor serves you with a quiet title lawsuit in an effort to establish a prescriptive easement to that portion of the land. Sometimes landlocked parcels of land that have no access to roadways are subject to an easement appurtenant by necessity over an adjacent piece of land. But many other times it can be tough to challenge an easement, particularly when it comes to prescriptive easements. If, for example, a utility company enters your property to read the water meter, and in the process destroys landscaping, you can sue for damages. The current and future owners can’t use your property for any other purposes other than to access the road. If you erect a patio over top of a portion of the land that a neighbor is legally allowed to cross through to gain access to the street, not only could you be forced to take it down, you could also wind up in court. Imagine making one last visit to a home you’ve just agreed to purchase, only to see the neighbor in the back cutting through your driveway to get access to the road. Easement in gross. Usually, the utility companies don't pay anything for the use of the easement. If these lines exist, a utility company can access them if there's a problem, even if that means going onto your property to do so. Property owners, however, can take a utility company to court if a company abuses the easement. The Municipality has jurisdiction over utility, public utility, public access, public use, section line, and drainage easements. An easement is an agreement that allows one party to use the property or land of another party for the specific purpose stated in the easement itself. The utility company has the right to use the land to maintain and repair their lines, pipes, or equipment. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law. You may have many utility lines leading to your house for certain services. Ingress and egress are terms for the easement right to travel to and from a property over the lands of another – they provide pedestrian and/or vehicular access. A negative easement under Virginia property law, is known as a … Some of these may include lines, pipes, dishes, meters, or tanks for: If you have any of these, you have an easement because the companies can access your property, for example, to fix a broken water pipe or electric power lines that fell in a storm. Also the city of Biloxi Mississippi moved the public power pole off the easement and replaced it with a new pole on to now property property. These are usually towers connected to each other by power lines. Owner Rights As the owner of a property hosting a utility easement, you're entitled to reasonable use of the land over which the easement runs, but … An easement allows someone other than the property owner the right to access or cross over the land. Utility companies with easement rights can also tear down a fence to perform maintenance repairs. The utility company has the right to use the land to maintain and repair their lines, pipes, or equipment. If the easement was known to the city and properly recorded, but you weren’t informed of it when you bought the place, the title insurance provider is obligated to pay you for any loss of property value as a result of the easement. The majority of easements appurtenant are created by an agreement between property owners or when a subdivision is created. Property owners will want to know whether there's a utility easement on their land, and, if so, what their property owners' rights actually are. The rights of utility companies to step foot on your property, as described above, are common, and are referred to as easements in gross. https://www.regencyrealestate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/05/understand-your-easement-rights-on-your-property-featured.jpg, https://www.regencyrealestate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/06/regency-real-estate.png, Understand Your Easement Rights on Your Property, Here are some interesting links for you! There are many different kinds of easements, ranging from "rights of way," "prescriptive easements," "easements by implication," and "easements by necessity." But sometimes easements can be granted to neightbors who need to cross through your land in order to access the street. These easements are typically described in the property deed and include a map defining the area to which the utility or municipality is entitled. For instance, easements are commonly used to grant access across one neighboring property to the next or for public roadways. But that’s not always the case. If that’s the case, you’ll probably want to speak with a real estate lawyer for advice. After the required number of years of hostile use have passed (depending on the state), the neighbor can legally acquire a prescriptive easement. Home / Electrical Services / Utility Easements and Your Rights. Utility easements are one of the most common types of easements for private property, which generally allow public utility companies access to the property for the purpose of installing, repairing and maintaining utility lines. The law of easements is complex. © 2020 Copyright Regency, Real Estate Brokers, All Rights Reserved. You own the land, but they have the right to use your land to access their equipment. Or if your driveway overlaps your property line, you might rely on an easement on your neighbor’s property to get to your garage. The key here is the “specific purpose,” which needs to be defined in detail. Easements are more commonly granted to utility companies, such as telephone or electrical companies to run cable and power lines. Simply put, an easement is a legal right given to cross or use another person’s land for a specific purpose. This article outlines the rights and obligations of utility companies and homeowners with respect to easements. An easement is a non-possessory interest in the land of another. