What to know before buying a property with an easement

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

As you consider different properties for purchase, you may look at important factors, such as the asking price, location and more. While these are critical factors in any property purchase, you will also benefit from finding out if there is an easement on the property as well. As this could affect your use of the property, this is something you need to know before you move forward with an important purchase.

An easement is a legally binding interest in another party’s property by a non-possessing party. This means that, while you may own the Florida property, a specific person or party may be able to use your property for a specific purpose, typically to access another area. There are different kinds of easements, and they can mean different things for you as the property owner.

Do you have an express or implied easement?

When you understand the easement that affects your property, you will be in a better position to defend your rights. While an easement is legally binding, you do not have to tolerate violation of your property rights. There are two main types of easements — implied and express. The differences between these two are as follows:

  • Implied easement: An implied easement is one for which there is no formally drafted document creating an express easement. The existence of the easement is an implication and understood according to situation or circumstances. There are certain requirements that determine whether an implied easement is valid.
  • Express easement: One creates an express easement through a deed or will. To have an express easement, there must be a formally drafted document that outlines the terms of the easement and the use of the property.
  • Prescriptive easement: This type of easement is the result of property boundaries that take place over an extended period of time. This easement may be enforceable under the principle of adverse possession.

The principle of easements can be difficult to understand, and as the owner or potential owner of the property, you deserve to know your property rights. If you are unsure of what type of easement could affect your property and what it may mean for you, it could be helpful to seek an opinion regarding your legal options. There are times when it is appropriate to challenge an easement or take other steps to stop an encroachment on your property.

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