When you buy land or property, you probably have plans for how you want to use that land or the building. It can come as surprise to you to learn there is an easement that could affect how you are able to use the property. Whether you already purchased property with an easement or you are considering a purchase in the near future, it is in your interests to learn as much as possible about the easement and what it could mean for you.
An easement is a legally binding interest in property that belongs to someone else. In most cases, this typically means that someone beside the property owner has the right to use or access the land for a specific purpose. There are different types of easements, and they can mean different things for you as a North Carolina property owner.
What is an implied easement?
An implied easement can exist without an official written document. Instead, the circumstances surrounding that piece of land imply its existence. For example, this type of easement often affects parceled land that used to be one large parcel. It may be necessary to use one part of the property to access another part. For there to be an implied easement, the following must be true:
- There must be subdivided land owned by different people or up for sale to different owners.
- There is proof that the easement is necessary for the use and enjoyment of the original parcel of land.
- The use of the land that now necessitates an easement must have existed before sale of the property or the parceling of the land.
What is an express easement?
This is a type of easement that exists through a deed or a will, but it always has to be in writing. With an express easement, the land may pass ownership to another person, but the easement is still in effect. An example of an express easement is a legally documented agreement that allows a party to walk through privately owned property in order to get a public beach. There are different categories of easements depending on the nature of the individual situation.
Your rights as a property owner
If you own property or you are thinking about buying property, it’s in your interests to know everything there is to know about that property. This one of the many reasons why you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced real estate attorney who can answer your questions and make sure you fully understand the implications of an easement on your property.