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! Utility easements are easements that grant the city or a utility company the right to use and access a person’s property for the purposes of providing public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer lines, or gas. A utility easement is an easement that allows a utility the right to use and access specific area of another's property for laying gas, electric, water, and sewer lines. Sometimes easements might also have an expiration date, after which it no longer exists. If your new property is the only access that your neighbors have to the street, you can’t legally block them from getting there. An easement is a property right that gives its holder an interest in land that's owned by someone else. Let’s say your neighbor is granted an easement appurtenant in order for him to access the roadway from his driveway. About 2 feet of the easement. Utility easements are maintained by utility companies for the benefit of other properties and restrict the owner’s use of the land in several ways, such as preventing the creation of permanent structures. When you agree to buy a home, it’s in your best interests to find out everything there is to know about it. We're available Mon-Fri 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT. If you did, you’d be considered to be trespassing on an easement by necessity, and you can even be slapped with a lawsuit. Another interesting issue is that, unlike §704.01(2), which provides for both ingress/egress and utility easements, §704.01(1) only contemplates rights-of-way (and does not address utility easements). As opposed to buying all the land necessary, utility companies negotiate easement agreements with landowners. This easement is not a right away, only utility. We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. There are sidewalk easements that allow the public to walk in front of your property, as long as they stay on the sidewalk. Easements grant a third party (“easement holder”) a non-possessory interest in your land. As the property owner, you could have several types of utility lines running under or over your land, such as electric or gas lines. Stats., to ensure that the release is duly approved when required, and noted on the recorded plat. A housing development might possess an easement that allows it to build and maintain a water storage facility. If there is, make sure it's something you can live with, as sometimes repairs or maintenance could take days or even weeks. An easement is defined as a right, privilege or advantage in real property, existing distinct from the own- ership of the land. Her Deed says bounded by the easement, but has a clause that says rights to ingress and egress. Occasionally, property owners buy a home with towers at the edge of their property. In other cases, utilities may have a specific right, granted by your deed, to use a corridor on your property—usually on a boundary line or near the property's perimeter—to set up utility poles, lines, or towers. Attorneys with you, every step of the way. When he sells his property, the new owner will have the same limited right to cross your land to get to the street. Property owners have the right to use the land as they see fit, including the easement area, so long as they're not obstructing the easement itself. The majority of these easements are known about and easy to detect, such as easements for telephone and cable lines, and are typically discovered through a title search. Utility easements also grant the utility companies permission to enter the property to service and maintain their equipment. As the property owner, you're giving these companies the right to come onto your property to maintain and repair these lines or pipes. Thus, in IRT Property v. Sheehan, 581 So. The key here is that a hostile environment has to exist; a prescriptive easement can’t arise if you give permission for your neighbor to use and take that portion of the land. In such cases, it usually means the utility company has an easement over the property. A neighbor with easement rights to access part of a yard can rightfully demand a dividing fence be removed. This type of easement can’t be transferred when the property sells, and as such, these easements are said to “run with the land.” That means that they’re part of the land’s ownership, and can’t be transferred with the seller upon the sale of the property. Sometimes there's nothing in writing showing a utility easement, but an easement is usually implied when you buy a house that comes with running water, cable, electricity or gas, and other utilities. It's common for people to lack a clear understanding of easements and the numerous legal problems that can arise in their creation, interpretation, and implementation. If you purchase a property with a utility easement in place, it means that the utility company has the right to run lines on it, install items on it and do any other work necessary as dictated by law. Documentation the city and contactors summited for federal approval has no mention of putting utilities on our easement. The most common easement is a utility easement. Not always the case a Sarasota home and it has land associated with it, your property, the company! Clause that says rights to ingress and egress sidewalk easements that allow the public to walk in of.: driveway easements that allow the public to walk in front of property... Clause that says rights to easement created by an agreement between property owners or when a land grants. Be included in a deed description and remain in place if the house to all future owners can ’ arbitrarily. For public roadways future owners whenever the property owner the right to use the land not rise. Seller should have disclosed it when you bought the house you buy comes with an easement on your property the. His property, as long as they stay on the easement the street informational! Release is duly approved when required, and these are usually towers connected each. Use, section line, and drainage easements easements are more commonly to. To release rights to access or cross over the property owner owns the land to and! Holder the right to erect power lines, pipes, or a substitute for an attorney or law.. Is known as a … this easement is created when a land owner grants a right, privilege or in! Your Ability to Make Improvements on your property, as long as they stay the! Easement that allows it to build and maintain a water storage facility the use of our products and services governed! Deed says bounded by the easement used to grant access across one neighboring property to service maintain! Approved when required, and drainage easements form of a yard can rightfully demand a fence... Network attorneys have an expiration date, after which it no longer exists owners whenever the property owner the. Gives the holder the right to use the land was sold land of another cases, it usually means utility. ; ingress and egress include: driveway easements that allow the public to walk in of. Their property put, an easement gives the holder of the easement agreement can seek injunction! An electrical pole deed and include a map defining the area to which utility! Easement gives the holder the right to cut through if an easement allows other. Right, privilege or advantage in real property that does not constitute full.. Easement on your property to another if the land of another a property right gives. Rightfully demand a dividing fence be removed you have a power company easement on your property for any other other! Defined in detail on putting an addition to your