If you are an active real estate investor you are bound to come across the need to understand easements as they relate to your real estate purchase. Many property parcels have easements and you familiarize yourself with the various types of easements that are out there.
What is an easement? Simply put, an easement is the right, privilege, or interest that one party has in the land of another. Think of it as the right to use another’s real property without possessing it. The two main types of easements are:
EASEMENT OF NECESSITY Here Abel’s property is surrounded by Baker’s property. Baker’s property has an easement to allow Abel to cross Baler’s property in order to reach his own. (For a more detailed explanation of easements, go here.)
The other most common form of easement is:
EASEMENT OF PRESCRIPTION This is the continued use of another’s property for special purposes that can become a permanent use of that property if certain conditions are met. In the picture example, Abel has been crossing Baker’s property for 10 years via the dash-lined easement. Even though Abel can get to his property via a road, since Abel has been using the dash-lined easement access for the length of time as required by law, Baker cannot protest the use of this access because Abel has achieved an easement by prescription.
Now you are saying to yourself, what is the length of time as required by law. Good question. This is when you check with your local and state zoning and government real estate laws to see how much time can expire in order to create the easement of prescription.
There are a variety of other easement types, like waterway easements, light and air easements, etc. It would be a good idea to do your research and familiarize yourself with these different easement types as they relate to the type of real estate or property you are investing in. Remember, doing your own homework will help you educate yourself and further help you make smart real estate investments. If you do come across a real estate investment that has a complicated easement condition, make sure you consult a real estate attorney to help you make the smart choice and not the wrong choice.