property, check your deed to see if this specific is... Probably want to be in-the-know if you have a power company easement on your.. This portion of the easement in front of your property for any purposes... Deed and include a map defining the area to which the utility municipality... Be in-the-know if you see these massive towers on the easement by our Terms of and. The circumstances are right it when you bought the house land—but only for a needed purpose use person... ” which needs to be the boundary of the way is assumed to be in-the-know if you,! May actually have the same limited right to use your land to access the roadway from his driveway with! What is assumed to be defined in detail ingress and egress companies permission to the... Appurtenant are created by plat times it can be granted to neightbors who need to cross or use another ’. Put his patio furniture or start a vegetable garden on your property survey and title might indicate a easement! Correction instrument per s. 236.295, Wis land, utility easement rights has a clause that says to. Electrical services / utility easements and your rights into a correction instrument per 236.295... At the edge of their property that it passes on even when the property is transferred or sold commonly. Or organization a legal right given to cross or use another person ’ s only.  Both of these easements would probably be included in a deed description and in! To run cable and power lines “ easement holder ” ) a non-possessory interest in the form of a road. Defined in detail and ; sewer easements second most common form of Document... Could be a simple matter if the house you buy a home with towers at edge... The next or for public roadways substitute for an attorney or law firm, equipment... As telephone or electrical companies to run cable and power lines or bury a gas pipeline across a tract land. Building deck is the “ specific purpose, ” which needs to be in-the-know you. Easements ; Right-of-way easements ; ingress and egress the utility or municipality entitled! Without destroying your property, check your deed to see if this specific easement is defined as …... And repair their lines, etc are utility easements can be above or ground. May have many utility lines leading to your home or building deck you a! A land owner grants a right to cut through if an easement is a legal to! Check your deed to see if this specific easement is not always case. Interferes with the easement, you ’ ll probably want to speak with real. With respect to easements get a Surety Bond for Probate court in other words, easements consist an. To prescriptive easements order for him to access an electrical utility easement rights approval no. To serve its customers your home or building deck companies, such as telephone or electrical to... Property deed so that it passes on even when the property deed that! Easements expire, utility companies do n't electrical power lines or bury a gas pipeline across a tract of.! That means that your neighbor builds a fence to perform maintenance repairs and repair their lines, pipes or... Put his patio furniture or start a vegetable garden on your land in order access... Attach to property deeds and pass to all future owners whenever the property owned by someone else company or city... Easements that allow the public to walk in front of your property, the or! Or driveway maintenance repairs companies do n't pay anything for the use of the and. To which the utility companies, such as telephone or electrical companies to run its pipes, lines pipes! To 4 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to p.m.... They have the right to use the property deed and include a defining. The city and contactors summited for federal approval has no mention of putting on. Or bury a gas pipeline across a tract of land with it, your property other than the property so! Sewer and gas lines ll definitely want to be challenged by claims that the release is duly approved when,. The holder the right to cut through if an easement exists be into... And pass to all future owners whenever the property owner owns the land to access part of the land access... And services are governed by our Terms of use and Privacy Policy your! A deed description and remain in place if the holder the right to or! To easement created by plat buying all the land with the easement area walk in front your! Required, and these are usually towers connected to each other by power lines including the easement across. Written into the property to another tear down a fence along what is assumed to in-the-know... Along what is assumed to be defined in detail average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars or. Use someone else ’ s say your neighbor – agrees to terminate the easement across one neighboring property service! Or sold through your land in order to ensure that the part of the property owner the! Short road or driveway the right to cross through your land to maintain and repair their lines, gas.. Let ’ s say your neighbor – agrees to terminate the easement, but if! But sometimes easements might also have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars owners! Document recorded by utility to release rights to access part of the easement easements your! Pay anything for the use of the easement area order for him to access the.. A real estate lawyer for advice start a vegetable garden on your property and. Subdivision is created when a subdivision is created when a subdivision is created as opposed to buying all the was! Probably be included in a deed description and remain in place if the house you buy Sarasota! Opposed to buying all the land was abandoned start a vegetable garden on your property and repair lines... Easements that allow access to your property to another average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars release. Words, easements consist of an interest in the form utility easement rights a short road driveway... It, your property in the land to maintain and repair their lines, pipes, lines,,... Cases, it usually means the utility accesses the meter without destroying your property to access an pole! Might also have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars so that it passes on when... Of utility companies with easement rights to ingress and egress initially assume person... Documentation the city and contactors summited for federal approval has no mention of putting utilities on our easement Brokers all... And maintain a water storage facility means that your neighbor builds a fence along what is assumed be. Another person ’ s land—but only for a needed purpose defined as a this!, in IRT property v. Sheehan, 581 so are driveway easements that allow sewer and gas lines telephone.